All posts by Samudra Weerasinghe

Enterprise Mobility Management: Moving Beyond Traditional Mobile Device Management

Today, managing mobility is not just confined to embracing the bring your own device (BYOD) or corporately owned, personally enabled (COPE) concepts in your enterprise, or which device platform or operating system you use. The focus has shifted to more advanced strategies that enable enterprises to become connected and reach a new level of agility through digital transformation.

While the modern enterprise mobility management landscape has transformed significantly, it has also brought about more complexities.

Employees now work from locations all over the world, access data from various data centers and share this data not only through corporate networks, but also through cloud services and APIs. Because of this sense of globalization and the advent of cooler and more convenient mobile devices, enterprises started adopting mechanisms that consider all these factors in their infrastructure in order make their employees and their company as a whole more productive.

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This made device management not only about managing, securing and storing device data. It’s now about making mobility management part of the entire enterprise ecosystem. This means you need to think about broader aspects like governance, analytics, and identity provisioning. Such a system needs to

  • Be extensible enough to support all devices and operating system types.
  • Have a plug-in model that allows you to integrate with other tools (such as analytics and governance tools) existing in your environment.
  • Be able to moderate, approve and provision applications through a corporate app store.
  • Produce analytics dashboards, audit trails and reports to supplement business strategies.
  • Have comprehensive policy management and enforcement functionality with capabilities such as compliance monitoring, containerization, data encryption and password enforcement.

So how exactly do you go about building such a comprehensive enterprise mobility management system? By using the right tool for the right job. You need to implement a tool that not only meets the above requirements, but is also scalable enough to accommodate your enterprise’s growth. It should also be user-friendly and customizable in order to win over your employees.

Where can you find such a solution? Right here. WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager (WSO2 EMM) offers all of this and more. Key advantages of adopting WSO2 EMM:

  • Gives you the ability to compose, enforce and manage granular level security policies for individual and groups of devices.
  • Enables strategic decision making by making information gathered across all mobile business activities available through powerful dashboards with analytics and reporting.
  • Strengthens security through data encryption and password enforcement among other things.
  • Embraces device ownership schemes like BYOD enabling employees to be more efficient and make decisions faster while saving enterprises the procurement and data plan cost associated with each user.

WSO2 EMM is a 100% open source comprehensive enterprise-grade platform with all the capabilities you need for enterprise mobility management including device configuration management, policy enforcement, app management, device data security, and compliance monitoring.

To learn more about WSO2 EMM and its capabilities, watch WSO2 Technical Lead Prabath Abeysekara’s talk on Enterprise Mobility Management: Moving Beyond Traditional MDM at WSO2Con Asia 2016.

Modern Solution Development: The Battle Between ‘Retaining’ and ‘Changing’ Technology

In today’s fast-paced technology world, change is constant and rapid. New concepts continually emerge, gain traction, disappear, and reemerge. While it’s important to embrace this evolution, core concepts that work in older technology should not be tossed out either.  

During his closing keynote at WSO2Con USA 2015, Dr. Donald Ferguson – former vice president and CTO of Dell, identified concepts independent of the specific technology realization in order to highlight requirements that current technologies don’t meet.

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He noted that although concepts such as loose coupling, service delivery, and asynchronous messaging have been used for various different technologies like common object request broker architecture (CORBA), Web services, and service-oriented architecture (SOA), each of these is just an improvement, yet based on the same ideas. “The key thing when going forward is to make sure that we don’t loose some of the things that we managed to bring forward because they were good,” he adds.

He explains these similarities, improvements, and limitations are apparent when comparing SOA to microservices for instance; features such as programming style, code type, messaging type, and the use of databases are similar in both concepts whereas there are certain important distinctions in means of evolution, systematic change, and scaling. “It’s more about how you do it – the internal architecture, than the externals. With one exception – smart endpoints and dumb pipes” says Ferguson. This concept encourages the microservice community to use a light-weight message bus (a hub) that acts solely as a message router and leaves the smart part of things (receiving a request, applying appropriate logic and producing a response) to the service itself.

But as Ferguson states, “You don’t want just a hub, you want it to be active”. If you open any book on enterprise application design patterns, they first show you what not to do – a monolithic point-to-point architecture. To avoid doing this you need to connect everything through a hub that needs to be able to reformat, route and combine messages as well as understand different protocols and data types that will travel across it. This is where middleware, or specifically the enterprise service bus (ESB) becomes important.

