|By Asim Saddal||
|July 29, 2011 10:30 AM EDT||
This article provides a list of general best practices to apply to any WebSphere Application Server V7 and V8 environment. However, some of the recommendations only apply to specific conditions and scenarios. These recommendations could be used to set up any WebSphere environment.
General Best Practices for WebSphere Application Environments
1. All WebSphere Application processes should be running as non-admin/root user.
It's not a good practice to run a process as an admin/root user. For obvious reasons, you don't want more folks to know about the admin/root password and generally the WebSphere admins are not the system admins. Create a services user account on the box and use it for the WebSphere Application's start and stop purposes.
2. Enabled Global Security.
By default, the WebSphere Application Server enables administrative security. Thus, for the most part, the infrastructure provides for reasonable authentication, authorization, and encryption of administrative traffic by default. When administrative security is enabled, the WebSphere Application Server's internal links between the deployment manager and the application servers and traffic from the administrative clients (Web and command line) to the deployment manager are encrypted and authenticated. Among other things, this means that administrators will be required to authenticate when running the administrative tools.
3. Enabled Application Security.
In addition to leveraging the application server's security for administration, it's strongly recommend that you leverage it for application security. Doing so gives your applications access to a strong and robust standards-based security infrastructure. Applications that didn't leverage application server security were typically found to have serious security holes. Designing and implementing a secure distributed infrastructure is not easy.
To enable application security, go to the global security panel and select Enable application security.
4. Configure WebSphere Security with proper LDAP repository.
WebSphere security supports different configurations, including LDAP servers, local users and local operating system levels users. However, it's recommended that you use a proper LDAP server for this purpose.
5. Leverage Administrative roles.
WebSphere Application Server allows for a variety of administrative roles depending on the version: Administrator, Operator, Monitor, Configurator, AdminSecurityManager, iscadmins, Deployer, or Auditor. These roles make it possible to give individuals (and automated systems) access that's appropriate to their level of need. It's strongly recommended that you take advantage of roles whenever possible.
By using the less powerful roles of monitor and operator, you can restrict the actions an administrator can take. For example, you can give the less senior administrators just the ability to start and stop servers and the night operators just the ability the watch the system (monitor). These actions greatly limit the risk of damage by trusting people with only the permissions they need.
6. Use HTTP Server as an interface for the Applications.
Use HTTP servers in front of an application layer, i.e., WebSphere Application. Don't allow communications directly with WebSphere's http web container port from either a load balance or from browsers.
7. HTTP and WebSphere on the Same box.
At least in higher environments, install and configure the http server on a different box than the WebSphere box. In the lower environments the same box can be used for both layers.
8. Logs on External Drive.
At least in higher environments, write the WebSphere and application log files to an external drive, so it won't fill up the server's file space.
9. Logs Archive.
Depending on the application, rotate and clean up the logs in a timely manner.
10. Read-only Logs Access for Developer.
If it's okay with the security team, grant developers read-only access for WebSphere and the applications logs on the external drive.
11. Alternate Log Access for Developers.
To enable developers to view the production application and WebSphere logs, host those shared folders from the web server instead of giving them access to those boxes. Once the logs are hosted from the web server, developers need only a web browser to view those files from their computers.
12. Log Level.
Configure log level to error in high environments. Logs in the higher environments don't need to produce unnecessary information. In the lower environments it can be set to info or debug level.
13. Leverage WebSphere Application Servers' high availability and failover capabilities.
Out-of-the-box WebSphere support high availability and failover functionality. There is no need to use any external component or product for this. One of the key benefits is that user http session can be shared within the cluster members and, in the case of failover, the other active cluster members can resume the activity using same session.
14. Minimum Cluster Members in Cluster.
In the WebSphere clustered environment, define and create at least three cluster members. In the case of failover with two cluster members, not only the entire load will shift to one node but it also becomes a single point of failure. With three nodes, at least the load will still be distributed to two nodes and there is no single point of failure.
15. Database and WebSphere on Same box.
At least in higher environments, separate the application layer from the data layer and install them on different boxes. In the lower environments the same box can be used for both layers.
16. Use Type-4 JDBC Drivers.
Type-4 JDBC drivers don't require any component to be installed on the application layer. For the type-2 and type-3, the database's client needs to install on the WebSphere box.
17. Protect application server to database link.
As with any other network link, confidential information can be written to or read from the database. Most databases support some form of network encryption and you should leverage it.
