BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER

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1 BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER

2 Table of Contents Executive Summary 1 WHY IS THIS CHALLENGING FOR ORGANIZATIONS? 1 Web Application Server Environment 1 the Deployment Process »» Deployment Architecture Process 1 Why Organizations Use BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation »» What BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver Does 3 bmc BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver Capabilities 4

3 Executive Summary Web application server technology has revolutionized the way millions of people do their jobs every day. The challenge for organizations to leverage this technology is that it requires a lengthy set of discrete steps that must be executed flawlessly to customize the configuration and successfully deploy applications. Because the Web application server infrastructure does not have a robust and consistent set of tools to simplify or automate these tasks, most organizations struggle with meeting deadlines, effectively managing project budgets, ensuring application availability/system uptime requirements, and dealing with compliance/government mandates. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation is designed to overcome these challenges and realize the following benefits:»» Lowers the total cost of ownership of your Web application servers»» Speeds the time-to-market for new applications and updates that add value to the business»» Improves application uptime and reduces the time needed to troubleshoot issues»» Provides reporting to document application/configuration information and simplifies the separation of duties Unlike many other solutions encountered in the market, the installation and training period is typically less than two weeks, which enables organizations to get a quick win and realize a rapid payback. Why Is this Challenging for Organizations? Web application servers have hundreds of configuration settings available to the user. Each of these settings must be consistently managed between development, test, and production for an organization to effectively develop and deploy applications. Web Application Server Environment Applications are deployed requiring many components, such as:»» Database connections - JDBC»» Message Queues - JMS»» Authorization Services - JAAS»» The actual application - EAR or WAR»» Shared files and libraries»» Certificates»» Static HTML files that are placed on the Web server»» Property files»» Configuration files The Deployment Process Deployment Architecture Process The following steps must be executed every time either an update to an application is made or changes are promoted to a new environment: 1. Configure the Web application container Developer provides detailed information about required application server settings Web application server is configured to said requirements using admin console, editing XML configuration files, editing scripts, or a combination of all Verify all tasks successfully executed and all the values successfully updated 1

4 2. Upload application to target server Developer checks the code to version control system Developer checks in application property file(s) Compile the code into a war J2EE file Copy the application to server primary node Edit property file(s) for specific environment Copy application property file(s) to all nodes Use syncnode to propagate the application into the remaining cluster nodes Verify all tasks successfully executed and all the values successfully updated 3. Verify deployment Test application functionality - as much as possible 4. Fix issues Missing or forgotten configuration settings Missing or forgotten property files Miss-typed configuration settings Manually compare a working server to the non-working Verify all tasks successfully executed and all the values successfully updated Repeat 3 and 4 until happy 5. Repeat above steps for each server Why Organizations Use BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Historically, organizations used a combination of the admin console and command line instructions to manage these environments. As the technology evolved, some customers have attempted to build a complex library of scripts to begin automating some of the tasks. Whether managing environments through the admin console or through scripts, it is difficult and time consuming to manage these environments and very hard to quickly troubleshoot and restore environments. A deployment process must be able to:»» Baseline a known good configuration environment»» Understand what changes will be made if that configuration were to be applied to another environment»» Apply only those changes that are required and provide a point of control for optional configuration changes»» Provide robust error management including rollbacks, uninstalls, logging (for debugging), and troubleshooting»» Be able to drop seamlessly into an existing application lifecycle process»» Provide extension points for other configuration parameters and be flexible enough to deploy to the needed environments without undue reliance on infrastructure»» Provide an audit trail for changes and monitor the application to verify that it continues to be configured in the way that the business requires. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation automates the long list of discrete tasks needed to deploy Web applications and dramatically simplifies the process, making it easier and less expensive for organizations to leverage Web application server technology. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation interrogates the server and creates an abstraction of all of the unique settings in a data model. The abstraction is used to create a package of objects that can then be moved throughout your environment. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation compares the objects in the package to the objects that exist on the target server, and makes the changes necessary to configure and deploy those objects correctly. In essence, BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation provides fully automated, contextual configurations and deployments with the intelligence to include any dependencies in the package. You no longer have to manually hunt for dependencies and discover them for yourself. In addition, that initial abstraction can be systematically compared between servers to quickly identify differences or issues that are impacting performance. This makes BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver a must-have diagnostic tool for any system administrator responsible for Web applications servers. 2

5 What BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver Does BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver introduces an innovative and powerful capability to manage Web application server configurations, deploy applications, and troubleshoot Web application servers quickly, efficiently, and safely. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver can be a vital tool for admins to quickly diagnose and isolate problems across their Web application servers. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver also creates a repeatable deployment and configuration process that can virtually eliminate the errors that are the result of the current manual or script solution. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver provides critical capabilities for your deployment and troubleshooting tasks: Snapshot: It automatically obtains configuration information from a known good instance. This allows you to see exactly how your server is configured at a glance. Compare: It can compare snapshots from different servers and provide an apples to apples inventory of what is different across environments. This can save hours of troubleshooting when time is critical. Preview: It can execute a faux configuration and deployment of the app server providing a detailed report and analysis of the potential impact of the deployment. Install: It can configure the app server and deploy the application in an intelligent and automated manner. No more scripts or manual steps. Update: It will only make the changes to the app server that it needs to in order to fully configure the server. No more incremental scripts or hot fixes BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver can catch up from any beginning point to where that server needs to be. Rollback: It automatically rolls back to the last known good state if all or part of an installation fails. BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver will never leave the app server in a non-functioning state. The BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation solution completely automates and significantly improves managing and deploying applications to Web application servers, without scripting. The figure below depicts a much-simplified, consistent, and reliable automated the deployment and release process. 3

6 BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver Capabilities BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver automates the manual configuration management and deployment tasks by providing these critical capabilities for your deployment needs: Configuration Management and Deployment: Provides an easy to use UI to interact with the Web application servers. A single solution for configuration management and application deployment for WebSphere, WebLogic, and JBoss. Snapshot: BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver automatically obtains configuration information from a known good instance. This allows you to see exactly how your server is configured at a glance. 4

7 Compare: BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver can compare snapshots from different servers and provide an apples to apples inventory of what is different across environments. This can save hours of troubleshooting when time is critical. Configuration Packager: Allows you to create a pared down configuration containing only the artifacts you want to install on another server. For example, if you want to copy just the templates and a Web application from one server to another, you can create a configuration containing just those items. 5

8 Preview: BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver can preview an install, providing you with a detailed report on what items will be added, deleted, or changed when an install takes place. Install: BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver will only make the changes to the server that are necessary, to fully configure the server. No more incremental scripts or hot fixes BMC BladeLogic Application Release Automation Deliver can catch up from any beginning point to where that server needs to be. 6

9 Migration enables you to move configuration data from a WebSphere application server to a newer WebSphere application server release. A migration is a special case of installing a configuration. Deliver translates the configuration to the newer release. Business runs on IT. IT runs on BMC Software. Business thrives when IT runs smarter, faster, and stronger. That s why the most demanding IT organizations in the world rely on BMC Software across both distributed and mainframe environments. Recognized as the leader in Business Service Management, BMC offers a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT organizations cut cost, reduce risk, and drive business profit. For the four fiscal quarters ended Dec. 31, 2009, BMC revenue was approximately $1.90 billion. Visit for more information. *123243* BMC, bmc Software, and the bmc Software logo are the exclusive properties of bmc Software, Inc., are registered with the u.s. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other bmc trademarks, service marks, and logos may be registered or pending registration in the U.S. or in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners bmc Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

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