Ferguson notes that dumb fast messaging seems more appealing than using a powerful ESB but it just repeats the fallacies of quick point-to-point connections. Using an active hub and taking advantage of middleware to do it is much more advantageous because it adds value and improves robustness, reusability and scalability.

He further adds that any organization can realize tremendous value from microservices and other new technology; however, this could sometimes result in the risk of losing benefits like interface dependency and optimized composition that emerged in the past. “This needs to be done through application design patterns and middleware that empowers them…that’s part of the value WSO2 is,”he concludes.

WSO2’s complete middleware stack includes the WSO2 integration, API management, security and analytics platforms. By leveraging these components and more you can easily develop modern solutions despite what technology you use.

To learn more, watch Don Ferguson’s presentation at WSO2Con US 2015.

 

How you can Increase Agility and Expandability with Event Driven Architecture (EDA)

From ordering your favorite kind of pizza or a taxi to manufacturing and financial processes, everything is event driven today. People expect to do everything immediately, get instant feedback on the status of their request, and interact in real-time with anybody involved in the process.

John Mathon, the former vice president of enterprise evangelism at WSO2, wrote a white paper which explores how you can keep pace with these demands by implementing event driven architecture (EDA) in your enterprise.

EDA is essentially a messaging system that notifies interested parties of events that occur in order for them to benefit from it. The publish/subscribe model was implemented in the earliest real-time event-driven systems. Anonymity, discoverability and guaranteed delivery were a few of the characteristics that made it popular.

But this simple model deemed insufficient for the demanding and varied needs of subscribers, notes Mathon. Here came the rise of the enterprise service bus (ESB), which standardized enterprise integration patterns, the business process server (BPS) which allowed messages to trigger business processes that dealt with events and business activity monitor, now named data analytics server (DAS), to monitor the health of enterprises through statistics.

These tools became standard components in an EDA and are useful even today, which is why IoT is reusing pub/subs all over again.

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The easiest, fastest and most efficient way of implementing EDA in your enterprise is to incorporate already existing event-driven technologies. You may think writing dedicated software would be more cost efficient and cater more to your specific needs, but in the long run the cost of maintenance would be over a dozen times more than the initial cost of development.

Existing tools are designed to increase performance and reliability of your system. It’s also easy for non-programmers to use because of features such as drag-and-drop components. They can handle large loads and are robust, secure and resilient to failure.

You can choose a specific tool for a specific problem. For example, long-running processes use BPS and short-running ones use message broker (MB). Also, when the tools are combined together it can provide additional power by working together to achieve one goal.

The problem with combining tools is that they can each be large monolithic entities that require significant communication bandwidth and can cause increased load on servers. WSO2 solves this problem because all the tools you require are built as light-weight components with the same base framework making it possible to combine them in the same Java runtime.

When implementing an EDA you need to keep in mind the message flow rates and the characteristic of the message flows. Make sure not to create extremely large messages or do a lot of computation during processing. You also need to consider whether you will be designing for microservices; your architecture design depends on this. API management is another key factor that you need to keep in mind. And lastly, you need to know which tool to use for which job.

WSO2 offers a full suite of open source components for EDA to implement highly scalable and reliable enterprise grade solutions. This includes a complete middleware stack, which includes the WSO2 integration, analytics, security and API management platforms.

For more details download John’s whitepaper here.

Only 2 more weeks for WSO2Con Europe 2016!

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With only 2 weeks to go, we’re ready to rock your minds, and maybe even your bodies, at WSO2Con Europe happening at Park Plaza, Riverbank, London from June 7 to 9 this year. Get ready for three full days of knowledge, networking and entertainment at one of the biggest middleware conferences in the world!

We recently added guest speaker Roland Major, an enterprise architect at Transport for London, to the agenda, where he will be talking about Reducing Disruption to the Road Network Through the Cloud.

