Details of Red Hat JBoss EAP superior clustering compared to IBM WebSphere Application Server

Recently I heard that IBM is back to old tricks trying to say that Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) should be compared to IBM WebSphere Application Server (base) and not IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment Edition (WAS ND).

From what I can tell, the IBM argument for this seems to center on the premise that clustering support for HTTPSession failover and HTTP server load balancing in IBM WAS is sufficient for customers. Well when you are trying to push a product that offers inferior capabilities relative to Red Hat JBoss EAP I guess that is a position you can be forced to take.

However, both IBM WAS ND and Red Hat JBoss EAP offer clustering capabilities beyond the HTTP capabilities in IBM WAS “base”. Specifically, JBoss EAP includes the ability to make the following subsystems highly available:

  • Instances of the Application Server
  • The Web Subsystem / Servlet Container
  • Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), including stateful, stateless, and entity beans
  • Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) services
  • Single Sign On (SSO) Mechanisms
  • Distributed cache
  • HTTP sessions
  • JMS services and message-driven beans (MDBs)

Aside from HTTPSession failover and HTTP server load balancing, WebSphere Application Server edition lacks the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform clustering abilities listed above. This limitation in my opinion is one clear example of why WebSphere Application Server edition offers capabilities inferior to JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and is not a viable apples-to-apples product comparison.

Oh yeah… one more thing! Another reason why IBM wants to compare IBM WAS (base) and not IBM WAS ND to Red Hat JBoss EAP is price. While it is true that IBM WAS is less expensive than IBM WAS ND on a per core basis. When comparing the cost of similar sized deployments over 2-years (or any other period), Red Hat JBoss EAP is less expensive than IBM. For IBM WAS “base”, Red Hat JBoss EAP can be upwards of 78% less. More functionality for less money is a good thing for customers. Sorry IBM, despite easily discredited claims made on whywebsphere.com, Red Hat JBoss EAP is a superior value to IBM WebSphere Application Server editions.

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