Composing complex topologies using virtual patterns

Wikipedia defines software design pattern as a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design. Over the last two decades, there has been a lot of advancement in software design patterns including books, frameworks and tools. Collectively they cover many aspects of the software lifecycle from architecture to design and implementation as well as domain specific patterns.

With IBM PureApplication System and IBM SmartCloud Application Services, software design pattern has reached the deployment level. The virtual patterns on these systems can be used to implement the deployment topologies of your environment. Each virtual pattern is like a puzzle piece that can be used to compose a bigger and more complex topology.

virtual pattern puzzleFor example, one customer may be interested in using WebSphere Portal, BPM and Operational Decision Manager pattern to create a custom CRM solution that is multi-channel with flexible business processes for customer interactions and rules to manage customization based on user profiles. Another customer may want to use BPM and WebSphere Message Broker patterns to create a redemption application with long running processes to the mainframe. In both cases, it is a matter of selecting the middleware patterns and deploying them.

Patterns capture IBM recommended highly available golden topology and significantly simplify the provisioning and management of your development, test, or production environments. Deploying a pattern is pretty easy; simply select the pattern, enter some parameters (e.g. passwords, # of CPUs, memory sizes), click deploy, and wait for it to finish. After that you can start using your middleware.

Patterns also enable repeatable deployment, with the ability to customize and extend based on your own requirements. If you mess up the instances, or entered some wrong configurations, it is easy to delete the virtual machines and restart from scratch again. Maintenance can also be streamlined because you can apply fixes at the pattern level instead of individual server instances.

As a result, patterns allow you to focus your resources on your own business activities, and not on the installation, configuration and tuning of the IBM products. IBM products typically take 1-3 weeks to install and configure manually. With virtual patterns, one can now deploy each product in 30 minutes reliably. Multiply this with 5 or 6 products in a typical solution and the saving becomes substantial – it can go from a few months to a few days.

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Christina Lau

About Christina Lau

Christina Lau is a Distinguished Engineer in WebSphere, focusing on emerging technologies. Her current focus is on developing advanced technologies that support the delivery of multi-tenant cloud solutions across the SWG portfolio. Previously she has led many IBM initiatives in different areas such as BPM, SOA and research.
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16 Responses to Composing complex topologies using virtual patterns

  1. Robert Garnero says:

    This represents a very nice explanation of the value of patterns. I think that we need to continue to emphazise the entire life-cyle value of patterned provisioning as well. Through such deployment our security effort is reduced, for instance. Focusing on a finite set of configurations, as opposed to all combinations of capabilities and associated customizations, is a big cost savings.Finally, our ability to maintain and upgrade with a pattern focus, greatly reduces maintenance issues that may arise out of a single minded product focus.

  2. Harish Grama says:

    Nice write up Christina,. Shows the value of patterns and how it greatly simplifies things for our customers.

  3. I have engaged in conversations with a number of clients on the IT challenges they need to overcome to support the business more effectively. The ability to simply complex IT deployment topologies and address lifecycle management challenges is a significant value proposition to these clients. I also see many Systems Integrators and IT Services provides embracing the promise of patterns and are leveraging it to reduce the time to value of their services and solutions. I have been blogging and sharing my thoughts on PureSystems at http://shiyghan.blogspot.co.uk and value your feedback

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