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WSO2 Tailors Open Source Middleware Platform for Cloud-Based Applications

Marks WSO2's entry into the emerging market for enterprise PaaS

WSO2 today announced the debut of WSO2 Stratos, an open-source middleware platform for cloud-based enterprise applications.

The on-demand or on-premises Stratos platform fosters building and deploying applications and services specifically for platform as a service (PaaS)-type deployments. Stratos goes beyond plain vanilla PaaS, however, by automating provisioning of enterprise servers, including the portal, enterprise service bus (ESB), and application servers. [Disclosure: WSO2 is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The announcement marks WSO2's entry into the emerging market for enterprise PaaS, as well as enabling hybrid computing models. Using Stratos, applications can be created or migrated on-premise, to a private cloud, or to the public cloud for potentially unprecedented deployment flexibility.

I like to call this flexibility fungibility of applications and services, meaning the apps can be moved from various cloud models across various cloud providers and platforms with minimal rework and configuration headaches. We're ways off from cloud applications fungibility, but users should be demanding it, and therefore resisting cloud lock-in. Open source is an important part of cloud fungibility, but more standards are needed.

Through its integration layer, WSO2 Stratos installs onto any existing cloud infrastructure -- Eucalyptus, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), and VMware ESX, to name a few -- meaning enterprises can let the market work for them, and resist being lockeded into a specific infrastructure provider or platform.

“At a time when IT developers can create a new application in one month, taking months to provision and deploy servers and systems no longer makes strategic or economic sense,” said Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 founder and CEO. “WSO2 Stratos provides a complete middleware platform for delivering robust applications on private clouds, as well as migrating between and integrating with public clouds and on-premise systems—and there’s never cloud lock-in.”

Once Stratos is installed, users get a Web-based management portal where they can configure, manage and govern independent, but consistent, servers for each department, or for each stage of a system’s lifecycle. Each server is completely virtual, scaling up automatically to handle the required load, and metered and billed according to use.

At the heart of the WSO2 Stratos PaaS is a Cloud Manager, which manages all other services and offers a portal where users can log in and register their domain (tenant), manage their account, and configure the middleware services that are available for their users. The Cloud Manager offers point-and-click simplicity for configuring and provisioning middleware services, so developers can get started immediately and focus on the business logic.

WSO2 Carbon

Stratos is built on top of and extends WSO2 Carbon, the company's componentized middleware platform. WSO2 last month announced Carbon 3.0, which lets developers point-and-click to tailor middleware functionality into a customized solution.

The new WS-Discovery support automates the configuration of a project spanning multiple Web service endpoints. WSO2 Carbon 3.0 also features enhanced integration of the WSO2 Governance Registry across the platform, facilitating governance and monitoring across large clustered deployments and cloud implementations.

At a time when IT developers can create a new application in one month, taking months to provision and deploy servers and systems no longer makes strategic or economic sense.

The Carbon 3.0 Component Manager features a checkbox user interface (UI) where IT professionals start with a lean core and can click to add the functionality they want to their WSO2 middleware products—choosing from among more than 150 features.

WS-Discovery support allows Carbon 3.0 to automatically discover nearby service endpoints, freeing IT professionals from much of the rewiring work typically required when deploying a new set of services or moving existing ones. This facilitates the ability to move deployments between different servers, private clouds, or public clouds.

Enhanced Governance Registry integration across the entire Carbon 3.0 middleware platform increases the ability to govern and monitor large-scale deployments, including clustered servers and cloud implementations.

Availability and support

W
SO2 Stratos is available today as an early adopter release for private clouds, as a demonstration version on public clouds, and as an early release of the downloadable open source software.

WSO2 also today launched the WSO2 Cloud Partnership Initiative around WSO2 Stratos. WSO2 is partnering with systems integrators (SIs) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers to streamline the development and deployment of applications and services for enterprise clouds.

WSO2 is providing a "fast-track path" for SIs to use WSO2 Stratos for cloud-enabling their customers’ existing applications and services, building and delivering new SaaS offerings, and creating new vertical PaaS/SaaS templates to support industry-specific applications and services, said WSO2. SIs that join the initative gain complementary training, including set-up of a pilot private cloud based on WSO2 Stratos; revenue sharing on initial WSO2 Stratos-based deployments; and a commission on recurring production support revenue.

SIs Cognizant Technology Solutions and WebScience, one of Italy’s leading providers of technology and consulting services, have already joined, said WSO2.

“We’re seeing more and more requests from enterprise customers to move from traditional server-based applications and SaaS deployments,” said Narendra Nathmal, principal architect of Cognizant India. “[With WSO2] we can now offer customers the flexibility to implement their applications and Web services on servers, as cloud virtual machines, and as hosted multi-tenant services—supported by a consistent experience.”

WSO2 is also establishing partnerships with leading IaaS providers including Amazon Web Services, Canonical/Ubuntu, and VMware.

WSO2 Carbon 3.0 middleware products are available as software downloads and as WSO2 Cloud Virtual Machines running on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), or VMware ESX. As fully open source solutions released under the Apache License 2.0, WSO2 SOA middleware products do not carry any licensing fees.

In conjunction with WSO2 Stratos, WSO2 is launching its new CloudStart Program. The service, priced at $17,500, provides an engineering team onsite for a week to deploy WSO2 Stratos on either Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud or the customer’s existing cloud infrastructure. Working hand-in-hand with the customer development team, the WSO2 experts build a lightweight implementation or proof-of-concept. They then follow up the onsite engagement with offsite development support.

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At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

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