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 ?

220 thoughts on “Websphere sucks…

  1. Why indeed 🙂

    Anyway, I think it’s because things like these are decided by high-level managers. Then when things go wrong, instead of acknowledging the problem and told us to look for alternatives; they go all defensive, and insisted that we continue using it *sigh*

  2. Yes I agree. I have just spent the last two weeks trying to get my app to work on WebSphere with no luck. The same application works wonderfully on both Jboss and a stand alone tomcat server. But Ibm tells me my application has design issues.

  3. That means you’ll need to code your app not according to the open standards – but adhering to Websphere’s own specification. This will make your app non-portable and risk locking yourself to Websphere.

    In my case, despite the best attempts of IBM’s own consultants, they failed to make Websphere 100% rock solid. And they definitely failed to bring it anywhere close to Tomcat’s performance level (despite being hosted in one of our best server).
    That really sucks. (especially if I remember the huge amount of money we paid them)

  4. Its a raining Thursday afternoon, and I was just banging my head again against websphere and its quirks. I just found that Websphere 6.1 doesn’t seem to bind local references to ejbs until after the servlet’s are initialized. Which is causing my lookup to fail during the servlet’s init() method. 🙁

    Anyway, a simple google search got me to this page (searched “websphere sucks”). I just wanted to add to these comments to allow anyone who didn’t know this secret piece of knowledge to have yet one more person break the news to them.

    Websphere sucks indeed!

    Open source and transparency is the only way to go.

  5. @Brian – welcome to the club 🙂
    .
    For those looking to be able to point fingers in case of problems, do feel free to go with these proprietary solutions and pay their expensive support fees.
    .
    For those looking to be able to point fingers **and** have complete control of their system, go with the open source solutions and purchase a support contract from a provider.
    .
    I know which one I’ll choose 🙂

  6. Ha… came across this post on a whim of a google search, remembering my old days (read nightmarish days) with websphere… bloated indeed! Has it got much better? I remember trying to work on a simple CMS which was just a dog to work with under wepshere

  7. Has it got much better?
    .
    No bloody idea, and not interested to find out 🙂
    .
    I’m not gonna touch that thing again, not even with a 20 feet long pole.
    .
    Life is good after Websphere 😀

  8. Open source software is definitely gaining. It all depends on the level of functionality, features, and support you’re after.

    While there are many great open source or free applications out there – paid products still offer many benefits.

    There’s no right answer. Whatever works best for your situation.

  9. Ouch , I would have probable put up with the other deficits it has but when you mentioned that it’s a lot more expensive than it’s counterparts that really turned me off.

    I hope they are addressing these problems because it will be a really bad thing if they lose their clients because of this.

  10. Ah yes IBM , how many years have passed since I used their OS , brings back memories of ancient and primitive computers whose power is a mere fraction to the ones we have today.

    Nowadays I use Microsoft and I haven’t tried any IBM computers since , but every now and then I think about the olden days and remember my IBM days.

  11. Yes, Websphere is definitely the most bloated web server I have tried to use in the 14 years I have been working with web servers.

  12. I’ve been trying for the last couple of days to simply install a small JAX-WS based test service that I can successfully deploy and run on Glassfish, Sun Enterprise Server, Weblogic 10 and Tomcat. The Websphere server constantly locks up for long periods just trying to access the admin screens. I constantly get Error 500’s reporting Out Of Memory on the exact same system I can run every other web server. For me Websphere is basically a non-starter. I’m pretty much fed up with just trying to get this thing to simply start and run. I will be strongly recommending that management take a pass on supporting this platform in any way.

  13. P.S. And I am talking about the latest one Websphere 7. Run away from this Turkey.

  14. @Virginia – a blast from the past !
    .
    I’m sorry to hear that even now people still got problems with Websphere. You’d thought IBM would have been able to fix the issues by now.
    .
    Anyway, hope you’ll be successful with that project.

