Tag Archives: WSO2 Stratos

What the … you just gave away WSO2 Stratos?!

Yes we did!

Careful observers over in the Apache Software Foundation may have noticed the proposal to create an incubator group to work on what will become Apache Stratos (yes we are also donating the Stratos name.)  This week the project was accepted as an incubator project, which does not mean Apache Stratos is a full-fledged top-level project yet but the process of building a broad community to work on the project is well underway.

So what’s up with WSO2 Stratos?  Are we parking it at Apache while we focus elsewhere?  Is this the beginning of the end for Stratos?

Not at all!  The truth is exactly the opposite — we’re doubling down hard on Stratos, which evidence suggests has the potential to have a wider impact in the industry.  To do that we’ve released a new version that is more cleanly architected to support an ecosystem of vendors at all levels: IaaS providers, cloud automation and tooling plugins, and middleware vendors (more about the Stratos 2 launch here.)  Stratos was also recently recommended by SUSE as their preferred PaaS solution on top of SUSE Cloud.  Stratos has been gaining momentum!

But for Stratos to realize the potential of this momentum we know we have to double down not just on our efforts to build the best PaaS framework, but also on making it the most open.  We already of course are committed to a high degree of openness: the Apache 2.0 License, open development and architecture lists, and adopting the Apache process for allowing external committers to all our projects.  But we knew we could do more!

Moving the project over to the Apache Software Foundation makes it easier for other organizations and individuals to contribute to the project under the neutral and respected umbrella of Apache.  It raises the awareness of the project within the industry to attract new contributors.  And it puts the project closer to many established Apache projects that users would like to access within a PaaS framework.

By opening up the project and working together we can build a PaaS framework that can be used more broadly, which continues the virtuous cycle and ensures Stratos continues to reach for the clouds.

So what exactly are we donating?  The core Stratos PaaS framework, which includes the cloud controller which orchestrates VMs through jclouds using an underlying IaaS of your choice, the code that deploys the right middleware and tenant artifacts to the underlying VMs, the service monitor, and tenant-aware elastic load balancer.  In addition we’re contributing a set of core services for logging, billing, security, registry, messaging, as well as the cartridge framework which allows WSO2 and third-party runtimes to be plugged into the PaaS.  We’re donating the cartridges that wrap PHP, MySQL, and Tomcat as well.  WSO2 Carbon middleware cartridges will continue to be available for download from WSO2 under the Apache License.

I expect the project home page will be up shortly, and the mail archives at http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-stratos-dev/ are busy with organizational matters.  Come check it out and join the Stratos movement!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development
blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

WSO2 and SUSE: An Open Source Stack That Extends to the Cloud

On June 12th, WSO2 and SUSE announced an alliance that ensures that customers using SUSE and WSO2 technologies together have a seamless experience:

  • A recommended commercially supported, open source stack spanning from OS to middleware
  • Synchronized releases
  • Coordinated support
  • Reference architecture for cloud

We’re very excited to be working with SUSE, for a number of reasons, of which I’ll limit myself to just three:

1) The partnership provides a greater audience for WSO2 technology as an alternative to JBoss — including areas where we have products not available in the RedHat/JBoss platform (API Management, Governance, Business Activity Monitoring backed by Big Data technologies), areas where we think we have a demonstrably stronger or more innovative offering (Enterprise Service Bus, Identity Server), and areas where we believe our vision for solving the new enterprise challenges is worthy of consideration (componentized middleware, PaaS, DevOps, BigData, API management, Mobile.)  For a more detailed comparison of WSO2 and RedHat/JBoss platforms you might want to read Chris Haddad’s high-level comparison at http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm/2012/08/02/red-hat-enterprise-middleware-comparison-with-cloud-native-middleware/.

2) Alignment of cloud strategy.  SUSE has been a groundbreaker in launching an open source IaaS offering SUSE Cloud, based on OpenStack. We’re honored SUSE has chosen to recommend WSO2 Stratos as the preferred PaaS to use with SUSE Cloud.  Together we’ve published a WSO2-SUSE Cloud Reference Architecture to help people get started using these two technologies together to bring the advantages of private cloud to all levels of the stack.

3) SUSE and WSO2 are great matches on the culture front.  While SUSE has a longer history of powering enterprises than WSO2, our cultures of openness, innovation, and deep customer relationships make us natural allies.  Our customers have similar characteristics and distribution around the world.  And each of us is on a mission to compete aggressively for the #1 spot in our industries!

