Five Questions with…Rich Heironimus, middleware practice lead, Red Hat Consulting

by Rich Heironimus (Red Hat)

It’s no secret that middleware is increasingly a critical component of integrating, automating and accelerating business. With the rapid development of new technologies and platforms, we caught up with Rich Heironimus for his thoughts as to the latest trends arounds middleware, and what it means for developers.

How are customers using middleware today?
Today, middleware is increasingly helping customers achieve business agility. The flexibility that a well-architected system brings to the customer ultimately translates into better business efficiency. Legacy systems are often tightly coupled and making changes becomes more and more expensive over time. Many customers are building an integration or SOA foundation that leverages BPM and BRMS to achieve business agility by deploying their key processes and rules in middleware platforms. As more customers become more globalized, many customers are trying to deploy standardized processes and rules across the region or globe with localized changes or differences. BPM and BRMS middleware is enabling this flexibility.

What are some trends happening right now in the middleware space?
Middleware is being used to reduce the time to market for new applications by leveraging the efficiency driven through integration and BPM/BRMS platforms. Customers are revamping legacy workflow driven applications by refactoring them on a BPM/BRMS platform and owning the changes. Big data is also driving Complex Event processing, rules and process adoption.

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WEBINAR: How Cigna builds better applications, quicker with agile testing

Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Time: 16:00 UTC | 12:00 pm (New York) | 6:00 pm (Paris) | 9:30 pm (Mumbai)
Duration: 60 minutes

Your business analysts and application developers need to be on the same page to model, automate, measure, and improve their processes and policies. Miscommunication creates delays in delivery, increases costs, and compromises innovation.
 
Behavior-driven development (BDD) is an agile, customer-driven software development method that brings together subject matter experts, testers, and developers to improve the speed-to-market and quality of rules-based applications.

Cigna increased productivity and quality with BDD
In this webinar, Red Hat Consulting gives and overview of the BDD method, and Cigna, a global health service company, discusses how adopting BDD helped them transform their DevOps practice by:

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Cloud Adoption for Enhanced Business Stability

by Satish Irrinki (Red Hat)

Increasingly in today’s world, data centers are moving towards software-defined computing, networking, and storage. IT infrastructure that supports the application and data workloads is moving from bare metal servers to cloud. While the most obvious justification for this shift can be summarized as increased efficiency, capacity utilization, and flexibility (to scale up or down), there are less obvious fundamental economic and financial principles in play that contribute to overall business stability of the organizations and lines of business (LOB).

Cloud computing has changed the cost structure of IT infrastructure. Historically, IT infrastructure was considered a capital expenditure (CapEx) that requires large upfront investments leading to higher fixed costs for the business. With the advent of cloud computing, primarily because of its pay-for-use billing model, IT expenditure shifted from fixed operating cost structure to variable operating cost (OpEx) model.

This shift not only decreases the need for larger cash flow requirements or, in lieu, higher liabilities on balance sheet (akin to capitalization of lease expenses) for the CapEx, it also reduces the volatility in the operating income for the business.

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Determining your ‘migration mission statement’…and why it’s important

by Thomas Crowe (Red Hat)

A key component to a successful migration is a “migration mission statement.” The migration mission statement’s purpose is to summarize the key parts of a migration into a succinct, simply-communicated format that results in a clearly defined migration goal that is easily measurable for success. A sample migration mission statement could be:

Migrate the Acme Order Processing java application from the current proprietary IBM hardware running AIX and WebSphere into a cloud infrastructure running Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Application Server; in order to provide better TCO and ROI, as well as provide increased scalability and reliability. The migration should be performed during non-peak hours, have minimal downtime requirements, and provide for rollback if necessary.

Generally speaking, there are several factors that go into planning and executing a successful migration project. But by answering the following questions, a significant amount of the information necessary for a successful migration can be gathered.

What?
The most basic question to initially ask is simply, “What is being migrated?” This simple question sets the stage for gathering the additional information that is required. Is the migration moving all services from one server to another? Maybe it is migrating an application from one application server to another, or migrating storage from one array to another. Each of these scenarios are going to have unique data-gathering requirements that need to be understood in order to successfully plan and ultimately execute a successful migration.

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VIDEO: Rafael Guimarães, 2013 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year

At Red Hat Summit last week in Boston, Rafael Guimarães was awarded this year’s prestigious Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. A native of Brazil, Guimarães is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and JBoss Certified Application Administrator (JBCAA) at Petrobras, the largest oil company in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. This is his story.

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Guest Post: My time as Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year

by Sean Millichamp

Sean Millichamp was crowned worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year in June 2012 at Red Hat Summit. With Rafael Guimaraes officially set to be the next recipient of the award at next week’s Summit event in Boston, Sean offers us a look back at his past 12 months since winning the esteemed title.

It’s been a little over a year now since Red Hat selected me as the 2012 Worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year and what a year it has been! The whole experience was (and continues to be) amazing.

Initially, I didn’t tell too many people when Red Hat notified me that I had won. As with any contest there is some requisite legal paperwork (permission to use your name, etc.) that has to be cleared and so I only told my family, my boss, and a couple of other co-workers who knew I had submitted an entry, but that didn’t last long. The news passed quickly from my boss, to the company VP, to the CEO and then to the entire executive and sales teams. I still had not announced it to my surrounding coworkers but when a fairly continuous stream of people began walking up to me to shake my hand I found myself repeatedly explaining to those around me why I was being congratulated and what the award was – all the while caught somewhere between my more typically modest self and extreme bubbling pride.

In fact, I think my employer, Secure-24, was every bit as excited about this award as I was. If this seems unusual you need only to understand our business. We are a managed hosting company: IT is our business. The majority of our employees are either technical or work to directly support technical resources. So, when a senior engineer on one of their main product platforms wins a top award with a key partner – it was a sales/marketing dream come true. Our marketing team even issued a press release about it!

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My thoughts on open source

by Bruno Lima

Long an acquaintance and ally of government institutions, open source is no longer considered rocket science by the enterprise.

Companies find open source attractive because they’re not tied to one vendor, can make improvements in the system at any time and realize cost savings, all helping boost market penetration. And, of course, there’s the benefit of communities continuously improving the products.

In the outside world, governments are strong sponsors of this type of initiative, especially in Brazil, where the use of free and open source software is encouraged to make the market more democratic. And, of course, the market has become increasingly more open to open source. While there were once concerns about the reliability, security, and functionality, those fears are all gone. Red Hat has made it possible to combine the benefits of these technologies with the necessary support for mission-critical environments, developing platforms and the specific demands organizations face.

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Building the intelligent enterprise: easy and inexpensive?

by Alan Hale (Red Hat)

The following article originally appeared here in the UK and here in Germany.

Who could have predicted the impact on mainstream businesses of data coming in via social media and mobile technology, the escalating importance of trends such as ‘big data’ or the move towards cloud computing that is now gathering momentum?

The sources of data coming into the enterprise IT infrastructure are proliferating, with new channels and touch-points constantly emerging at an unprecedented rate. Clearly, in an uncertain world, flexibility is a critical component of any business IT strategy.

With today’s customers choosing to interact through multiple channels, businesses are wasting time and budget ‘hand-carrying’ information from application to application, frequently without adding value at best and introducing human error at worst.

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