There’s more! Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Inspiring keynotes from industry leaders including Vice President and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research Inc. Nigel Fenwick’s talk on Digital Predator Or Prey: Which Will Your Company Be?
  • Insightful sessions on Internet of Things (IoT), microservices, API management, security, analytics and more including 12 guest speakers from Profesia, City Sprint, Yenlo, CSI Piemonte and Emoxa among others.
  • Hands-on product tutorials by WSO2 experts covering areas such as integration, security, IoT and mobility, analytics and devops.
  • Networking opportunities with industry thought leaders, peers and WSO2 experts at the welcome reception and conference party.
  • A strategy forum that will help CxOs uncover key strategies and gain insights into how their enterprise can remain competitive and grow revenue.
  • A solutions provider track where our sponsors, including Yenlo and RealDolman, will explore customer use cases on partner driven projects built around the WSO2 platform.

Visit https://eu16.wso2con.com/ for more information about the agenda, speakers and registration.

Enabling Microservice Architecture with Middleware

Microservices is rapidly gaining popularity among today’s enterprise architects to ensure continuous, agile delivery and flexible deployments. However many mistake microservice architecture (MSA) to be a completely new architectural pattern. What most don’t understand is that it’s an evolution of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). It has an iterative architectural approach and development methodology for complex, service-oriented applications.

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Asanka Abeysinghe, the vice president of solutions architecture at WSO2, recently wrote a white paper, which explores how you can efficiently implement MSA in a service-oriented system.

Here are some insights from the white paper.

When implementing MSA you need to create sets of services for each business unit in order to build applications that benefit their specific users. When doing so you need to consider the scope of the service rather than the actual size. You need to solve rapidly changing business requirements by decentralizing governance and your infrastructure should be automated in such a way that allows you to quickly spin up new instances based on runtime features. These are just a few of the many features of MSA, some of which are shared by SOA.

MSA combines the best practices of SOA and links them with modern application delivery and tooling (Docker and Kubernetes) and technology to carry out automation (Puppet and Chef).

In MSA you need to give importance to how you scope out a service rather than the size. The inner architecture of an MSA addresses the implementation architecture of the microservices, themselves. But to enable flexible and scalable development and deployment of microservices, you first need to focus on its outer architecture, which addresses its platform capabilities.

Enterprise middleware plays a key role in both the inner and outer architecture of MSA. Your middleware needs to have high performance functionality and support various service standards. It has to be lean and use minimum resources in your infrastructure as well as be DevOps-friendly. It should allow your system to be highly scalable and available by having an iterative architecture and being pluggable. It should also include a comprehensive data analytics solutions to ensure design for failure.

This may seem like a multitude of functionality and requirements that are just impossible to meet. But with WSO2’s complete middleware stack, which includes the WSO2 Microservices Framework for Java and WSO2 integration, API management, security and analytics platforms, you can easily build an efficient MSA for your enterprise.

MSA is no doubt the way forward. But you need to incorporate its useful features into your existing architecture without losing applications and key SOA principles that are already there. By using the correct middleware capabilities, enterprises can fully leverage the advantages provided by an MSA to enable ease of implementation and speed of time to market.

For more details download Asanka’s whitepaper here.

New WSO2 IoT Server Beta Program – limited time to register

We’ve been helping many enterprises adopt to the Internet of Things (IoT) for a couple of years now. If you read our white paper on a reference architecture for IoT, you can see how our enterprise middleware platform includes all the capabilities required for any enterprise IoT project.

Late last year at WSO2Con US, we pre-announced a product; WSO2 IoT Server, for implementing an IoT architecture, including the management of IoT devices, APIs and applications.

Today we are happy to announce a beta program where participants will have early access to preview WSO2 IoT Server, prior to the official product launch coming up soon.

WSO2 IoT Server is the core of our IoT platform. It provides managed access to devices, exposes devices as APIs, and visualizes live data streams. With its customizable capabilities WSO2 IoT Server can also perform analytics on data from the devices. The modular, extensible architecture, has all you need to get an early start on implementing an innovative IoT solution in your enterprise.

If you’re an architect in a device manufacturing company who wants to integrate devices with a scalable IoT architecture that enables innovative IoT solutions, or an enterprise device owner who’s looking to enroll and manage IoT devices, this would be the ideal program for you.

The beta program will give selected registrants the opportunity to connect directly with WSO2 platform experts who will guide you through the installation, extension and configuration process of the WSO2 IoT Server. Additionally, a select group of qualified beta program members will receive free proof of concept (POC) support and benefits (subject to terms and conditions), as well as ongoing support from a dedicated account manager.

