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So far we have described how the WebSphere platform can be utilized on two-tier and three-tier architectures and the benefits it derives from the J2EE implementation and the Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradigm. Using the zSeries platform we can get more advantages by using its work load management (WLM) features, high-speed connect facilities, and the attributes that provide extremely high levels of availability and QoS to users.
On a distributed platform we would recommend, to our WebSphere Portal customers, that you create three environments - development, test, and production - with the test environment mirroring the proposed production environment. That normally involves, at a minimum, three different physical systems and each system would have one or more hardware boxes. On the z/OS platform we can take advantage of the power of the z/OS architecture and install three totally different instances of WebSphere Portal in the same logical partition (LPAR) or different LPARs using the same physical hardware platform.
Scalability on the distributed platform is achieved either by vertical scaling or horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling means creating portal server clones on the same machine, and horizontal scaling involves creating portal server clones on different machines that are part of the same WebSphere domain. On the z/OS platform, it simply involves specifying the minimum and maximum Server Region (SR) values. Then the zSeries WLM feature handles scaling based on the type of load and number of users that access the portal.
Another common requirement for our Portal customers is that they would like to separate Intranet, Internet, and Extranet users of the portal. This is required from a Quality of Service (QoS) perspective, and also to create portals that each have a different look and feel. Again, this can be done on the z/OS platform, because the portals can have totally different instances on different WebSphere instances in a sysplex.
We did not set up and test this scenario.
There are additional benefits of installing the LDAP server, used by WebSphere Portal, on z/OS:
First is availability. LDAP server, if installed and configured in a z/OS Parallel Sysplex with shared DB2 and Sysplex Distributor, provides a highly available, scalable LDAP server that can be used by any client on the network.
The second is native authentication. Native authentication allows connection between the LDAP server and Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) wherein the userid and password that is used to authenticate to LDAP is actually passed to the Security Access Facility (SAF) to be verified. This setup could be used to allow Internet portal customers to authenticate directly against the LDAP server, while Intranet users who already had a userid on the z/OS system, would authenticate using their RACF userid and password.
As we gain more experience with WebSphere Portal on z/OS and OS/390 we are sure there will be other scenarios which we will discover that will not only highlight the benefits of running WebSphere Portal on z/OS, but also of running different architectures.
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