Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Digital Foundations - Scalable solutions for hybrid cloud

When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about how you can increase the agility in application delivery with collaboration and modern application development infrastructure.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what you can do with open technologies to provide scalable solutions for hybrid cloud to support your digital journey:
The path to scalable infrastructure is not an easy one, so let's take a look at how this helps in building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Providing solutions

One of the walls many organizations have hit already, is one where you try to scale up your infrastructure to meet your expanding needs. This is limited at a certain point by technology, but it is probably limited before you hit the extremes of technology when you reach back only to find your budget empty. Yes, your scalable infrastructure has become financially unsustainable.

The next jump is made to scale out infrastructure, but you soon end up patching a lot of that together in do-it-yourself fashion. Figuring out how to setup charge back features, develop a self-service portal, maintain the workflow and deliver analytics on usage, resources and more. The limits here are soon reached in complexity and attempting to retain precious resources that still understand how to maintain your complex scalable infrastructure.

Download this paper today!
Sound familiar?

Next the CIO wants to have massive scalability, perform secure updates without causing outages, continue to manage this federated architecture and provide enterprise management for all of this scaled out infrastructure.

What will this new organization look like and how can you deliver on this scalable infrastructure?

Scalable infrastructure

As your organization expands its architectures, it is hitting walls while attempting to patch it all together and scale out to meet your needs. Operations teams struggle to deliver on and account for infrastructure needs of the development teams. The worst case scenarios is the head of operations having to explain why the most successful application ever released is unable to meet the demands of your users and customers.

With open community technologies, the operations teams are missing features or functionality that they don't want to develop themselves nor maintain into the future. Compatibility is also an issue when new hardware turns out to not work well with the solutions in place.

The real need is for operations to be able to minimize cost and increase scale by using commodity hardware and a massively scalable distributed architecture. To manage this architecture they want enterprise features to operate their infrastructure and find a way to consume open technologies in a stable, tested and certified manner.

The following slides show how operations can deploy scale-out infrastructure in multiple locations and still aggregate management features like chargeback, utilization, governance and workflows into a single logical location.



The story continues... next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I am looking at how you can start paving the road to your cloud solutions today.
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Devoxx France 2017 - Ready for AppDev, Cloud and a Circus?

This year Devoxx France 2017 will be on April 5 - 7 in Paris, France.

I wanted to give it a shot as I have spoken several times at other Devoxx venues, but never at the French one.

I know they only have a limited number of English language slots, so here's hoping.

I submitted the following talks to cover some Cloud, AppDev and maybe even entertain you with a circus of monkeys:

App Dev in the Cloud: Not my circus, not my monkeys...

When faced with all the hype around Cloud, most application developers are not really all that excited. Maybe you get that feeling that it isn't your problem, just leave me to my applications. Let me show you why, as an application developer, you can't ignore your Cloud stack anymore.

We will examine your Cloud stack anxieties and provide you with a solutions to ease you into your first private PaaS based on OpenShift Container Platform on your own local machine that you can install in just minutes. Finally you will be given a myriad of examples to take home with you to take control of this circus and own the monkeys!

Get your App Dev on in the Cloud

There is a lot of hype around Cloud infrastructure and development on that Cloud. What does this mean for you, the ones that have to develop applications on some form of Cloud infrastructure? What are you going to do with these things called containers and how will that impact your life as a developer?

In this session you will be given a growing toolbox of examples, how-to’s and video pointers so that you can get to grips with the story around application development in the Cloud. By the end of this session you will be able to answer the question, “Why can’t I ignore the stack anymore?”

3 Steps to Cloud Happiness

The reality of starting your cloud journey can be daunting to anyone involved with actual application delivery for an organization. The who, what and how are often left to the reader/developer to figure out. No more... this session guides attendees on the path to their very own private Cloud installed on their machine in just three simple steps. But wait, there's more, we take you on a journey where you put a real life application into a container and deploy it on your Cloud.

Join us for an hour of power as we deliver the recipe for happiness as you embark on your personal digital journey and start delivering on 'Stuff-as-a-Service' to your customers.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Adding complex business logic to processes with JBoss BPM

Manning Early Access Program 
updated with chapter 6
In June 2016 the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) started for the book Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

What is a MEAP?

The Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM MEAP gives you full access to read chapters as they are written, get the finished eBook as soon as it’s ready, and receive the paper book long before it's in bookstores.