With the number of internet-connected devices rapidly increasing and estimated to reach 50 billion by 20201, you don’t want to miss out on tapping into the limitless possibilities of IoT.

So join us now, and get ahead with your next IoT project. For more information on the perks of being a part of this beta program see here. Deadline to register is May 6, 2016.

1http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoT_IBSG_0411FINAL.pdf

WSO2Con Asia 2016 – highlights, pictures and turkey tweets!

Last week we concluded WSO2Con Asia 2016 with a bang! Over 250 attendees from across the region joined us, making it our biggest user conference to date.

We had inspiring keynotes, customer stories and technical sessions ranging from analytics and API management to cloud and integration. We also had lots of fun like twitter competitions and after parties.

Here’s a recap on some of our most memorable moments…

Day 1 was dedicated to tutorials. The sessions provided hands-on experience and deep dives into key WSO2 products. The ones on microservices and IoT were specially popular.

Tutorials

The official start of the conference however, was day 2 where the punchy sounds of Sachintha and the Beat Drummers kicked things off at the opening ceremony.

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This was followed by the opening keynote by WSO2 Founder, CEO and Chief Architect Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana. In his usual flair Sanjiva talked about WSO2’s progress in the past 10 years and how the WSO2 platform is being used by customers across industries such as  transport, government, entertainment, mobile and more. He also spoke about WSO2’s vision for the connected enterprise and its future in the middleware industry.

Sanjiva

Other keynotes for the day included an engaging presentation on Vega, the high performance electric sports car being developed in Sri Lanka. Dr. Harsha Subasinghe, the president and CEO of Codegen, and Dr. Beshan Kulapala, a research scientist at Codegen highlighted the challenges and opportunities in leading complex engineering projects to success.

Codegen

Dr. Frank Leymann, a director in the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems at University of Stuttgart, discussed loose coupling and its implications on microservice and cloud native architectures.

Frank Leymann

Isabelle Mauny, the vice president of product management at WSO2, gave the final keynote for the day on how analytics can improve customer experiences. Interestingly the phrase “Turkeys” was trending on our twitter dashboard during her talk!

The day continued with dedicated tracks running in parallel on cloud, API management, security and integration.

Several customers shared their experiences and how they have used the WSO2 Platform to effectively meet their technical and business goals.

Harshavardhan Mohanraj and Praveen Doddamani, technical leads at ZeOmega, spoke about how they leveraged the WSO2 platform to build a healthcare solution while improving component manageability and standardizing security in the API Management Track.

Zeomega

Ibrahim Khalil, a system integration analyst and team lead at Capgemini, spoke about how they leveraged their experience with United Nations agencies and built a vertical solution, enabled by WSO2 products, for UN organizations in the Cloud Track.

Ibrahim Khalili

Gina Keune, the team lead of integration and configuration at Royal Automobile Association, shared the challenges they faced and wins they celebrated when incrementally adopting SOA using WSO2.

Gina Keune

Charith De Silva, a lead architect at WSO2.Telco, introduced WSO2.Telco IDS which provides a fully Mobile Connect (OIDC) compliant solution for telcos embarking on a federated ID strategy.

Charith De Silva

This year we also hosted a special Strategy Forum for CxOs which saw attendees from companies such as Honeywell, NYU, John Keells Holdings, zMessenger, LOLC and more. The forum was led by WSO2 VP of Solutions Architecture Asanka Abeysinghe who spoke about the digital transformation of enterprise platforms.

Strategy Forum

The day ended with a networking event featuring smooth jazz tunes provided by Brown Sugar. Tasteful bites accompanied by cocktails coupled with lounge-like seating made it the perfect environment to catch up with industry experts and peers.

Networking event

The third and final day of the conference was also packed with insightful technical sessions. The tracks covered topics on governance, IT consumerization, analytics, devOps and app development.

The session on microservices attracted over a 100 of the attendees and proved to be one of the most popular talks of the day.

Azeez

Another popular talk was by Kiran Kumar, an enterprise architect at Wipro, who discussed a case study of a governance system where service governance meets API governance.

Kiran Kumar

The technical sessions came to an end with a closing keynote by Asanka and panel discussion on the benefits and effects of creating a digital enterprise.