I can’t tell you how much I’ve personally enjoyed working with a broad set of the SUSE team and am certain we will continue to deepen our relationship over the coming years with the joint aim of increasing customer delight!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development
http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

WSO2 Products: Summer Release Round-up

Couple of weeks ago, CTO Paul Fremantle and Tech Evangelist Chris Haddad, conducted a webinar on the innovative advancements of the WSO2 Carbon middleware and WSO2 Stratos cloud platforms. Here are some highlights from their presentation

  • WSO2 Carbon core 4.0 released with many improvement and new features
    • Enhanced Deployment Synchronizer
    • Deployment performance improvements
    • Managements and worker node separation
    • JDK 1.7 support
    • Better integration with Tomcat 7
    • Upgrading Equinox SDK (OSGI Runtime) to v3.7
    • P2 Repository: Features grouped by product
    • Multi Tenancy in Carbon
“The Carbon platform is your reconfigurable modular middleware. Recently we’ve seen lots more customers actually wanting to de-couple different parts of a product to vertically scale while at the same time horizontally scaling. This capability is proving to be a major benefit of the Carbon platform.”
– Paul Fremantle  
“We are rapidly evolving all of our products simultaneously on top of single cohesive code base. This is unparalleled in the industry to have such coordinated releases on a single platform.”
– Chris Haddad
  • WSO2 Stratos 2.0 Platform as a Service will include
    • Support for multiple languages and runtimes
    • Support for more IaaS providers (vmWare, EC2, OpenStack, CloudStack, Rackspace etc.) via Jcloud
    • Enhanced manageability
“We are embracing a heterogeneous environment were you can run PHP in the cloud environment and take advantage of the rich set of PaaS foundation services that Stratos offers. Also you can plug-in any application server or asynchronous  server and cloud-ify  the application environment by having an mechanism that ties back into the pass foundation and Startos controller services.”
– Chris Haddad
“The key differentiator for Startos is its inherent multi-tenancy. There are other PaaS offering that have the polyglot language support but what they don’t have is the concept and modeling of multi-tenancy. That plus the richness of the set of Stratos services that the cartridges have available to you make us really stand out.”
– Paul Fremantle

You can watch the full recording of the webinar here: http://wso2.org/library/webinars/2012/09/wso2-carbon-wso2-stratos-summer-release-roundup

 – Hasmin AbdulCader, Director, Communications

2 New White Papers on Cloud Computing

Forrester Research expects the cloud computing market to top $241 billion by 2020. In the last couple of weeks we published 2 new white papers, that address the need for enterprises to radically scale the delivery of services while minimizing costs related to IT infrastructure, application development and deployment, and operations.

In addition, more enterprises are considering how to deploy middleware as a service instead of running multiple, traditional middleware platform silos. There can be potential cost savings when offering ESB-as-a-service across multiple tenants, rather than maintaining on-premise servers and storage.

1. Moving eGovernment to the Cloud

Today eGovernment promises a means for cost effectively delivering information and enabling transactions among the citizens residing within a local geography, as well as the different governmental groups supporting them. However, the role of eGovernment has been limited by the inherent cost and complexity of integrating and managing traditional server-based systems.

This white paper presents an architectural approach for maintaining a central platform-as-a-service (PaaS) working in concert with local private cloud platforms to efficiently leverage computing resources across platforms and locations—while ensuring proper governance. Significantly, this architectural model works equally well in the government and in the private sector among enterprises with multiple locations. The document also reviews how the award-winning WSO2 Stratos cloud middleware platform supports this approach.

Download this eGovernment white paper

2. Cloud Native Advantage: Multi-Tenant, Shared Container PaaS

The white paper describes the architecture components required to deliver multi-tenant, shared application platform services. It also proposes a cost evaluation tool that compares the deployment footprint associated with a multi-tenant, shared application container PaaS versus a single-tenant, dedicated container PaaS (i.e. traditional application server deployment in cloud). The analysis reviews multiple tenant count and application platform service scenarios. An associated TCO worksheet incorporates the application platform license (or subscription) cost, PaaS management service cost, infrastructure expense, and IT management overhead.

Additionally, the paper examines how multi-tenant application platform service instances can host multiple tenants with appropriate resource isolation and deliver a significant cost advantage. It also explores how cloud-native containers are purpose-built to overcome context isolation challenges, deployment tooling issues, and resource sharing impediments. Finally, it explores how cloud application architecture components (e.g. a cloud-aware code deployer, tenant-aware administration screens, and tenant-aware load balancing) create a safe, multi-tenant environment while maximizing resource sharing and lowering cost.