You can also interact with the author, that's me, on the forums to provided feedback as the book is being written. So come on over and get started today with Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

The way the MEAP works is that every month or so Manning puts a new chapter online. Lost a bit in the holidays, but chapter 6 was made available and those already in the MEAP will have had access to start reading the chapter.

As mentioned when chapter 5 released, I expected to split out the chapter into a second as the content covered was too expansive. I divided it into the simpler basics of creating business logic with rules and moved on into more advanced topics.

Enjoy topics such as modeling complex domains with domain specific languages (DSL), capturing complex logic in decision tables and leveraging DSLs in your guided rules. All this takes you a step closer to effectively implementing your business logic with JBoss BPM.

To give you an idea of what's available so far:


You can read this excerpt online before you decide, but I look forward to hearing from you on the content and stay tuned for more.


[Note: This post was originally published on JBoss Middleware Blog.]

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Using Containers to Build a Microservices Architecture (slides)

The Red Hat Containers Virtual Event that was held today:

Now more than ever, we know that modern application development and deployment are tied to business growth. A business is eight times more likely to gain share if it is at the forefront of digital maturity. Speed, security, and operational efficiency are the key elements that will determine success or failure. Linux containers, used correctly, will help your organization deliver all three.

Attend Containers for the Enterprise | A Red Hat virtual event to find out how to unlock the potential of Linux containers in your enterprise.

We’ll explain how Linux containers:
  • Deliver new applications faster
  • Are a core component of DevOps practice
  • Lower deployment and maintenance costs
  • Ensure application portability
You’ll gain insights on Container adoption from Forrester principal analyst Dave Bartoletti, hear Red Hat’s container vision and strategy, and learn directly from the experts who are delivering these capabilities to organizations like yours today.

I was asked to deliver the session that covers architecture for your container based microservices, which you can catch as a recording by registering for the event (even if you missed it live, just register for access to the recordings).

The slides from my session are posted here for you to enjoy, based on the following abstract:

Using Containers to Build a Microservices Architecture

Microservices are more than just building software. There are questions around architecture, your organization, processes and your way of thinking. Innovation does not come naturally to everyone, so let's explore the journey you need to take as you leverage your current architecture and learn how the foundational building blocks to microservices are containers.



If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reach out to me via this site.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Digital Foundations - Increasing agility in application delivery

When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about how you can reduce the complexity in your current infrastructure by leveraging policies to automate some of the more common tasks operations must face on a daily basis.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what you can do with open technologies to increase your agility in delivering customer solutions to support your digital journey:
The path to increasing agility is found in modernizing development and operations, so let's take a look at how this helps in building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Increasing agility

Many organizations are still stuck with teams functioning in isolated silos, working to deliver on monolithic solutions which are then dumped on the operations teams. They are struggling to understand how to configure, secure and deploy these solutions at scale and still be able to maintain them over time.

Download this paper today!
Development teams are looking for ways to make more changes to applications at a higher rate than ever before. They want applications to scale independently and provide the flexibility to share functionality across the entire application landscape.

What will this new organization look like and how can that deliver on the agility that is desired?

Modernize development and operations

The changes needed to modernize an organization are going to be found in collaboration, something that open technologies foster from their very beginnings in the communities that create them. Development and operations will need to embrace this pattern and work in cross functional teams to achieve the agility needed for faster and shorter release cycles.

Operations will facilitate the infrastructure with automated pipelines for development to push in changes that are then automatically tested and configured for each environment leading up to and including production deployments. 

This method of modern development and operations leads to faster feedback cycles, earlier detection of blocking problems and smoother processes for automation from development to production. Development teams will make more progress with less time lost in testing, feedback that can be actioned into new releases pushed back into the build pipelines for eventual deployment into production.

To illustrate this process and how it might look, the following slides show how to increase agility in application delivery with Open Source Cloud technologies.



The story continues... next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I will be a look at providing scalable solutions for hybrid cloud.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Containers Virtual Event - Using Containers to Build a Microservices Architecture

The Red Hat Containers Virtual Event is going to be held next week on 19 Jan 2017 from 11:00 EST until 13:15 EST (11am - 1:15pm).

What's this about you say?

Well, the introductions goes like this:

Now more than ever, we know that modern application development and deployment are tied to business growth. A business is eight times more likely to gain share if it is at the forefront of digital maturity. Speed, security, and operational efficiency are the key elements that will determine success or failure. Linux containers, used correctly, will help your organization deliver all three.

Attend Containers for the Enterprise | A Red Hat virtual event to find out how to unlock the potential of Linux containers in your enterprise.

