IBM Cast Iron Options: Appliance Vs. Live (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is fast becoming the deployment du jour, but appliances haven’t lost favor yet. The decision over an on-premise install or appliance versus an SaaS solution should still be made on a case-by-case basis. IBM Cast Iron offers both options and each enables cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise and on-premise-to-on-premise integration and real-time, near-real-time and batch.
Here’s a brief look at both options.

Cast Iron As Appliance

Cast Iron can be deployed as either physical hardware or a virtual machine. With this style of deployment, the Integration Appliance is installed on-premise – normally behind the firewall, but not within a DMZ.
The runtime environments for the dev, test and prod lifecycles are typically separated, each with its own Integration Appliance to access necessary endpoints within the environment.
The user maintains full control of projects and their orchestrations on the appliance through the WMC. The orchestrations are started through activities which include polling, scheduling or an incoming request – an HTTP Receive Request, for example. Data flows through the Integration Appliance and is stored internally as XML variables. Users control the logging for each orchestration.

Cast Iron Live

This multi-tenant, browser-accessed deployment model includes key components for users to design, run and manage integrations all in the cloud. Those components are:

  • A clustered runtime engine that runs the integrations with built-in fault-tolerance and recovery mechanisms
  • A multi-tenant, highly available system to store the designed integrations
  • A load-balancer to intelligently manage the loads throughout the various runtime engines
  • Highly available file systems to store and manage logs that are related to the integrations

The Live version also includes a Design environment with the same capabilities as the on-premise Studio environment
TxMQ specializes in application integration. Initial consultations are free and communications are always confidential. Contact vice president Miles Roty for more information: (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected].

How To Integrate Salesforce Enterprise Data Using WebSphere Cast Iron

As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, IBM’s WebSphere Cast Iron is the choice solution for integrating Salesforce data with other applications and/or other data across the enterprise. It’s a functional solution because the various integration paths (called orchestrations) are displayed through a graphical interface and can be managed and maintained by staff members who aren’t necessarily IT specialists. TxMQ helps with Cast Iron deployment, for example, but then hands off the project to internal staff once the deployment and initial orchestrations are in place. It’s really that simple (which, by the way, is one reason Cast Iron is so appealing to limited-staff SMBs).
I did want to take a bit of time in this update to discuss some of Cast Iron’s specific Salesforce integration and data-management solutions. The biggest  issue – especially when an integration involves both internal and external data – is synchronization. Whether your industry is finance, healthcare, transportation,  manufacturing, retail, digital media or any other, you’ll inevitably need to sync your Salesforce data with your customer data, sales data, supply-chain data, logistics data, advertiser page views and so on. Any loss of synchronicity can immediately compile errors and create blockers that munch away at your uptime.
To help frame the possibilities for your company, note that Cast Iron easily connects Salesforce with:

  • ERP including SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, BAAN, QAD, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.
  • CRM including Siebel, Clarify, Remedy, Oracle, Kana, Vantive, etc.
  • Customer support systems
  • All major databases including Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, mySQL, Sybase, Informix, etc.
  • Flat-files using FTP, HTTP(S), Email
  • XML and Web Services
  • EDI
  • Middleware and all major EAI platforms
  • Project management applications including Clarity/NIKU
  • Custom applications
  • And many, many more

Once connected, Cast Iron supports real-time sync between Salesforce and other systems, a few examples of which include:

  • Data migration from other CRM systems
  • Accounts and Contacts with ERP customer master
  • Opportunities with Order management systems
  • Forecasts with other CRM systems
  • Quote requests with Order management systems
  • Leads and Campaigns with marketing automation systems
  • Activity history with external reporting systems
  • Invoices with Billing systems
  • Case data with Customer Support systems
  • Pricing and product catalog data with PLM systems
  • The list goes on…

I’m curious: Do any readers have a Salesforce–Cast Iron use case different from the ones above? Please sound off with a comment and let’s keep the conversation going.
As always, TxMQ is ready to confidentially answer any Cast Iron or other integration questions. For a free initial consult, please contact vice prez Miles Roty: (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected].

Four Different Options For WebSphere Cast Iron Deployment

IBM’s WebSphere Cast Iron cloud-integration product is the industry’s best-in-class solution for two reasons: 1. Its cross-service flexibility, and 2. Its ultra-easy graphical interface.  Deploy Cast Iron then drag and point your different integration preferences.
Cast Iron is perhaps best known for easy and complete Salesforce integration – use Cast Iron to integrate Salesforce data with the rest of your enterprise data – but Cast Iron recently reached a new critical mass centered on the integration and synchronization of mobile-application data and social-media data across the enterprise. Cast Iron is especially effective for integrating contemporary data, like that from mobile and social, with legacy data driven by homegrown applications.
Cast Iron is easy to adopt and deploy and there are four different deployment options. They are:

  • Cast Iron Hypervisor Edition: This is a virtual appliance that sits on existing servers by way of virtualization technology. It’s a great way to speed the path through demo and staging to production, and as of June 2014 it includes Xen server support.
  • Cast Iron Express: A cloud-based version that assists in the integration of Software as a Service (SaaS) data with other data sources. This is the most popular Salesforce solution.
  • Cast Iron Live: This is a cloud-based multi-seat version that’s best for cloud/on-premise hybrid environments.
  • DataPower Cast Iron Appliance XH40: This is real metal – a self-contained, physical appliance that connects cloud and on-premise applications.

TxMQ specializes in Cast Iron integration solutions for businesses of all sizes. For more information, contact vice president Miles Roty – (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected] – for a confidential and free initial consultation.

WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor Delivers Xen Support

WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor fix pack version became available on June 30, 2014, and with it came support for the Xen server as hosting environment.
Cast Iron Hypervisor delivers rapid cloud integration for companies that want to harmonize business processes across a hybrid landscape. Cast Iron delivers elegant integration solutions like the ability to:

  • Quickly connect cloud and on-premise applications
  • Chaperone legacy integrations into the cloud
  • Collaborate with IBM Worklight to externalize mobile-app enterprise data and processes

With the fix pack, Hypervisor can now run on one of these following hosting environments:

  • VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1, 5.0 or 5.1
  • IBM PureApplication System W1500
  • Xen server 4.1.2 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server release 5.6 and later 6.0

TxMQ offers full Cast Iron service and support. Contact VP Miles Roty for more information: [email protected], 716-636-0070 x228.

Lifecycle Dates For The Hardware Generation Machine Types – Includes DataPower, Cast Iron & More

The table lists the planned dates that Remote Technical Support will be withdrawn for each Hardware Generation of the IBM WebSphere Appliances – DataPower, Cast Iron, along with IBM Workload Deployer and IBM Cloudburst appliances:
All statements regarding IBM future direction or intent, including current product plans, are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. All information is provided for informational purposes only, on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind.
• May make support extensions available, for an additional fee, after the standard service end date has been met and as inventory and capability is sustainable
• Extended service maintenance agreements contain limited terms and conditions. Refer to the Service Extension agreement for more details. Contact your IBM Sales rep for additional information regarding extended service maintenance agreements.