18. Script based WebSphere Administration.
In general, it's good practice to use scripts to avoid human errors during the deployment and configuration, especially in higher environments. However, it requires an investment in time and resources to develop these scripts, especially if it is first time and / or script-based administration is not part of the current culture. Once the scripts are created, they can be used in all environments and maybe automate some of the tasks.
Use proper application and infrastructure runtime monitoring tools that can monitor environments and application thresholds and potentially alert you to problems before they cause service interruptions.
20. EAR vs WAR Files.
According to J2EE specs, EAR file should be deployed in WebSphere. However, WebSphere does support deploying WARs and upgrade class functionality. Developers should produce EAR files from their development tool or generate EAR should it be created from the deployment scripts before deploying the application in WebSphere.
21. Don't run samples in production.
WebSphere Application Server ships with several excellent examples to demonstrate various parts of the WebSphere Application Server. These samples are not intended for use in a production environment. Don't run them there, as they create significant security risks. In particular, the showCfg and snoop servlets can provide an outsider with tremendous amounts of information about your system. This is precisely the type of information you don't want to give a potential intruder. This is easily addressed by not installing the samples during the profile creation.
Generally, it's good to have more environments. Typically four would be a sufficient enough: development, QA, staging and production. Development and QA environments don't need a lot of hardware resources. It's recommended that the staging environment be a replica of production in terms of application data and hardware resources. The staging environment can also be used for stress testing and / or for production support.
23. Performance Tuning.
Tune WebSphere application servers properly for each application. Performance tuning includes optimization of a number of web container threads, JVM heap sizes, JDBC connections, OS tuning, etc. After configuring these parameters to optimize values, boost the application performance. Stress / staging environment should be used for load testing.
24. Separate your production network from your intranet.
Most organizations today understand the value of a DMZ that separates the outsiders on the Internet from the intranet. However, far too many organizations fail to realize that many intruders are on the inside. You need to protect against internal as well as external threats. Just as you protect yourself against the large untrusted Internet, you should also protect your production systems from the large and untrustworthy intranet.
25. Separate your production networks from your internal network using firewalls.
These firewalls, while likely more permissive than the Internet-facing firewalls, can still block numerous forms of attack.
Keep up-to-date with patches and fixes. As with any complex product, IBM occasionally finds and fixes security bugs in WebSphere Application Server, Virtual Enterprise, Datapower and other products. It's crucial that you keep up-to-date on these fixes. It's advisable that you subscribe to support bulletins for the products you use and, in the case of WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Virtual Enterprise, monitor the security bulletin site for your version. Those bulletins often contain notices of recently discovered security bugs and the fixes. You can be certain that potential intruders learn of those security holes quickly. The sooner you act the better.
More information on WebSphere Application Server security, including recommendations on hardening the WebSphere Application Server infrastructure, is available on the WebSphere Application Server security page.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Oct. 30, 2014 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,480
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Oct. 30, 2014 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,144
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
Oct. 29, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,404
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Oct. 29, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,548
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
Oct. 29, 2014 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,016
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
Oct. 29, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,496
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Oct. 29, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,006
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
Oct. 29, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,069
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Oct. 29, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,035
As a disruptive technology, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which is an emerging standard of web communications, is redefining how brands and consumers communicate in real time. The on-going narrative around WebRTC has largely been around incorporating video, audio and chat functions to apps. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Alex Gouaillard, Founder and CTO of Temasys Communications, will look at a fourth element – data channels – and talk about its potential to move WebRTC beyond browsers and into the Internet of Things.
Oct. 29, 2014 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,575
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between break...
Oct. 28, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,585
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Oct. 28, 2014 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,552
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Oct. 28, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,923
Swiss innovators dizmo Inc. launches its ground-breaking software, which turns any digital surface into an immersive platform. The dizmo platform seamlessly connects digital and physical objects in the home and at the workplace. Dizmo breaks down traditional boundaries between device, operating systems, apps and software, transforming the way users work, play and live. It supports orchestration and collaboration in an unparalleled way enabling any data to instantaneously be accessed on any surface, anywhere and made interactive. Dizmo brings fantasies as seen in Sci-fi movies such as Iro...
Oct. 28, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,113
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
Oct. 28, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,040
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
Oct. 27, 2014 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,703
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Oct. 27, 2014 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,227
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
Oct. 27, 2014 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,620
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Oct. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,836
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
Oct. 27, 2014 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,121