We’ll explain how Linux containers:
  • Deliver new applications faster
  • Are a core component of DevOps practice
  • Lower deployment and maintenance costs
  • Ensure application portability
You’ll gain insights on Container adoption from Forrester principal analyst Dave Bartoletti, hear Red Hat’s container vision and strategy, and learn directly from the experts who are delivering these capabilities to organizations like yours today.

After the keynotes, I am kicking off the first track with the following talk:

Using Containers to Build a Microservices Architecture

Microservices are more than just building software. There are questions around architecture, your organization, processes and your way of thinking. Innovation does not come naturally to everyone, so let's explore the journey you need to take as you leverage your current architecture and learn how the foundational building blocks to microservices are containers.

Time: 11:50am - 12:15pm (11:50 - 12:15) EST

Be sure to register and join me and my friends as we cover the following an array of topics over the following four tracks.


  • Track 1: Architecting your infrastructure for tomorrow
    • 11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Using Containers to Build a Microservices Architecture
    • 12:20 - 12:45 p.m. | Ten Layers of Container Security
    • 12:50 - 1:15 p.m. | Building a Hybrid Cloud Platform with Containers and OpenShift
  • Track 2: Building and securing container-based apps
    • 11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Dividing Responsibility for Container Images
    • 12:20 - 12:45 p.m. | Using Ansible Container to build your Images
    • 12:50 - 1:15 p.m. | Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery with Containers and OpenShift
  • Track 3: Deploying and managing container-based apps
    • 11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Delivering OpenShift on OpenStack for Performance and Scale
    • 12:20 - 12:45 p.m. | Migrating Existing Applications with Containers
    • 12:50 - 1:15 p.m. | When Containers and Virtualization Do -- and Don’t -- Work Together 
  • Track 4: Solving for scale
    • 11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | How to keep Dirty Cows from contaminating your milk
    • 12:20 - 12:45 p.m. | Managing OpenShift at scale across the open hybrid cloud
    • 12:50 - 1:15 p.m. | Solving the persistent storage challenge for containers
See you there!

Monday, January 9, 2017

3 Steps to Cloud Operations Happiness with CloudForms

New version of Red Hat CloudForms 4.2
brings many new features to Cloud Suite!
This week it was announced that the newest addition to the Cloud Suite management layer, CloudForms 4.2, was available for all to enjoy.

There are many cool and new things to get excited about with over 1800 improvements added to the product.

CloudForms is the Cloud management platform for the Cloud Suite product, providing you with the ability to deploy it federated across regions for centralized administrative actions, but also to execute actions in local regions.

Are you looking to get a feel for the challenges that CIOs face and must embrace? Do you want to see how various use cases can be easily solved with open technologies within Cloud Suite? Ready to start building your very own digital foundations to ensure a smooth digital transformation for your organization?
Scaling into the pubic Cloud was never easier!

All these and more are possible with the help of Cloud management tools like CloudForms that are able to bring this all together without your operations departments losing the overview of their infrastructural architecture.

Some of the more interesting features include new network providers for public clouds, a new storage provider, uniform dashboards and reports, and performance and responsiveness enhancements reducing page loading by 90% or more (0.5 sec for 20,000 VMs in a report).

Tracking middleware applications in your Cloud just
got easy-peasy, so start managing your
JBoss middleware solutions today.
These are but a few of the new changes and I wanted to share one of my favorites, a technical preview for adding middleware as a provider to generate all kinds of new reports around your JBoss middleware applications in the Cloud.

Operations happiness in minutes?

So now that you have this great management tool, what next?

I wanted to make sure you got the chance to play with this in the easiest way I know how, based on the same demo template I provide for many other fantastic AppDev in the Cloud examples. I found a great project that pulled CloudForms together with a great data set into a container (thanks to Michael Surbey, Inside Partner Solutions Architect online @ecwpz91), allowing us to install and run this on any machine that can run containers.
Running and available on https://localhost for you!

How cool is that?

You can find it over at the Red Hat Demo Central and it's just three steps to getting your operations happiness back:

Red Hat CloudForms Install Demo

Install your very own local instance of the Red Hat CloudForms, the management tool of choice for Red Hat Cloud Suite infrastructure solutions.
This project requires a docker engine and some patience for the database to be populated after starting up the containerized CloudForms instance. There will be checks during installation and I point you to what is missing. It also checks that you have the right versions running too.
Get your Cloud intelligence from CloudForms,
explore and learn!

