Red Hat Envisons ESB as Legacy and Container App Bridge

As part of an effort to make it simpler to integrate legacy and modern applications based on containers, Red Hat is now making available a lightweight enterprise service bus (ESB) on top of a Kubernetes container orchestration engine.

Version 6.3 of JBoss Fuse integration services for Red Hat OpenShift also adds support for version 2.8 of Apache Camel, which in turn provides support for microservices frameworks such as Hystrix and Zipkin. Building on that foundation, Sameer Parulkar, product marketing manager for Red Hat JBoss Middleware, says Red Hat also added support for Springboot to make it simpler to build Java applications using Docker containers running in a Red Hat PaaS environment that already supports the Kubernetes container orchestration engine.

Parulkar says giving developers access to a development framework based in Spring should significantly accelerate usage of containers within environments that make extensive use of Java Virtual Machines (JVMs). Typically found in enterprise IT environments, JVMs represent the primary means IT organizations have to write applications once and deploy them anywhere prior to the arrival of containers. Therefore, developers using Spring-based frameworks are already predisposed toward porting applications across multiple platforms. JBoss Fuse provides a lightweight enterprise service bus (ESB) for integrating those applications.

In general, Red Hat has been consisting making the case of using a PaaS environment that can be used to support both legacy and emerging applications based on containers. Organizations that have already invested in PaaS are more inclined to want to extend those investments at a time when they continue to develop applications using Java.

Apache Camel furthers those efforts, says Parulkar, by providing access to a set of patterns that organizations can employ to accelerate integration projects by reusing code and methodologies that have been proven now for over a decade in the enterprise. The application programming interfaces (API) surrounding those integrations can then be managed by the 3Scale API management platform Red Hat recently acquired in the form of a Docker image, says Parulkar.

Many enterprise IT organizations are soon going to find themselves trying to bridge two very distinct approaches to building and deploying applications. Just about all of them have decades of investments in, for example, Java applications. At the same time, adoption of containers such as Docker as a more modern approach to achieving a write-once, deploy-anywhere application development capability is accelerating rapidly. Rather than deploy two separate sets of infrastructure to support those applications, Red Hat is melding existing ESB and PaaS technologies with containers to make it both less costly to integrate legacy and modern applications as well as deploy them.

The degree to which enterprise organizations aim to meld legacy and container-based applications will naturally vary. But if history is any guide, legacy applications will be around in one form or another for at least another decade. Given that IT reality, finding the most efficient way to integrate those legacy applications with modern container applications is likely to be a very high priority in the months and years ahead.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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