What we are doing with WAS?

HCL is bringing renewed energy to Digital Experience, as we add new capabilities and move to a much more aggressive release schedule. Customers often ask what we are going to do with IBM® WebSphere® Application Server (WAS) and the purpose of this post is to explain what we intend to do.

Customers around the world have entrusted HCL Digital Experience with their business critical workloads for 20 years. WAS clustering provides a rock-solid foundation for that, and as a result unplanned outages are very rare and performance is consistently excellent. We are not going to treat that lightly or recklessly.

What is rock solid, but flexible?

That said, our customers are also asking us for a less monolithic approach to HCL Digital Experience (DX). Many of them are investing in Kubernetes as the runtime environment of the next decade. We are responding to that demand with the support for Kubernetes that we released in HCL DX v9.5 and enhanced subsequently.  HCL’s strategy is to provide a gradual approach, in order to minimize disruption for our customers, while enabling new runtime architectures as quickly as possible.

When we released HCL Digital Experience 9.5 in September 2019, we announced that it would be supported for at least another five years. This means customers can continue to run their WAS clustered environments during this time, and we will continue to enhance it.  In this release, we added a supported option to run the product in a Kubernetes environment, such as Red Hat’s OpenShift or Amazon EKS. More Kubernetes platforms will follow, driven by customer demand. Existing applications will run on this platform, and most customers should be able simply to redeploy their applications using the staging-to-production workflow.  Existing portlets and themes will also still run in Kubernetes deployments of HCL DX 9.5.

In parallel, our future direction is clearly towards the Kubernetes architecture. We are creating new services, such as our Digital Asset Manager, Content Composer or Experience API, all of which are based on technologies other than WAS. These new services provide exciting new capabilities for our customers, which we hope will make it easier for our customers to justify moving to our Kubernetes architecture.

For clarity, we will not have a singular migration event in which we re-platform HCL Digital Experience to another application server, because that would introduce risk and uncertainty to our customers. We are focusing on adding new features that add value to our customers, and ensuring that existing customers can adopt those.

We hope this statement of direction is clear and helpful. We would love to hear from you if you have comments or questions about this. We would also love to discuss how you can get the most out of your HCL Digital Experience  deployment and help ensure your are on an up to date version. Please get in touch with your HCL representative to discuss this further, or you can reach out to Kirsten.Kelley@hcl.com if you need additional information.

 