Install on your machine

  1. Run 'init.sh', then sit back.
  2. Follow displayed instructions to log in to your brand new Red Hat CloudForms!


Hope you enjoy this container install with CloudForms and can experience the management features on your very own local machine. Comment and feedback welcome in the project.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

App Dev in the Cloud - HR Employee Rewards Application on OpenShift

Over the holiday break I noticed an old favorite BPM example project, maybe one of the first ones I ever created in my BPM career, the JBoss BPM Rewards application was being neglected and no longer deemed worthy of updates.

It has been a part of the learning path for many beginners to the JBoss BPM space, including an integral role in the long running free online BPM workshop that I have shared around the world at Red Hat Summit, JUGs, meetups and JBUG conferences.

With my focus shifting last year to a more Cloud centric application development story I have taken this example project and enabled it for most OpenShift Cloud installation, fully containerizing the example in the easy to use demo format I always provide.

Instead of letting this project deteriorate in the annals of history, I took the project and updated it with the following:
  • Updated to use JBoss BPM Suite 6.4.0
  • Updated to use JBoss EAP 7.0.0
  • Installs locally on your machine
  • Installs containerized
  • Installs to any OpenShift installation
To achieve all this I forked the original project and updated the Cloud based project over on Red Hat Demo Central. To install locally or in a container on your own container platform, you use the forked project I will keep on my own Github:

JBoss BPM Suite Rewards Demo

This is the HR employee rewards demo that provides examples of human task integration, form designer and a custom email work item handler.
There are several options available to you for using this demo; local, containerized or on any OpenShift installation.

The second project can be found on Red Hat Demo Central and hosts the install to any OpenShift installation, but we suggest you use the OpenShift Container Platform Install Demo:

App Dev Cloud with JBoss Rewards Demo

This demo is to install JBoss BPM Suite Rewards Demo in the Cloud based on leveraging the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK) and the provided OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) image. It delivers a fully functioning JBoss BPM Mortgage example containerized on OSE.
This is the HR employee rewards demo that provides examples of human task integration, form designer and a custom email work item handler.

Enjoy and keep an eye on this site for more updates soon.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Digital Foundation - Reducing the complexity in current infrastructure

When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about how you can deal with the challenge of a sprawling infrastructure that is reducing your ability to deliver services on time. You are shown how this challenge to digital transformation can be surmounted and how to accelerate your ITs ability to deliver successfully.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what you can do with open technologies to reduce the complexity in your current infrastructure to support your digital journey:
To start reducing complexity in a current infrastructure you need to tackle optimization of your current processes and increase efficiency with policy driven automation to continue on the path of building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Reducing complexity

While speeding up the delivery of services in your environment is one of the steps on the road to building your digital foundations, your operations continues to spend the majority of their time on the day-to-day management of your environments.
Download this paper today!

When so much time is lost to management of existing environments, how can you expect them to deliver on the next generation of scalable and programmable infrastructure or find time to engage early with development teams to increase agility in delivering on customer promises?
Let's take a look at what can be done with policy driven automation to help operations optimize their IT management activities.

Optimize IT

Many of the day-to-day tasks of an operations department can be optimized by applying management through automation largely driven by policies. Seems like common sense, but may IT departments continue to struggle with this very topic and fail to make good use of their current environments.

The first set of policies that you can profit from are based on workload placement, such as when one virtual cluster is running hot while another is completely cold. The results are calls or tickets being raised by owners of the applications running on the hot cluster asking why their applications are under performing. By automating the balancing of clusters through proper policies will keep your virtual infrastructure operators free to focus on more important tasks.

Another area where policies can help is with the ability to quickly move workloads between different infrastructure environments. This has become increasingly important as organizations looks to adopt scale-out IaaS clouds. Operations leadership realizes if they can identify workloads that do not need to run on (typically) more expensive virtual infrastructure they could save money by moving those workloads to their IaaS private cloud. This migration is typically a manual process and it’s also difficult to even understand what workloads can be moved. By having a systematic and automated way of identifying and migrating workloads enterprises can save time and move workloads quickly to reduce costs.

These are but two examples of how you can optimize your IT by implementing policy based automation that will deliver on promised improvements to your resource utilization and reductions on expenses per workload managed. The following slides showcase visually what it looks like to reduce the complexity of your infrastructure with Open Source Cloud technologies.



The story continues...  next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I will be a look at increasing the agility in delivering customer solutions.