Asanka Panel

In addition to the technical sessions, a team led by Srinath Perera, vice president of research at WSO2, showcased capabilities of the WSO2 Analytics platform by hooking up with Twitter to create a sentiment analyser. The project which tracked #wso2conasia was able to give valuable insights into sessions and popular topics. It also helped identify the most dedicated tweep, who walked away with a GoPro camera for his contributions.

Sentiment analysis

Sumedha Rubasinghe, director of API architecture at WSO2 also ran a project that combined  Google’s voice API with the soon to be released WSO2 IoT Server which displayed what speakers of each session were talking about.  This was just a sampling of what you can expect in the future with WSO2’s IoT Platform.

Voice Analyser

Source: Readme.LK

In true WSO2 style, WSO2Con Asia 2016 came to a close with a rocking after-party featuring the band Glory.

Party

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more details of the presentations, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime you can check out the slides for all sessions at the WSO2Con Asia website.

Mastering the Art and Science of Capacity Planning

Imagine an e-commerce provider running out of memory on Black Friday or a search engine provider paying 20 times the cost of their optimal server capacity. Both these scenarios are great examples of what makes a solutions architect cringe. That’s why the ability to forecast the capacity of a system is an important activity in enterprise system design and solution Capacity planningarchitecture.

Capacity planning is an art as much as it is a science. Along with certain parameters, it also involves experience, knowledge of the domain itself and insight into the system. In some instances, it goes as far as analyzing the psychology of the system’s expected users and their usage patterns.

Mifan Careem from the WSO2 Solutions Architecture team recently wrote a white paper that looks at factors affecting the capacity of a system and how you can calculate your system’s capacity using these factors.

Here are some insights from this white paper.

There are multiple methodologies of carrying out capacity planning. A few parameters that will help include:

  • Transactions per second: number of actions per unit time
  • Work done per transaction: level of operations a transaction triggers
  • Think time: delay between user requests
  • Active users: users who use the system at a given time
  • Concurrent users: a subset of active users that perform actions at the same time
  • Message size: size of the message passed across the ‘wire’
  • Latency: additional time spent due to the introduction of a system
  • Other non-functional QoS requirements such as guaranteed message delivery, transmission of secure messages, throttling and uptime

After taking the above parameters into consideration you’ll also need to decide what the forecasting period should be, either focusing on only year 1 or whether your requirements will double in year 2. and if so would there be a significant downtime at the end of year one to accommodate this?

Mifan points out that the design of the application or software plays a big role in capacity planning. For each operation factors such as database connections, the number of objects stored in memory, and the amount of processing that takes place determine the amount of memory and processing capacity required. You need to keep these numbers low or share resources effectively in order to create a well-designed and efficient system with lower capacity requirements.

There are some things you’ll need to consider when designing your architecture:

  • Profiling and load testing your application
  • Caching to improve your performance and latency
  • Having buffer capacity when allocating server specifications
  • Server profiling via monitoring and profiling tools

You will also need to consider the type of hardware that will be used. This makes a difference as well, Mifan explains. The ideal way to calculate capacity across different forms of hardware is to have benchmarks on these distinct environments.

Here are a few more things Mifan notes that you need to keep in mind for a well-designed architecture:

  • Scalability: the ability to handle requests in proportion to available hardware resources
  • High availability: a system that is continuously operational for a long period of time
  • Disaster recovery: the replication of the primary site onto a geographically separate site
  • Backup and recovery: the replication of system state and system data onto a backup medium
  • Cloud: allows servers to be deployed in different geographically separated locations providing accessible means of achieving full-scale, high availabilityCapacity planning

The above-mentioned factors can be used for your capacity planning. The importance of these factors vary based on your environment type. It’s also important to have an accurate business architecture that can be converted to a high-level solution architecture. Based on that your team can start gathering capacity data in order to create the most accurate capacity plan. In addition to forecasting capacity, it’s important to test the environment to identify its peak capacity.

In part two of this white paper Mifan will show how you can apply these concepts to determine the capacity of an actual use case using the WSO2 middleware platform.

You can download this white paper; Capacity Planning for Application Design – Part 1 and other whitepapers by visiting http://wso2.com/whitepapers/