  15. Our developers have been struggling for sometime now on a project using Websphere and we have another project on the horizon for which client-side managers are pushing for it use. I’ve been asked me to do some research to build a case against using Websphere, and I was wondering if anyone knows of any white papers or journals that officially discourage its use. I can certainly say “Websphere Sucks!”, but need a bit more concrete evidence.
    Thx

  16. Hi Doug, if these straight-from-the-trenches war stories are not concrete enough evidence, then I don’t know what is 🙂
    .
    Anyway, good luck on your endeavours.

  17. Im working for a big WebsFear lover financiAnal company.
    To be clear. I’m actually WF administrator of about 140 servers running this peace of shet with unprecendent performance bottlenecks after 2 PHD degrees on its tuning.
    I’m very glad to leave this field on this sunday after 2 years slave work.

    Die in fire, IBM.

  18. @Alex – I think it’s safe to assume that you’re not happy with Websphere 😀
    .
    Do correct me if I’m wrong tho *grin*
    .
    Anyway, hope you’re enjoying your new job now. Congrats !

  19. It is funny, I spend most of my time waiting for websphere to run, I usually google on “Websphere sucks” and ended up here. It is the worst software I have used. At first I thought most of the Adobe products were bad. Websphere has taken over the worst software dever used in my life time.

    It turns 4gig/2 core processor machines into a 386. I literally have to wait 5-10 minutes per request. And I only get 4-5 request before I have to restart.

  20. Thanks a lot for your evaluation. I was thinking of purchasing websphere. Thanks for saving me money and headache

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  22. I usually google on “Websphere sucks” and ended up here. It is the worst software I have used. At first I thought most of the Adobe products were bad. Websphere has taken over the worst software dever used in my life time.
    sarah james, Lys

  23. In my life I had never seen an acceptable IBM product. I am thinking about the biggest money loss for my company: OS/2, Lan Server, Communication Manager, TokenRing and Websphere …. but all decisions were coming from the big boss!

  24. I usually google on “Websphere sucks” and ended up here. It is the worst software I have used. At first I thought most of the Adobe products were bad. Websphere has taken over the worst software dever used in my life time.

  25. Im working for a big WebsFear lover financiAnal company.
    To be clear. I’m actually WF administrator of about 140 servers running this peace of shet with unprecendent performance bottlenecks after 2 PHD degrees on its tuning.

  26. Why companies insist to buy expensive software, when cheap (or free) software would probably do even better?

  27. Thanks a lot for your evaluation. I was thinking of purchasing websphere. Thanks for saving me money and headache

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  31. I just want to thank you for sharing your information about websphere and your website or blog, this is a simple, but good article I have ever seen, I like it, I learned something today! Thanks!

  32. Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue on websphere, so thanks for sharing this with us! it’s my first visit.

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  36. wowwwwwwwww….. Thats good.. It turns 4gig/2 core processor machines into a 386. I literally have to wait 5-10 minutes per request. And I only get 4-5 request before I have to restart.

  37. You can create two instances (duplicates) of the image you are deploying with a single shared database (on a separate instance). You would have server A and B running simultaneously in websphere.

  38. I am grateful for the information given. Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us.shared database (on a separate instance). You would have server A and B running simultaneously in networking

  39. I am grateful for the information given. Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us.shared database (on a separate instance). You would have server A and B running simultaneously in networking

  40. I am grateful for the information given. Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us.shared database (on a separate instance). You would have server A and B running simultaneously in networking

  41. I am grateful for the information given. Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us.shared database (on a separate instance). You would have server A and B running simultaneously in networking

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  44. I agree with you 100% I had to can websphere and go with someone else cause I was so over all the hassle. Good luck to you!

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  50. Our developers have been struggling for sometime now on a project using Websphere and we have another project on the horizon for which client-side managers are pushing for it use. I’ve been asked me to do some research to build a case against using Websphere, and I was wondering if anyone knows of any white papers or journals that officially discourage its use. I can certainly say “Websphere Sucks!”, but need a bit more concrete evidence.

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