I have been using various Java application servers for over 12 years and still remember days of WebSphere 2.x, 3.x when it was so hard to manage even a single server, let alone cluster of servers. Things have changed in WebSphere land. A lot. Nowadays WAS provides robust GUI and scripting for administration, powerful automation framework and reusable library of admin scripts. Multiple clusters can be created quickly with complete configuration, applications, tuning, etc. Administrative tasks can be easily automated right out of the box. I sure do not want to click in the “GUI” on my production systems. Things are very different in the JBoss land. Red Hat marketing promotes “powerful” JBoss Operations Network (JON) GUI and even hosted several webcasts on the subject. Having spent significant time using these JBoss tools, on the scale of 0 (worst) to 10 (best), I would rate JON “3” (almost useless) for JBoss management and “7” for JBoss monitoring. From my experience, 90% of JBoss customers are not using JBoss clustering and 80% of customers are not using JON.
To illustrate my points I have recorded several demos last year (in November 2010). Since that time JBoss EAP 5.x and JON 2.x only had minor bug fixes, but no major upgrades. These demos are still using WAS v7 and as you may know WAS v8 shipped in June 2011. However I still think these demos are representative of the kinds of things that system administrators need to do on a daily basis. I fully realize that readers of this blog who have used JBoss in production are not using out of the box configuration and build their own scripting tools to manage JBoss, but that is exactly my point. Since JBoss does not provide decent management tool (as you will see in this demo), every JBoss customer is forced to build and maintain their own administrative tools for JBoss (half of the customers do this) or just manually manage configuration files across multiple machines (the other half of JBoss customers). Here is the first in a series of demos. This one shows cluster creation, management and application deployment in a cluster.
Note: for these demos, you will need to click on the “HD” button to be able to see details of the recording.
Other demos show differences between WebSphere and JBoss in areas of server configuration, tuning, troubleshooting, monitoring, security, high availability, admin GUI, application deployment, JMS configuration. I will post these shortly.