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Further Reading
Digital Solutions | October 31, 2020
The Benefits of Hybrid Cloud and Why it’s a Big Deal
With more and more enterprise technologies moving to cloud-based deployments it has become increasingly important for organizations to carefully evaluate their current digital experience implementations and formulate a cloud strategy and roadmap to get there to reap the business benefits of cloud for driving transformation, differentiation and ultimately achieving competitive advantage. While the benefits are getting to cloud are compelling, organizations require flexibility in their cloud journey to minimize the challenges inherent in migrating mission critical workloads to the cloud. Migrating to a public or private cloud can take a lot of time, money and development resources. With HCL Digital Experience’s new hybrid cloud support organizations can exploit the benefits of cloud, maximize the value from their existing on-premise deployment and future proof their digital experience investment.  New HCL Digital Experience hybrid cloud support enables customers to use their existing on-premise with the game-changing cloud-based content management features — without needing to migrate anything. Magic? No. Revolutionary? Yes. Using Kubernetes, you can now add our new future-leaning cloud features to an on-premises environment without needing to migrate anything to the cloud.  This new hybrid cloud option brings three major improvements to your on-premises DX environments:  Content Composer: Create Content in Half the Time   Deliver content for digital experiences quickly to your audiences. Dramatically improved content-creation tools and a redesigned Content Composer means business users can now model and create new content in half the time with a modern, intuitive drag-and-drop interface.  2. Hot DAM! A New (Free) Cloud-Native Digital Asset Manager Included  A new cloud-native digital asset management system (DAM) lets you add and organize media quickly and seamlessly. You can now manage your content from creation to execution with ease. And, unlike some other digital experience platforms in the market, this DAM is included at no addition charge.    3. Experience API: Adaptable, Open APIs:  A new open API-compliant set of headless REST services enables developers to deliver experiences using modern front-end JavaScript frameworks (Angular, React, Vue etc.). This provides greater agility in blending content, data, and applications. Upgrading now means that your DX is faster and easier than ever — making your business-critical digital experience more valuable than ever before. Join us at our upcoming annual conference, DX Inspire, to learn more.   Learn more: https://hclsw.co/dx-inspire-2020
Digital Solutions | October 28, 2020
The 3 Capabilities Your Digital Experience Needs to Offer
In order to compete today, enterprises have to offer staff and customers a fast, secure and flexible experience that’s up to the task of responding to a dizzying array of business needs. Trends and market needs can evolve as rapidly as a weather system, making an agile platform vital to keeping companies in tune with the business-critical demands.  Business critical processes are core activities that are essential to meeting an organization’s mission — such as paying bills, making appointments, filling out time sheets, applying for permits, or filing a claim. Some of these processes are invisible to the customer and some can be seen.  This includes the fulfillment of company operations, protection of assets, and satisfying of regulatory requirements, and occur on all levels of an organization.    Whether it’s centered on sales and marketing, accounting and finance, HR, or customer service, these business activities can be optimized by the platform they’re on, or not.  A dynamic publishing platform that can handle the business-critical needs of a company, regardless of industry, is a distinct advantage for enterprises in competitive markets.  With all the factors to be considered, what are 3 capabilities an elite publishing platform needs to have?   Data Security and Privacy  There’s a saying that a band is only as good as its drummer, and the same is true for the technology and security of digital experiences and platforms.  The greatest user interface in the world is worthless if it's not secure from digital threats.    Ensuring a secure platform includes protecting private data while it’s on-site and in-transit, with encryption that is flexible enough to connect users anytime anywhere while meeting all industry compliance requirements.    If that sounds like a tough balancing act, well that’s because it is. But you don’t want a beautiful guitar solo being drowned out by a wildly inconsistent drumbeat, so it’s worth investing in the...
Digital Solutions | October 27, 2020
4 Features of a Cloud-Native Digital Experience
Hosting a digital enterprise platform on a cloud-native setting sounds like a dream: more speed, agility, scalability, integration, and cost-savings. But is a cloud-native environment so different from a cloud-hosted one, and how do those differences manifest in workflow solutions for enterprise companies?   Let’s look at what makes a cloud-native digital experience unique, and why the distinctions in capability are important.   Cloud-native means more than just a digital platform   Cloud-native describes not just an environment but an approach to design and deployment.  It is a more progressive use of cloud technology that goes beyond the previously accepted benefits — primarily storage and convenience — and features applications designed specifically to run on the cloud.    By being “native” to the cloud — built for the cloud from day one — these applications have a scale and deployment velocity that can’t be easily matched by on-premise or even cloud hosted platforms.  Enterprise companies that adopt a cloud native system can tap into a digital experience built to thrive in a constantly evolving digital workspace where time matters more than ever.    Cloud-native is not the same as cloud-hosted  It could sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because understanding the differences between the two systems can help shine a light on the advantages of cloud-native infrastructure.    Cloud-hosted applications are designed for on-premise environments but are deployed and managed from the cloud by a service provider.  This model was originally born from a desire to save money by shifting premises systems from a capital expense to an operating expense, saving enterprises the added financial burden of capital expense costs.    A cloud-hosted system is a compromise which combines some aspects of cloud storage and management with legacy systems of security, maintenance and infrastructure.  Cloud-hosted services, however, can still be bogged down by clunky and time-consuming updating protocol and can be more difficult to scale as needed.  Whereas cloud-native services and applications are designed strictly for cloud environments and can respond accordingly.    ...
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