Download this PaaS TCO white paper

Hasmin AbdulCader,
Director, Communications http://www.twitter.com/hasmina

Hot Summer Releases to Watch Out For!

From an all new API Manager and a software development lifecycle management product (WSO2 AppFactory), to supporting new cloud technologies, totally new versions of WSO2 BAM and WSO2 Message Broker, you won’t want to miss what’s coming up this summer at WSO2.

As the team constantly looks at ways to stay ahead of the game, they’ve also made significant enhancements to the WSO2 Carbon framework and products such as the ESB, Governance Registry, Application Server, and Stratos.

We managed to get a hold of CTO, Paul Fremantle, to give you an overview of what’s in store on this technical update video:

Hasmin AbdulCader, Director, Communications
http://www.twitter.com/hasmina

WSO2 Joins Cloud Security Alliance

After watching the good work of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for more than a year, WSO2 has joined as a Corporate Member.

As you know, WSO2 offers the very first completely open source Platform as a Service (PaaS). Taking our Carbon-based middleware platform to the next level, WSO2 Stratos offers the most complete, enterprise-grade, open PaaS, with support for more core services than any other available PaaS today. Unlike many cloud platforms, WSO2 Stratos, the software behind the WSO2 StratosLive Java PaaS, is available as a fully supported product that can be installed and run on-premise.

WSO2 Stratos provides the core cloud services and essential building blocks, for example federated identity and single sign-on, data-as-a-service and messaging-as-a-service and more, required for developing SaaS and cloud applications.

Building a cloud PaaS is actually quite a challenge, but no pain, no gain!

We took up the first challenge of getting our Carbon stack running on OSGi runtime, not an easy task and one that some vendors were unable to complete, but one that we found necessary to build cloud nativity deeply into the platform, and to enable incremental upgrades and addition of the platform as a live entity.

Security represents one of the biggest challenges we faced making Stratos a reality.  We had to rebuild the foundations of the system to focus on tenant isolation, data security, restricted operations, tenant-based user stores, standards-based security models, integration with other *aaS models among other concerns. Stratos today supports many of the most popular open standards related to security and identity management including SAML2, OpenID, OAuth, XACML and WS-Security.

A few months back we received some recognition of this work, as a recipient of KuppingerCole’s European Identity Award 2011 for the Cloud Provider Offerings category.  The award recognizes WSO2 specifically for WSO2 Stratos Identity, citing the multi-tenant open source cloud service for its OpenID and XACML support and its innovative features, including the ability to migrate from on-premise to a full cloud service (and back).

Stratos has come a long way, with customers now adopting the platform, and we welcome the opportunity to both share our experiences with other cloud providers and be part of the conversation in moving cloud security forward.

The CSA is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing.

Among many of our community, questions about whether to move to cloud or not, whether to move to a private or public cloud and so forth mostly revolve around security concerns.  We are looking to helping address those concerns, and contributing to the standards and guidelines promoted by the CSA to educate users about ensuring the future of cloud is secure.

Prabath Siriwardena, Architect & Senior Manager – Carbon Platform & Security
blog: http://blog.facilelogin.com

Gartner’s and Cobiacomm’s Analysis of WSO2 SOA Governance

[First published at http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm/2011/10/25/wso2-soa-governance/]

WSO2, the lean enterprise middleware provider, announced that it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant of a new report, Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies [1].

My analysis (from an ex-Gartner research team leader), the placement demonstrates WSO2 team leadership in defining a vision for policy based service governance. When publishing a service API for consumption, tracking published cloud-based service versions, monitoring service consumer connections, and delivering service-consumer interoperability, governance keeps the environment from devolving into chaos. Cloud based services, mobile devices, and multi-enterprise B2B interactions increase the environments where SOA governance technology must be applied. WSO2?s multi-tenant SOA governance infrastructure facilitates configuring models and policies associated with each participant’s business requirements. Many vendors have not yet modified their registries, repositories, and policy management systems to support multi-tenancy. As a result, organizations using single-tenant SOA governance tools are challenged to apply policies across diverse partners, customers, consumers, and internal corporate groups.

