Thoughts on enterprise IT

Dustin Amrhein

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Top Stories by Dustin Amrhein

For about two years now, I have had the opportunity to be out in the field and talk to those in the IT trenches that create, deploy, and operate middleware application infrastructure. More to the point, I have been working with them on ways that they can leverage elements of virtualization, automation, and policy-driven computing to make their work easier and more efficient. While I hope I have been able to share some helpful information and introduce some useful tools in this space, I believe I have been the largest benefactor from these interactions. I learn something each time I go out on a trip, and I thought it was about time I share some of what I see out in the field today. Therefore, in no particular order, here are five trends and challenges I see in the area of middleware application infrastructure with respect to cloud/virtualization/automation and relat... (more)

Customizing Your Private Cloud

When looking at creating a cloud of application environments, private clouds are attractive to many users because of the control, insight, and security they offer. However, besides these things, there is another key benefit afforded by private cloud application environments: customizability. Customizations in application environments are important to many enterprises since in many cases those customizations represent a competitive differentiation. For this reason, the new WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance places a high importance on allowing users to fully customize the WebSphere ... (more)

Forget Defining Cloud Computing

Early Bird Savings for Cloud Expo Defining cloud computing has proven to be nearly impossible. Ask ten different people and you'll get ten different answers. Countless discussion groups, blogs, articles, etc. have attempted to give their own take on cloud computing, and all to no avail. The industry just can't agree on a common definition. With that in mind, perhaps it's time to move past trying to define the cloud and look into the common characteristics of such solutions. Many of us have heard or read about some of these cloud characteristics, so I thought I would offer up my t... (more)

Reference Architecture for Cloud Computing

Admittedly, when I was heads-down in code earlier in my career, I did not pay much attention to reference architectures. We had our own internal architectures that served as ‘the way and the truth', and reference architectures for our product or solution domain were simply out of scope.  Anyway, reference architectures are, by design, not detailed enough to steer someone implementing one out of hundreds of components that will fall under said architectures. So, for the most part I ignored them, even though I could hear rumblings coming from rooms full of folks arguing over revisi... (more)

PaaS and the Application Server

For the last 5+ years, I have been deeply focused in the area of middleware application servers and the container services that they provide. If you go a bit further back and look at the arc of progression in this space, you will see multiple pivots of innovation for these servers. In the beginning, it was all about transactions, and then JEE was added, followed closely (and probably most recently) by a push around SOA. While none of these topics have gotten less important over time, they become an assumed part of application server runtimes and architectures.  That is, customers... (more)