Monday, November 15, 2010

SOA Meets the Cloud

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Written by Hiranya Jayathilaka

We just released WSO2 Stratos v1.0.0, the SOA PaaS solution based on WSO2 Carbon. Stratos enables you to run WSO2 middleware on a cloud infrastructure in a completely multi tenanted environment. This release brings you following SOA middleware services:
  • WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus as a Service
  • WSO2 Application Server as a Service
  • WSO2 Data as a Service
  • WSO2 Governance as a Service
  • WSO2 Identity as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Activity Monitoring as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Processes as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Rules as a Service
  • WSO2 Mashups as a Service
  • WSO2 Gadgets as a Service
With Stratos you can deploy webapps, web services, mediation flows, gadgets and business processes on the cloud. Just like all WSO2 products, Stratos is also free and open source. Try out Stratos for free at cloud.wso2.com.

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WSO2 Stratos 1.0.0 Released!

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Written by Sami




WSO2 Stratos team is pleased to announce the release of version 1.0.0 WSO2 Stratos.

WSO2 Stratos is a complete middleware platform-as-a-service for implementing an enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA). WSO2 Stratos is 100% open source and is available under Apache License v2.0. It is built on top of, and extends, WSO2 Carbon, the award-winning, comprehensive, concise, lean enterprise middleware platform.

WSO2 Stratos 1.0.0 release is available for download at http://wso2.org/downloads/stratos

WSO2 Platform as a Service 1.0.0 Beta is readily available for access at https://cloud.wso2.com. This is a hosted version of WSO2 Stratos 1.0.0 currently in beta status where customers can register and use all the middleware services without having to deploy any software.

With WSO2 Stratos, IT professionals have a fully hosted platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for rapidly building and deploying services and composite applications, with instant provisioning capability. WSO2 Stratos delivers on the promise of cloud computing with a complete, enterprise middleware platform for delivering applications that can run on, and integrate with, any combination of private clouds, public clouds and on-premise systems. WSO2 Stratos is equipped with features for auto-scaling and single sign-on, as well as enhanced functionality for automatic activity monitoring, usage metering, centralized governance and identity management.

WSO2 Stratos offers all the benefits of the cloud without the complexity or fear of vendor lock-in.
  • It is integrated across multiple middleware platform services and provides unified interfaces across services; hence facilitate shorter project times
  • Metering reduce costs by allowing monitoring that lead to optimizing data center utilization and allowing companies to pay only for what they use
  • Auto-scaling provides the ability to scale up or down based on the demand for services and usage capacity, eliminating both resource starvation as well as resource slack
  • Multi-tenancy means applications supporting different organizations, business units or regional offices can be delivered cost-effectively from a single location sharing the same platform and resources, yet run fully independently
  • Built-in automated governance and centralized identity management facilitates control over applications and services across different tenants.
  • WSO2 Stratos is based on the comprehensive WSO2 Carbon middleware platform, hence, applications can be migrated smoothly and safely on premise, to a private cloud, to the public cloud, or to a hybrid environment.providing unprecedented deployment flexibility.

WSO2 Stratos comes with all of the production-quality runtime engines in WSO2 Carbon available as cloud services:
  • WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus as a Service
  • WSO2 Application Server as a Service
  • WSO2 Data as a Service
  • WSO2 Governance as a Service
  • WSO2 Identity as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Activity Monitoring as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Processes as a Service
  • WSO2 Business Rules as a Service
  • WSO2 Mashups as a Service
  • WSO2 Gadgets as a Service

WSO2 Stratos Features

At the heart of the WSO2 Stratos Platform as a Service is a cloud manager. This PaaS home service provides management and monitoring capabilities and offers a Web portal where users can register their domains (tenants), log in, manage their accounts, manage users and roles, and activate/deactivate the middleware services that are available for their users.

The PaaS home offers point-and-click simplicity for provisioning middleware services, so developers can get started immediately and focus on the business logic, rather than configuring and deploying software systems.

The platform integration layer within WSO2 Stratos allows it to install onto any existing cloud infrastructure such as Eucalyptus, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, Amazon EC2, and VMware ESX. Enterprises are never locked into a specific infrastructure provider or platform.