The WSO2 Carbon Governance and WSO2 Stratos Governance as a Service supports configuring a wide variety of design-time, development-time, and run-time policies. Built-in run-time policies include security access controls, authorization (via XACML), throttling, alerting, and caching, each of which accesses defined parts of the service message. The governance stack is also used to enforce software development policies when promoting applications and services across lifecycle stages (e.g. development to quality assurance, quality assurance to production). Granular cloud metering and billing is facilitated by collecting performance, faults, and business activity information in conjunction with the WSO2 Stratos Business Activity Management Service. WSO2 has posted good drill-down presentation describing how to use the governance registry.

The WSO2 Governance Registry not only interoperates and integrates with the WSO2 Carbon and WSO2 Stratos stack, but also with Cloud services hosted on other vendor stacks. Integration can occur at the network protocol level (i.e. HTTP, SOAP, FTP, AMQP, WebSphere MQ, POP3/SMTP, FIX, HL7, SAP iDoc/BAPI, and vendor-specific JMS variants), across multiple message formats (i.e. SOAP, XML, JSON, CSV, EDI, FIX, HL7, and REST), and multiple security and identity protocols (i.e. LDAP, SAML2, Kerberos, OpenID, OAuth, and XACMLA).

For more information, visit the WSO2 Governance Registry product page. To try out WSO2 Governance Registry as a Service for free, visit the StratosLive registration page.

[1] Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies,” by Paolo Malinverno and Daryl C. Plummer, October 17, 2011.

Chris Haddad, Vice President of Technical Evangelism
Chris’ blog: http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm

Growing the Business

As you probably know already, we announced a $6.5M funding round a couple of months ago. Along with that we announced the opening of an office in Palo Alto, CA and then soon after that we hired a new VP of Marketing and a Director of Sales for Europe. On the product side, we recently released a platform-wide update – simultaneously releasing new versions of all 12 of our existing WSO2 Carbon based products and throwing in two more (WSO2 Message Broker and WSO2 Complex Event Processing Server) for good measure. If you have ever written any complex software then you know it’s no mean task to release 14 products at once.

This week we are releasing a new version of WSO2 Stratos, the world’s only 100% open source PaaS offering which meets real enterprise needs, as well as WSO2 StratosLive, our own hosted service version of it. Stratos and StratosLive are going out with ALL 14 of our Carbon based products — yes you can sign up and instantly get your own (virtual) app server or ESB or message broker or whatever just like that. Try releasing the world’s most advanced open source PaaS and deploying all of that into production in an elastically scalable environment all at once. Yep, our engineering rocks.

image

The engineering beauty of our stuff will appeal to geeks: all WSO2 Carbon products and the corresponding WSO2 Stratos services version of them are in fact, exactly the same codebase. We “simply” run as a single tenant in the Carbon case and as a multi-tenant, self-serviced, elastically scalable system in the Stratos case. No one, NO ONE, but us has ever built a single enterprise middleware stack that provides a single environment that scales from traditional on-premise deployment to private cloud deployment to public service like that. We know all of our competitors are trying to do it, but most are AT LEAST 5 years away. Eat our dust guys.

The launch of StratosLive (which has been available in beta since late last year) marks our foray into the cloud service provider space as well. In other words, we are no longer just a software manufacturer but we provide it as a service too. I believe this is a key part of all open source businesses in the future — write and release software, and also host it for others to use. Many (old world) pundits say one organization can’t do both well — we are simply going to prove them wrong.

With the product engineering (and now online services) side kicking butt, our marketing and sales engine is also running in high gear. With Monica coming in to drive marketing, with Jonathan’s renewed focus on business development and with Paul Broekhoven joining Lavi’s sales machine we are growing rapidly on the business side too. We’ve been pretty much doubling our business each year and of course that becomes difficult as the numbers become larger (and eventually impossible) but we believe we can do that at least for the next few years. That’s partly because of our business model — a very large portion of our revenues are out of recurring production support meaning we don’t start at zero every year, and partly because our products are soooo much better than the incumbents it’s quite easy to get in through the door. It’s very hard for a consulting and services business to grow like that but it is possible for a business like ours to do it.

We’re also looking for a few fantastic people to join our team! In California we are looking for a Business Development person to work with Jonathan on OEM and channel business. We’re the only enterprise middleware company in the world that has a comprehensive, 100% open source stack under the world’s best-loved open source license (Apache License v2.0) and of course the only one to have a PaaS platform too. Because we built the platform from the ground up, it’s intended by design to be embedded and can be used to whatever extent that makes sense for particular scenarios, thanks to Carbon’s component architecture of course. For example, if you’re a VAR selling a business application as a webapp on IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic and you need to convert that into a SaaS offering (too), you can OEM Stratos and do it in a terrifically short time plus have a business model that is a lot more in your favor than now. Plus you can continue to sell it as a webapp too.  (Interested? Drop us a line.)

