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Websphere sucks…

… BIG TIME

Why ?

  1. Reliability: This thing takes IBM literally years to stabilise. I personally enjoying it myself, with my manager calling me “why the website is down ?”, and to find out that Websphere has fell down again for no clear reason. And we’re only using it for running our CMS for God’s sake (think Mambo, Drupal, PostNuke, etc) – it’s not something terribly sophisticated ! In fact, that CMS is actually developed in Tomcat ! So it’s not even using the full feature of J2EE offered by Websphere. Still, Websphere is having problems running this
  2. Forced upgrade: It all started pleasantly – the IBM consultants ran the excellent presentation on Websphere, and the price was reasonable too. Fast forwards several months – we’re having reliability issues with it. We inquired IBM about this, and their reply was some sort of “well, we no longer support that old version (what !!), so if you want to get our support, you better upgrade it to the latest one”. Then we found out the nasty surprise of the upgrade cost…
  3. Cost : Latest versions of Websphere are so expensive, once it was priced 8x (eight times) higher than the alternative solution based on Tomcat. Basically, picture yourself a big, bad, Sun server; with multiple UltraSPARC processors, and gigabytes of RAM. OK, basically, the Websphere license cost was enough to buy 2 of those. Do I still need to tell you which one got chosen by the project manager ?
  4. Scalability: An analyst defended Websphere saying that it’s the right choice when you need scalability in a system. Sorry, but, scalability my a$$. Basically, despite given the best server in the system, Websphere consistently managed to still become the bottleneck of that system. I ran a set of load-tests a few months ago against a system, which include a Compaq DL380 and a big Sun server running Websphere. That Compaq DL380 runs 3 virtual servers (using VMware) , yet it’s load consistently hovered around 1%-2%. The Sun server (that runs Websphere) however, kept on falling over flat on its face, with 100% system load.
  5. A bloated pig: I think by now you’ll understand already that Websphere is basically a massive bloated software, with low performance level compared against other similar software, despite attempts by (very expensive!) IBM consultants to tweak its performance.

It’s a massive bloat, it’s slow, it’s unreliable, and it’s priced to burn a seriously big hole in your wallet.

Stay as far away as possible from it.

UPDATE:

# There’s a reason why Microsoft picked Websphere in their effort to promote .Net against Java
# Finally IBM will revamp Websphere’s reliability and performance. Or is it possible that I’m rejoicing too soon ?

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