Once WSO2 Stratos is installed, a Web-based management portal lets users configure, manage and govern independent-but-consistent services for each department, or for each stage of a system's lifecycle. Each server is completely virtual, scaling up automatically to handle the required load, metered and billed according to use.

Noteworthy WSO2 Stratos features include:
  • Auto-scaling capabilities: WSO2 Stratos automatically adjusts the use of cloud resources to meet increased or decreased demand.
  • Single sign-on functionality: Users only need to sign on once to access all WSO2 Stratos services that they are authorized to use.
  • Enhanced automatic activity monitoring: Activity monitoring is available in real time, so there is no time gap between data collection and the availability of data for monitoring.
  • Enhanced usage metering: Metering is automated so that every operation by tenant users will be monitored and recorded. The metering information can be used for billing and for offering constrained access for certain services.
  • Enhanced centralized governance and identity management: All the resources of all Stratos services can be monitored and governed from a single point - from WSO2 Stratos Governance as a Service. When a modification, such as changing a security policy, or changing the keystore, is done from a single place, it is immediately visible to all other services. In addition, all services share a single user store. When a user is added from a service, that new user can immediately access all other services available for the tenant.

Support

As a fully open source solution WSO2 Stratos does not require any licensing fees.

WSO2 offers a range of service and support options, including evaluation support, CloudStart(SM) consulting program, development support and production support.

For additional support information please visit http://wso2.com/support/ .

WSO2 Stratos Team

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cloud Computing & Governance - It just got easier

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Written by Sami

Governance is key, for successful and effective IT operations.

People, policies and processes are the key dimensions in governance. Those dimensions, combined with service life-cycle models, forms the basis for SOA governance today.

How does cloud computing help with Governance? Well the trivial answer is to say that, lets make governance available as a service. That could be a big chunk in governance in cloud era, but that alone is not it.

To start simple, the cloud self service models will allow faster provisioning cycles to that the developers/testers that are involved with service life-cycles can be more productive with delivering services.

For example, say that we have a simple service life-cycle:
design <-> implement <-> test <-> stage <-> deploy

Now, when going though the life-cycle of a service, people involved require various resources. For example, the developer need to have a setup to do unit tests during implementation phase. And the resources for testing could be allocated from the application server as a service, rather than having to have dedicated machine and have the trouble of installing and configuring the application server. The developer can use his or her own tenant to develop and test his code, without having to trouble anyone or block anyone.
When the service goes to testing phase, again the quality assurance people can drop the service into their own tenant space, where they have all dependencies, contexts and environments pre-setup and test in quick time. Again no setup time, not installation of app servers and no need to have dedicated hardware.
When the service moves along the life-cycle, so does the resource requirements by various team members and the on-damed resource provisioning of the cloud can cater to all time based demand by various sub teams as opposed to dedicated resources for each sub team.

Thus, cloud naturally fits into SOA governance needs and saves both time and money.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Self Service Computing with Cloud for Middleware

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Written by Sami

We go to the ATM nowadays than to the bank counter for our banking needs. And some even use the Internet banking more than the ATM. Self service models revolutionized the services sector, with 24/7/365 access to services.

The same self service models are made possible for IT operations in enterprises, thanks to the cloud technologies. If one wanted a new machine even for testing or trying out something , with some software configuration, it used to take weeks if not months, for that request to be serviced by IT departments. But now, it can be made available within few minutes, thanks to cloud computing. One can go to Amazon EC2, and get a powerful machine instance, and it will take less than five minutes, it is up and running and is ready to use. And it is quite like the ATM model. It is self service and fully automated.

Not only for infrastructure facilities where you are looking for processing power with some operating system, but also for situations where you want a machine with service hosting capabilities to test and try out a new service implementation, this is possible. In other words, platforms are available as services. And with zero installation time and zero configuration time, you are ready to use a middleware stack, on the cloud. If you are a developer, you might know, how long it would have taken to download (provided it is open source, of-course) or purchase a middleware stack, install and configure prior to using the setup at all to implement and try something out. Cloud computing can revolutionize this model and expedite it to a great deal, in that, the only thing that the developer has to do is to sing in for an account, and then use the middleware platform services.

