Migration of IBM WebSphere for many of us, used to be a manual, prone to error, and sometimes a scary subject. Every IBM Middleware specialist knows of clients or projects still running on IBM WebSphere version 4, 5 or 6. This is due to many companies choosing to not think about migration as it not something they wished to spend time or money on pursuing.

But what if the migration process was made easier, cheaper and took less time? The benefits of upgrading far outweighs costs, for example, upgrading means new features, new entitlement, and most importantly, continuous support of your IBM WebSphere by IBM. It can even reduce your annual cost. But what about the cost of the actual migration process itself? Well, this is where Tech Data’s product, Talos can help.

Talos was designed as the next generation middleware configuration tool which improves deployment times while reducing risks and errors. Since its creation, the Talos product has evolved with market demands and requirements. Middleware migrations is one of main benefit areas of Talos.

But, how can Talos help with migrations? It’s a simple answer, Talos can read configuration via JMX of any IBM WebSphere cell. Once the configuration is read, this one can be applied to your new IBM WebSphere version 7, 8 or 9 environment.

No need to worry about whether the 5+ years of your old applications, environments and change management documentation has been updated as Talos will read and record it all.

The choice is then whether its needed to be applied or not to the environment. What this means is, that with the help of an orchestration engine like UCD or Jenkins, you could, in a few clicks copy an IBM WebSphere Application Server 6.1 to a brand new stack on IBM WebSphere Application Server 9.

But what about the applications running on the IBM Middleware? The answer is the same, Talos will manage this. Wherever the applications are located, in your source control, your repository, or even exported from Production to ensure they are the most current, Talos can automate it. Your applications may require code changes to work as expected in newer IBM WebSphere Application Server versions, but, after dealing with that, you can just sit back and relax, while you master of configuration management takes care of everything for you. You may wish it was even delivering your morning coffee.

For those readers of a technical mind, you’re probably wondering how does Talos do this, is it really that simple and straight forward and quick? Well, to answer such a question, let me explain the process of how Talos can make migrations easy and fear free, by using a migration to IBM WebSphere Application Server 9 example:

             Step 1 Discover the cell:

Talos will connect to your existing environment and read its topology via JMX. Its topology consists of how many nodes, servers, clusters, web servers per environment.

             Step 2 Read and record the cell:

Talos will retrieve, via JMX the configuration and application information which is set up in the environment.

             Step 3 Clone topology:

Now the current system information is known along with the location of the associated artefacts (applications and so on), the new WebSphere 9 environment can be created. Talos will facilitate this via the CLONE option. As Talos is version agnostic, cloning 6.1 to 9 only requires an update of the version information dropdown and the hostname of the different nodes / managers.

             Step 4 Template creation:

Talos allows the creation of a template which will define the shape of the new environment configuration. A template can be a full configuration or specific to applications or environments.

             Step 5 Build environment:

Talos, with the help of an Orchestration engine of your choice, can build out the new environment in a simple click. Based on this process it will be identical to your previous instance but on the new IBM Middleware version.

             Step 6 Applying the template:

Once again with the help of the Orchestration engine of your choice, Talos will apply the configuration and application from the provided template. The end result is the new IBM WebSphere Application Server 9 environment, which isa configuration replicate of the old 6.1.

In summary, read an existing cell topology and its configuration including applications, create a template of its configuration and applications, create a clone of the environment with the new version. All of this with a simple GUI.


Tech Data can help throughout this migration journey and support and assist partners and customers to drive successful migrations utilising Talos product and the Tech Data team of middleware experts.

Previous migration projects utilising Talos have shown a 75% time saving compared to manual migration times and has eradicated the human error factor. A business case is available here+.

Talos is here to work with you to help you bring your business into the new age!


  1. so what area of WebSphere are we talking? I know from reading it what it is, but some may not. Just calling in IBM WebSphere can be confusing.

    So we are talking about WebSphere Application Server!!!!!!

    Don’t get me wrong it is a great article and product BUT there are enough people out there who do not know the difference between WebSphere products as it is without confusing them even more


    1. You’re absolutely right Nathan, thanks for pointing this out. We have now updated to a more accurate title referring to WebSphere Application Server.


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