IBM WebSphere BPMS Review

Each of the DataPowers can either load-balance or create load-balance groups to multiple internal appliances.

What is most valuable?

  • It is an appliance: it's very secure
  • You can't install software on it
  • It's not really hackable: There's no software that can be run independently of what's already in the firmware
  • We put it in the DMZ: It scales horizontally so I can load-balance to dozens of them at a time
  • Each of the DataPowers can either load-balance or create load-balance groups to multiple internal appliances

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed the companies that I work for to expose their services outside of their own network. That was very important to most of them. That's what they're all trying to get to.

What needs improvement?

They need more monitoring capability. When the flows go through, a lot of what my clients are asking for is to be able to monitor a transaction from end-to-end. I have no way of monitoring the transaction inside the DataPower, so I have to start at the next step.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The appliance itself is very stable. The fact that I can deploy them horizontally with multiple instances gives them very high availability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They are very scalable because I can go from one to a dozen of them.

How is customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. Most of the time that I've had any issues, I would get an answer within an hour.

How was the initial setup?

The devices themselves are complex, but the setup is fairly easy. Since they are appliances, you basically install them in a rack and then run a configuration script.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were concerned about support mostly, but we were also concerned with reliability.

When selecting a product, I want to make sure that the vendor is going to be there tomorrow, but that also goes back to support.

If they're out of business in five years and I have $2 million invested in the hardware, what do I do?

So we went with IBM. There are other solutions out there. There are open-source solutions. But there are advantages of going with IBM:

  • Nobody gets fired for buying IBM, right?
  • They have an appliance: This is very, very desirable from a security standpoint

What other advice do I have?

I would tell him to look at the things that I have spoken about:

  • How scalable is it?
  • How easy is it to scale?
  • How secure is it?
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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