What would be the ingredients of a middleware platform as a service setup?
Service hosting, data services, governance, identity management, enterprise service bus, business process management tools, rules services, mashups, portals/dashboards and business activity monitoring can all be part of a platform as a service offering.

Not only developers, but also IT specialists as well as business specialists can benefit from such a cloud based model for middleware. Developers can develop, test and deploy in quick time. IT folks can easily enforce policies with governance, monitor setup with monitoring and tune deployments with portals. Business folks can model business process, monitor and tune business processes with business rules. All parties in the enterprise can focus on the core business aspects, without having to worry about things such as computing capacity, version incompatibilities among different elements, and maintenance headaches. Technologies such as auto scaling will take care of computing capacity. The cloud vendor will take care of maintaining middleware setup and software versions. It is like Facebook for middleware.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WSO2 Con 2010

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Written by Heshan Suriyaarachchi

WSO2 Con 2010 will be held at HNB Towers, Colombo on 14th and 15th September. For more information visit WSO2Con website.


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WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) 3.0.1 Released

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Written by Heshan Suriyaarachchi

The WSO2 ESB team is pleased to announce the release of version 3.0.1 of the Open Source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

WSO2 ESB is a fast, lightweight and user friendly open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) distributed under the Apache Software License v2.0. WSO2 ESB allows system administrators and developers to easily configure message routing, intermediation, transformation, logging, task scheduling, fail over routing and load balancing. It also supports transport switching, eventing, rule based mediation and priority based mediation for advanced integration requirements. The ESB runtime is designed to be completely asynchronous, non-blocking and streaming based on the Apache Synapse mediation engine.

WSO2 ESB 3.0.1 is developed on top of the revolutionary WSO2 Carbon platform (Middleware a' la carte), an OSGi based framework that provides seamless modularity to your SOA via componentization. This release also contains many new features and a range of optional components (add-ons) that can be installed to customize the behavior of the ESB. Further, any existing features of the ESB which are not required to your environment can be easily removed using the underlying provisioning framework of Carbon. In brief, WSO2 ESB can be fully customized and tailored to meet your exact SOA needs.

You can download this distribution from http://wso2.org/downloads/esb and give it a try.

How to Run

  1. Extract the downloaded zip
  2. Go to the bin directory in the extracted folder
  3. Run the wso2server.sh or wso2server.bat as appropriate
  4. Point your browser to the URL https://localhost:9443/carbon
  5. Use "admin", "admin" as the username and password to login as an admin and create a user account
  6. Assign the required permissions to the user through a role
  7. If you need to start the OSGi console with the server use the property -DosgiConsole when starting the server. The INSTALL.txt file found on the installation directory will give you a comprehensive set of options and properties that can be passed into the startup script
  8. Sample configurations can be started by the wso2esb-samples script passing the sample number with the -sn option (Please have a look at the samples guide for more information, on running samples)

New Features of WSO2 ESB 3.0.1

There are no new features in this release. This is a bug fix release. See the section "Bugs Fixed in WSO2 ESB 3.0.1" for more information.

Key Features of WSO2 ESB

  • Proxy services - facilitating synchronous/asynchronous transport, interface (WSDL/Schema/Policy), message format (SOAP 1.1/1.2, POX/REST, Text, Binary), QoS (WS-Addressing/WS-Security/WS-RM) and optimization switching (MTOM/SwA).
  • Non-blocking HTTP/S transports based on Apache HttpCore-NIO for ultrafast execution and support for thousands of connections at high concurreny with constant memory usage.
  • Built in Registry/Repository, facilitating dynamic updating and reloading of the configuration and associated resources (e.g. XSLTs, XSD, WSDL, Policies, JS configurations ..)
  • Easily extendable via custom Java classes (mediator and command)/Spring configurations, or BSF Scripting languages (Javascript, Ruby, Groovy, etc.)
  • Built in support for scheduling tasks using the Quartz scheduler.
  • Load-balancing (with or without sticky sessions)/Fail-over, and clustered Throttling and Caching support
  • WS-Security, WS-Reliable Messaging, Caching & Throttling configurable via (message/operation/service level) WS-Policies
  • Lightweight, XML and Web services centric messaging model
  • Support for industrial standards (Hessian binary web service protocol/ Financial Information eXchange protocol and optional Health Level-7 protocol)
  • Enhanced support for the VFS (File/FTP/SFTP), JMS, Mail transports with optional TCP/UDP transports and transport switching among any of the above transports
  • Support for message splitting & aggregation using the EIP and service callouts
  • Database lookup & store support with DBMediators with reusable database connection pools
  • WS-Eventing support with event sources and event brokering
  • Rule based mediation of the messages using the Drools rule engine
  • Transactions support via the JMS transport and Transaction mediator for database mediators
  • Internationalized GUI management console with user management for configuration development
  • Integrated monitoring support with statistics, configurable logging and tracing
  • JMX monitoring support and JMX management capabilities like, Graceful/Forceful shutdown/restart

