WebSphere Application Server middleware was becoming difficult to manage and co-ordinate
A large healthcare company, with headquarters in the United States, was in need of help to manage its IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) configurations across different software development, test and production environments. The number of WAS environments had grown significantly. Applying configuration changes manually between environments was highly prone to error. Even updating environment specific details (such as hostnames, connection details, identifications etc.), was proving difficult to manage. Talos answered all these challenges by providing an efficient way to manage all of their WAS configurations.
The risk of unplanned downtime was also becoming greater
From a business perspective, there was a strong need to reduce the risk around releasing updated/new software into the production environment. Even extensive software testing counts for very little if it is launched into an environment where the middleware is configured very differently. In the worst case scenario, a critical business process goes down, whilst the software has to go back into development. The healthcare provider had an ever larger team of software developers working on a considerable number of software applications. In these circumstances, it is surprising how quickly middleware configurations can drift between the various pre-production environments and the production environment itself. Without good control, software releases become harder and more risky.
With Talos, the Healthcare provider released software into production environments more rapidly
With a good control over middleware configuration, software releases became much faster. The healthcare provider used the agile development methodology. This consisted of short sprints that can require multiple configuration changes to be made across various applications/products, such as IBM BPM, ODM, Extreme Scale and WAS instances, running applications developed in-house.
Talos allows the healthcare provider to quickly and easily choose what configuration items need to be changed, tokenize them, make the change and promote to upper environments without the need for scripting. The speed and ease permitted by Talos, meant the healthcare provider could handle a large number of changes without having to add additional team members to meet the sprint timelines.
Talos outperformed competitive tools on the market
When evaluating tools, the Healthcare provider reviewed many tools on the market. In the end they decided upon IBM Urban Code Deploy (UCD) and Talos. The reason for this is that they wanted a tool with toolkits/plug-ins specific for the workload they run, which included IBM BPM, ODM, WebSphere ExtremeScale, IBM MDM and WebSphere. Of these, Talos and UCD offered the widest coverage. The healthcare provider ran UCD as its deployment engine for their IBM products. However for WAS configuration, the Talos WAS toolkit outperformed the UCD WAS plug-ins. It was simpler to use, more flexible and integrated extremely well with UCD. The Talos instance was installed and integrated with UCD very quickly. In no time, the team was using Talos to massively enhance their productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.