IBM WebSphere App Server Now Available on Azure Linux VMs

Microsoft and IBM earlier this month announced the "availability" of IBM WebSphere Application Server on Azure Linux-based virtual machines.

The collaboration enables organizations to run enterprise Java workloads on Azure, while also giving them access to various Azure services. IBM WebSphere licensees can use the Azure hosting to support microservices or standards-based application development.

The collaboration enables "easy migration," Microsoft asserted.

"The solution enables easy migration of WebSphere workloads to Azure by automating most of the boilerplate resource provisioning tasks to set up a highly available cluster of WebSphere servers on Azure Virtual Machines," stated Reza Rahman, a principal program manager for Java on Microsoft Azure, in the announcement.

The IBM WebSphere Application Server support is part of a general Azure collaborative effort between the two companies, where products are jointly developed and supported. Other Azure collaboration efforts, per this product overview description, include:

  • Open Liberty on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO)
  • WebSphere Liberty on Azure Red Hat OpenShift
  • Open Liberty on the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and
  • WebSphere Liberty on the Azure Kubernetes Service

In March, Microsoft announced "the availability of guidance to run IBM WebSphere Liberty and Open Liberty on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)." The guidance was said to enable "a wide range of production-ready deployment architectures." However, it and other efforts apparently will be commercially available via the Azure Marketplace sometime in the near future.

"In the next few months, IBM and Microsoft will also provide jointly developed and supported Marketplace solutions targeting WebSphere Liberty/Open Liberty on ARO and WebSphere Liberty/Open Liberty on AKS," Rahman indicated.

Open Liberty is an IBM open source project for building so-called "cloud-native" Java apps and microservices that's free to use. It works with Jakarta Enterprise Edition and Eclipse MicroProfile, which is used to "develop and deploy cloud-native Java applications as loosely coupled, lightweight services."

IBM's productized version of Open Liberty is WebSphere Liberty, a supported Java Enterprise Edition application server for building cloud apps and microservices. IBM claims that the WebSphere Liberty product license is "portable between cloud service providers."

To use the IBM WebSphere Application Server on Azure Linux-based virtual machines, organizations will need to have the licensing in place from both Microsoft and IBM. It's described as a "bring your own licensing" approach. There are extra costs associated with using the Azure virtual machines.

Microsoft is offering free support for WebSphere migrations to Azure, which Rahman indicated was "completely free while solutions are under active initial development."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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