Bugs Fixed in This Release

This release of WSO2 ESB comes with a number of bug fixes, both in the base framework and the ESB specific componenents. All the issues which have been fixed in ESB 3.0.1 are recorded at following locations:

Known Issues

  • Endpoint UI does not support selecting already existing endpoints as child endpoints when creating load balance/failover endpoints
  • HTTP GET requests performed on an endpoint that has a trailing '/' character, do not work properly
  • SOAP tracer does not work when the message relay is activated
  • The sequence editor and the built-in XML editors do not work properly on Google Chrome

All the open issues pertaining to WSO2 ESB 3.0 are reported at following locations:

How You Can Contribute

Mailing Lists

Join our mailing list and correspond with the developers directly.

Reporting Issues

WSO2 encourages you to report issues and your enhancement requests for the WSO2 ESB using the public JIRA.

You can also watch how they are resolved, and comment on the progress..

Discussion Forums

Alternatively, questions could be raised using the forums available.

WSO2 ESB Forum : Discussion forum for WSO2 ESB developers/users

Support

We are committed to ensuring that your enterprise middleware deployment is completely supported from evaluation to production. Our unique approach ensures that all support leverages our open development methodology and is provided by the very same engineers who build the technology.

For more details and to take advantage of this unique opportunity please visit http://wso2.com/support.

For more information about WSO2 ESB please see http://wso2.com/products/enterprise-service-bus.

-- The WSO2 ESB Team --

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Cloud and the future of computing

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Written by Sami

10 years ago, hosted mail solutions like Gmail, or Yahoo mail were treated like toys. Businesses, small and big, had to host their own mail servers. And in addition to the core business, there were people in IT, or some engineers who were willing to multi-task, had to look after the mail server. Including running the mail server, maintaining DNS MX records, configuring the mail server, maintaining the hardware etc. Such was the "do it all ourselves" era of computing.

Today, not many organizations host their own mail servers. Specially those small to medium businesses. You rather buy the service from a service provider, and all that the organization has to do is to create/delete/update mail accounts. All the burden of running the mail service has been handed over to the service providers. Such is the "service" era of computing.

Though cloud is deemed to be a "hype" thing, it really is not. It is there already and people use it for real business. We have been using the "cloud" model for Web hosting for more than a decade. More and more apps are "out there" rather than in-house. Such is the "cloud" nature of computing today.

Almost everyone, except may be the poorest in the world, has a bank account. We own the money, but the responsibility of keeping the money is "outsourced" to the bank. It gives us peace of mind, rather than having sacks of cash notes under our bed. The idea of cloud computing is similar. You own it, but it is managed and kept by someone else. If you are not using it, someone else can use it, and you do not have to pay. And you save, like earning interest on the money deposited in the bank. And you do not have the burden of acquiring hardware, maintaining software and the like.

So we are moving to a centralized model back again? Yes, sort of. Is that not risky? Well, is that not risky to have everyone's money in a single bank? We have established our "trust" with banking systems. Similarly we would learn to trust cloud providers.

To start with, we had the software as a service model. Then we saw Amazon offering hardware, computing power, as a service with EC2. We also have middleware as a service being offered, for e.g. by WSO2.
So, hardware, middleware and software are all available as services with the cloud model.

So your ESB will be on the cloud, and you will mediate your SOA messaging though that. You will have your business process modelling tools on the cloud. You will have your identity provider on the cloud. It will soon become like your email. Your middleware and your enterprise apps will run out there on the cloud. You will not have to have room for a server room anymore.

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