Thursday, April 15, 2010

“Hypervisor edition” – what’s that?

WebSphere have announced  WAS hypervisor edition.

You get an OVF package with a ready to use WAS profile running on Linux. The OVF package can be deployed on VMWare ESX/ESXi and IBM's cludeburst appliance.
Websphere also say that they carried out WAS best-practice tuning for the OS. Not sure how mattering this tuning is considering the generic nature of WAS (different application=different tuning), and the generic drivers that a VM uses.

[caption id="attachment_252" align="alignnone" width="210" caption="Joys of installation"][/caption]

I wonder how enterprise IT administrators would accept an OS different from what they usually roll with.

important to mention that similar zero-install pre-configured WAS environment are available on the IBM test cloud (in Beta).

The real important message made here by IBM is that the WAS hypervisor edition is only a first bird. Although naked manual WAS installation is not a biggy, IBM products running on WAS are. As the OVF standard matures and virtualization becomes the default production hosting environment, we will be seeing complex WAS based products (say Portal, and Process Server) shipped as ultra consumable OVF packages. Even a complete topology consisting of many servers can be delivered as a single OVF package.
This delivery mode is quite similar to VMWare's software appliances, only applicable to more than one Hypervisor when packaged as OVF (theoretically).

Bad news to professional services people and install manager software developers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

IBM’s PLDE seminar 2010 – Review

I spent today at the IBM Programming Languages and Development Environments Seminar 2010, that took place at the beautiful Haifa Research lab mount Carmel campus. Things worth mentioning:

Gilad Bracha, father of Java Generics and auto-boxing, spent 60 minutes repenting Sun's Java 1.0 early design mistakes, such as allowing primitives and static members into the language. IMHO the lecture itself was so-so. Gilad pointed out Java's soft spots, but didn't bother presenting the crowd what he views as the alternatives. What he did suggest was to check out his new baby programing language Newspeak (something for the purists I guess).

Perhaps some of Java's charm at the early days was its simplicity and low learning curve, I'm not sure that a semantically perfect Java (could there by anything like this?) using nested classes instead of static members would have enjoyed the same mojo.

In one additional interesting lecture, Kathy Barabash, talked about how data structures with a sequential references object graph (say a LinkedList) do not allow traditional concurrent GC Tracing algorithms to scale on many-core (i.e., massive multi-core) platforms.

What good is your new 1,024 cores Intel processor if the desktop widget nuclear explosion simulation flickers because it can only scale on 400 of the available cores, right?