Our customers are often fellow technical geeks who are trying to figure out the best way to solve business problems. Our primary strategy to reach them is with education and information on how our stuff can help them technically. We repeatedly hear stories of how using the WSO2 stack results in a rapid or trivial solution in comparison to IBM or Oracle or any of the other big guys or even the niche open source players. We are looking for a group of people to help amplify that information and evangelize our platform to fellow techies. Location immaterial. Your mission is to take our products and help others understand how to solve their problems with them. You of course will influence the product teams to make sure that ours remains the best approach for particular problems! In the process, we will help you build your personal brand to become a technology rock star. Interested? Drop me a line — but no recruiters or head hunters of any sort please — I will only hire someone who individually WANTS to work with us!

In general my hiring philosophy is not driven out of published open positions. I look at the person who wants to work with us and together we try to figure out what best aligns WSO2’s objectives and their personal objectives. If such an alignment is possible then we move forward. The other key thing for me is passion and commitment — you must have something that drives you, some war you feel the urge to fight, some battle you feel the need to win, some vision that drives you — working in WSO2 must help you achieve those objectives. Otherwise you shouldn’t work in WSO2! Of course hard work is part of the deal – we’re in a classic David vs. Goliath battle and that is not going to be won without amazing amounts of hard work. We do play hard too, but we work hard and intensely. Ask anyone who works here. Bottom line is that someone who wants to learn something and do stuff can make it happen. But it is impossible to teach someone to be passionate and committed; that must come from inside you, from deep in your heart.

Strap on; WSO2 is on a roll…

Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 CEO
Sanjiva’s blog: http://sanjiva.weerawarana.org/

WSO2 Platform for API Management

One of the niceties of mainframes was the simplicity of a single API for the users.  After years of evolution towards a decentralized model we still find this pattern appearing, even among SOA implementations that span many subsystems and service platforms.

I discussed the need for unified APIs in my previous blog posts [1],[2], and explained how you can build using the WSO2 middleware platform.

Presenting entire subsystems, which may include legacy systems, databases, and internal and external services as a single unified API makes integration easier for a partner (further decoupling detailed knowledge of the subsystems), and is increasingly used for internal users such as business processes, business rules and mashups. A unified API hides a variety of transports and systems behind a single, consistent, API.

With the introduction of unified API, API management and monitoring becomes an important factor.  Different formats and protocols like SOAP/HTTP, JSON, XML/HTTP, JMS can be exposed across the range of services. A centralized configuration change at the ESB layer enables different protocols or enables QoS features across the API.  Features such as usability, the security, governance can be managed in a single location, as can enterprise features like scalability and high-availability. Monitoring provides a single point for assessing the usage and health of the system.

As I described in my previous posts, the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) provides the a simple yet powerful and highly performant system upon which to implement a unified API and select the various QoS characteristics. WSO2 ESB supports all the popular security standards required for integration and leverages WSO2 Carbon clustering features for scalability and high-availability out of the box.

The WSO2 Governance Registry builds the required governance framework for the unified API by providing a repository for policies and API metadata – even for API documentation – and adds the ability to share, version, analyze dependencies and policy conformance, and manage lifecycles of this metadata.  The WSO2 Governance Registry helps you define the and manage the QoS of your API, and works in conjunction with the ESB to assess and enforce the defined policies.

Monitoring – a key part of runtime governance – is accomplished by deploying the WSO2 Business Activity Monitor (BAM) to collect, summarize, and report on the API usage.  Or you can use the JMX support in the WSO2 ESB and other WSO2 Carbon products to tie into third-party monitoring tools.

Certain services need to go beyond simple monitoring. When we looked at the business requirements of our API management customers, billing and metering, isolated runtimes for specific consumers/consumer groups, as well as customization or overriding of the API for specific consumers emerged. We have found multi-tenancy to be a powerful answer for those requirements, and is available in the WSO2 cloud platform, WSO2 Stratos. With WSO2 Stratos you can easily expose your API in the cloud or as part of the SaaS offerings you provide.

In summary, both essential and extended features for API implementation and management are provided by WSO2 middleware platform, making it a great choice for meeting both your business and technical requirements.

Asanka Abeysinghe, Director of Solutions Architecture
Asanka’s blog: http://asanka.abeysinghe.org/