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LiveRebel 101: Prepare for Continuous Delivery

Why do Continuous Delivery supporters and Operations Teams love LiveRebel?

Operations teams love LiveRebel because it helps bring Continuous Delivery practices into reality, letting them sleep soundly at night. Far too often applications in production are updated manually at 3 AM by overworked operations staff, so as not to affect customer usage sessions. And if something breaks, LiveRebel was designed to bring high levels of automation and predictability to customers’ deployment pipelines, enabling them to commit production updates that are online, automated, transactional and 100% reversible via “panic button”. Plus, they deploy new versions during the day, with all staff available, in case something breaks.

What is LiveRebel from a technical POV?

LiveRebel is an application & server management solution that allows release engineers and operations managers to do online deployments of J2EE applications via hot updates, rolling restarts, or individual server cold starts. LiveRebel will manage the upload, version check, server update, load balancing, request redirection, and if necessary, server restarts required to get an application online as quickly as possible, with little or no user impact.

What are the top 5 things to know about LiveRebel’s features?

1. Includes installers for all major server environments (and a lot of minor ones too!), making it simple to manage your server with zero manual configuration.
2. Enables automated, transactional, reversible and predictable updates to production applications
3. Provides instantaneous hot updates to live apps
4. A 100% pure Java solution
5. Managed through a web-based GUI, with no local client required

What Application Servers and Cluster sizes does LiveRebel support?

LiveRebel 2.0 supports Tomcat, JBoss, WebLogic, WebSphere, Glassfish and Jetty (more coming soon). It supports server clusters of any size, or in the cloud: LiveRebel uses a kind of distributed load-balancing process, where each server is in charge of routing requests and sessions to other servers if necessary. In this way, LiveRebel can support very large server clusters and enable hotpatching and rolling restarts without interruption to user sessions – even for 1000 servers at a time.

How easy to install is LiveRebel?

You can download LiveRebel here:

After that, start it up and run a simple installation script that works with a supported application server and restart the container in the LiveRebel wrapper script. This takes just minutes, even on larger infrastructures (the LiveRebel installation script can be automatically downloaded from a central Command Center) and once you’re done all servers and applications can be managed directly. Instrumenting existing servers can be done with a simple restart, without impacting existing deployed applications.

How does LiveRebel fit into the Continuous Delivery / DevOps model?

LiveRebel will help automate your deployment pipeline, creating a transparent, online, transactional and reversible process for updating apps in production, in line with Continuous Delivery concepts. LiveRebel also includes a Hudson / Jenkins plugin that allows hot-deployment directly from continuous integration servers. In addition, LiveRebel is 100% scriptable, allowing easy integration of the LiveRebel server management system into existing environments.

What sorts of deployment strategies does LiveRebel support?

LiveRebel supports multiple deployment strategies, depending on the needs of the organization. The deployment manager can decide the best strategy:

  • Hot update (Hotpatch) – Applications can be updated in realtime, without any impact on users. Sessions are preserved, database connections are preserved, the users never see the change happen.
  • Rolling restarts – Sometimes applications need to be restarted. When this is necessary, LiveRebel can manage your restart by shifting load off the servers, restarting them, and shifting load back, all completely automated.
  • Offline updates – Take a server offline, do the update, run your tests on it, and bring it back online.

Who can benefit from LiveRebel, and how do I get my hands on it?

Any deployment manager, systems manager, operations head, architect, QA manager – anyone who regularly deploys applications (and who is tired of manual deployments at 3 AM!)

Get started here:

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