WebSphere Liberty Profile running on Raspberry Pi

The new WebSphere Liberty profile is faster and more efficient than ever. Simon Maple proves this out by showing us how he ran WebSphere on the Raspberry Pi, a tiny little credit-card sized computer that smart blokes in the UK have developed.

Is WebSphere getting a makeover?

IBM is about to change the way the enterprise Java community thinks about WebSphere? Do you think WebSphere's slow? Do you think WebSphere's cumbersome? Well, it's time to think again, because by embracing a more modular approach, the new and improved WebSphere is faster and slicker than ever. And if you find that hard to believe, then maybe the fact that Simon Maple, a Technical Evangelist for IBM, and a few other smart blokes working in IBM's Hursley Lab are installing WebSphere middle-ware onto some of the most minimal hardware configurations out there.

Showing off WebSphere Liberty

"To really show off how the Liberty profile is very small in terms of memory footprint, we managed to load WebSphere Liberty onto Raspberry Pi." Says IBM's Simon Maple (@sjmaple).

If you're not familiar with Raspberry Pi, you should be. "It's a credit card sized computer that is developed in England by the people from the Raspberry Pi foundation." The foundation itself is simply interested in getting cheap little computers into the hands of youngsters and the young at heart who might want to do something interesting with them.

The novelty of invention

So, what did these young at heart Hursley nerds do with WebSphere Liberty and Raspberry Pi?

"What we got running was the full Liberty profile, which has been tested on both the OpenJDK and the J9 JRE."

Then they played around with a few other Raspberry Pi machines, configured MQTT, MQ Telemetry Transport, for remote sensoring, did some integration with RSMB, Really Small Message Broker, and then remotely started flicking on and off all of the electrical outlets at one of their friends homes.

Having fun with WebSphere?

"We actually used it to turn lights on and off, view energy consumption, turn towel rails on and off." Says Simon.

As they say, invent for the novelty and the killer applications will follow. 

But if people are finding the new WebSphere Liberty profile both novel and fun to play around with, the wind is certainly changing for IBM. If this trend continues, pretty soon people are going to start associating the terms fast and lightweight with the WebSphere Application Server.


You can follow Cameron McKenzie on Twitter (@potemcam)

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