WebLogic 12.1.3 New Unicast Group Implementation

As of WebLogic 12.1.3 the implementation of unicast groups used for WebLogic clusters has changed.

What is new?

  1. There is a fixed maximum number of groups which is 10.
  2. Groups can be asymmetric.
  3. Servers are put into groups based on the hash value of their name (which obviously explains 2).

The group leader in a particular group might change if new servers are added but with dynamic clusters and generated cluster names this is rather unlikely.

Why?

The implementation has changed to make it more robust.

Example

When creating a classic cluster with servers surf1, surf2, surf3 or servers abc, jkl, xyz, every server ends up in its own unicast group, the total number of groups is the same as the number of servers.

When creating a dynamic cluster with let’s say 15 servers, server server-1 and server-11, server-2 and server-12, etc. are grouped together into one group.

unicast groups dyn cluster

More?

It is not yet officially documented. Currently the official Oracle documentation still describes the old implementation. I described the new implementation in my Oracle Open World presentation together with Dave Cabelus.

Also there is a short web cast available here:

12 Things about WebLlogic 12.1.3

While you’re at it, make sure to download my Oracle Open World 2014 presentation slides for more ideas of what is new and newsworthy in WebLogic 12.1.3.

New RESTful Management API in WebLogic 12.1.3

What you should know:

WebLogic 12.1.3 comes with a new implementation of the RESTful management interface.

Why RESTful?

RESTful interfaces are interesting because they …
– can be used from any language (UNIX curl, Python, Java, you name it …)
– are leight-weight. All you send is an URL using http (and possibly some JSON data)
– are leight-weight on the client side. No JVM is required, unlike let’s say JMX.
– can easily be used across firewalls because the underlying protocol is http.

What is new?

Unlike previous versions of the management interface, WebLogic 12.1.3 provides a technically better implementation for RESTful management, since the interface…
– incorperates versioning
– uses canonical URLs
– uses the well-known http verbs GET (to retrieve information. e.g about a configured data sources), POST (to create e.g. a new data source), OPTIONS (to create a JSON data structure used as a template for create a new datasource), DEL (to delete a datasource).
– returns RESTful URLs in the response.

What is missing?

Currently there is no support for JMS, Workmangers, etc. Since there is no generic way of accessing MBean attributes in WebLogic’s implementation of the RESTful management interface you have to wait for Oracle to implement support for those ressources.

Gossip is spreading that the missing ressources will be included in WebLogic 12.2.1.

More?

more information can be found in the Oracle documentation. There are also some web casts available on the WebLogic Book Youtube channel.

Even More?

I recorded a 2 minute tech-tip for OTN. Previously I explained how the open source Jolokia alternative can be used together with WebLogic.

 

WebLogic with Docker in the Cloud

docker

Docker has been without any doubt the most hyped technology this summer. Apart from incrementally and quickly creating light-weight containers that can be hooked up together it seems to become the de-facto standard for spinning up instances locally and in the cloud. In the past there was no real compatibility between cloud providers on an OS/instance-level and also import/export features were “demanding” at best.

Linux containers for clean sandboxing do exist since much longer, e.g. Google is starting over 2 billion Linux containers every week. With Docker there is an open source based de-facto standard now that customers want to use (honestly, few people looked into lxc and kernel namespaces before Docker had it’s appearance)

Docker and WebLogic?

Oracle WebLogic Server currently does not officially support Docker, yet there is a github project to start with created by Bruno Borges. This project contains the Dockerfile with all necessary WLST-scripts to create a Docker container running WebLogic.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 12.19.11

You can run Docker itself in Oracle Enterprise Linux like in most other Linux distributions such as CentOS, Ubuntu etc. Docker containers always run Linux; e.g. you could have WebLogic running on Ubuntu in a Docker container which is running on CentOS.

Docker Hub Registry

The Docker hub registry is best known as a public registry for Docker images to start with but it can be used to store private images as well.

The Docker Registry contains base Docker images for Java, Ubuntu etc., yet there are no official images from Oracle at the moment. Let’s hope that Oracle will not repeat the rather sad story of poor support for Oracle product AMIs for Amazon Cloud.

Public Clouds can either deploy Docker containers directly from github by creating a container on the fly based on a Dockerfile on github, or by accessing an Docker image stored in the Docker registry. I will demonstrate below how to deploy WebLogic as Docker container straight from the Docker registry.

https://hub.docker.com

Clouds: Amazon, Google, …

Amazon Beanstalk, same as the Google Cloud, support Docker containers as well! So you can dockerize your application (including WebLogic) and run the same Docker image on the cloud. To the best of my knowledge there is currently no information available if Oracle has plans to support Docker in the Oracle cloud.

AWS Beanstalk Cloud

HowTo Run Your WebLogic in a Docker Container on Amazon Beanstalk

The following web cast gives a brief overview of the steps involved. It’s not intended as a A-Z tutorial, rather a quick recording to illustrate the point saving you from dozens of boring screen shots. I am using CentOS 7 to run Docker and create the local Docker container.

The following steps are shown:

  1. Create a running Docker container with WebLogic
  2. Create a new image based on the container
  3. Upload the image to Docker hub
  4. Create the Amazon Beanstalk JSON file for running a Docker container
  5. Create an AWS Beanstalk environment that runs the image from Docker hub
  6. To prove that 1. to 5. are working run a demo app in the cloud

 

If you want to know more, I recommend to get a good book about Clouds, and WebLogic, read Bruno Borges blog entry, the Docker documentation, and the AWS Beanstalk documentation.

Oracle supports the licensing of certain AWS/EC2 instances, also different versions of Oracle Database are available at the Amazon cloud, so ask your Oracle sales rep about the licensing with Docker and Beanstalk.

Enjoy!

Update

I just learned that this posting with the web cast made into the Docker Weekly. Cool, thanks!

Update 2

Soon there will be Microsoft in the boat as well. So Amazon, Google and Microsoft amongst others will support Docker containers. I am curious to see what this will mean for Oracle’s own cloud offering.

20th WebLogic Book Review comes from India!

The two statements from @ganeshk_8 a Senior Technical Consultant for OFM about my WebLogic 12c book are top notch:

“It promises much more than what its name suggests.”

“You will end up thinking – had I read this book earlier, I would have saved a lot of time in my project.”

 

Read the full review here.

Book Raffle: 3 Free Copies of WebLogic 12c Distinctive Recipes

It’s Christmas time, 2013 is almost over. I’ll be heading to Berlin next week, which will be my last business trip for this year. 2013 has been a good year! A year packed with exciting projects, interesting tech workshops and new customers looking for honest OFM consulting and doing cool stuff.

Free WebLogic 12c Distinctive Recipes Book

To give something back, I am offering three free copies of my 2013 book WebLogic Distinctive Recipes.

wls12book3d_lying

By the way, guess who is Santa Claus on that picture? Don’t get fooled by the belly… I had to use an extra pillow to trick my 9-year-old nephew into believing that Santa exists (some friends believe that Beyoncé later copied my trick with the pillow).

santa

The Raffle

To participate in the raffle simply let me know that you like a copy before Dec 20th:

✘✘✘  Just retweet the announcement on Twitter, or tweet about it yourself (and make sure I will see it).

✘✘✘  Or, if you are more a Facebook person,  SHARE the Facebook announcement.

The Smallprint

There is no purchase required to participate! All you need is a delivery address. Winners are drawn Dec 21st. Decisions are final. Any recourse to courts of law is excluded.