Head to Head – JBoss v Oracle, TCA

JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 5 (JBoss EAP) and Oracle WebLogic Server 11g (WLS) are both enterprise-class application servers. This post will evaluate the total cost of acquisition (TCA) of each one based on a comparable feature set and a specific set of hardware requirements.

WebLogic Server is available in three primary configurations:

  • WebLogic Server Standard Edition
  • WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition
  • WebLogic Suite

WLS Standard does NOT include clustering support, diagnostics, or provisioning.

WLS Enterprise does NOT include a data grid.

WLS Standard WLS Enterprise WebLogic Suite
Clustering Support No Yes Yes
Diagnostics No Yes Yes
Provisioning No Yes Yes
Data Grid No No Yes

JBoss EAP includes clustering support. JBoss Operations Network (JON), included in the JBoss EAP managed subscription, includes diagnostics and provisioning. JBoss EAP 6 includes a data grid for application server clustering. Therefore, WLS Enterprise and WebLogic Suite are the ONLY configurations that are comparable to JBoss EAP.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP
Clustering Support Yes Yes
Diagnostics Yes Yes
Provisioning Yes Yes
Data Grid No JBoss EAP 6

JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include standard Java features.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Java SE JRockit OpenJDK
Java EE 5 Yes Yes
EJB 3.0 Yes Yes Documentation
Persistence (JPA) TopLink Hibernate Documentation

JRockit is restricted for WebLogic Server. OpenJDK is supported as an OS component.

WebLogic Server includes a separate installer for TopLink.

JBoss EAP does NOT include a separate installer for Hibernate.

In addition, JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include advanced Java features.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Security OSDT PicketLink Documentation |
SPNEGO / Kerberos
High Perf
JMS Messaging
Yes HornetQ Documentation

JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include standard enterprise features.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Administration Console Yes Yes Documentation
Configuration Wizard Yes JBoss EAP 6 Documentation
Development Platform ADF Seam Documentation
IDE JDeveloper & OEPE JBoss Developer Studio Product

In addition, JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include advanced enterprise features.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Clustering Support Yes Yes HTTP Session |
Server Side (1 2) |
Client Side (1 2) |
Dist Cache (1 2) |
JNDI |
EJB (Session / Entity) |
JMS |
Deployment
Server Migration & Service Migration Yes HAPartition Service Documentation |
HASingleton
Scripting WLST JBoss EAP 6 Documentation

JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include enterprise add-ons.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Client Yes Yes
Oracle RAC
Data Sources
Yes Yes Documentation
Apache Web Server Plug-Ins Yes mod_cluster Documentation
Web Tier Oracle HTTP Server JBoss Enterprise Web Server (JBoss EWS) Product

There 10 separate WebLogic Server clients.

There is a single JBoss EAP client.

JBoss EWS and Oracle HTTP server are both based on Apache HTTP Server.

Finally, JBoss EAP and WLS Enterprise both include management, diagnostics, and provisioning capabilities.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP JBoss EAP Details
Management Fusion Middleware Control JON Configuration (1 2)
Diagnostics Diagnostics Pack for Oracle Middleware JON Documentation
Provisioning OVAB JON Documentation

Limited management features are available via Fusion Middleware Control. Full featured management is available via Management Pack for WebLogic Server, a product that is licensed separately.

WLS Enterprise includes separate installers for Diagnostics Pack for Oracle Middleware and OVAB.

JON, via single installer, includes management, diagnostics and provisioning.

Diagnostics are ONLY included with WLS Enterprise. It is not available as a separate license.

JON IS available as a separate license.

Costs

Licenses v Subscriptions

Development

The development environment consists of a single physical server with three virtual machines: one for a database, one for an application server, and one for a web server.

Server Database Cores Application Server Cores Web Server Cores
1 8 16 8

Testing

The testing environment consists of a three physical servers. Each server has two virtual machines: one for an application server and one for a database server or a web server.

Server Database Cores Application Server Cores Web Server Cores
1 16 16
2 16+16
3 16 16

Staging

The staging environment consists of five physical servers. One server is a dedicated database server. The remaining servers have two virtual machines: one for an application server and one for another application server or a web server.

Server Database Cores Application Server Cores Web Server Cores
1 32
2 16+16
3 16+16
4 16 16
5 16 16

Production

The production environment consists of five physical servers. One server is a dedicated database server. The remaining servers have two virtual machines: one for an application server and one for another application server or a web server.

Server Database Cores Application Server Cores Web Server Cores
1 32
2 16+16
3 16+16
4 16 16
5 16 16

Intel Xeon Processor

Development

Cores Core Factor Price Minimum / Processor Total
WLS Enterprise 32 0.5 $500 / Named User Plus 10 $80,000
JBoss EAP 16 $11,250 /
16 Cores
$11,250

QA, Staging, & Production

Cores Core Factor Price Total
WLS Enterprise 352 0.5 $25,000 / Core $4,400,000
JBoss EAP 256 $40,000 / 64 Cores $160,000

Red Hat subscriptions are based on the total number of cores running JBoss EAP.

Oracle licenses are based on the total number of cores of the physical server.

Per Oracle:

Soft partitioning is not permitted as a means to determine or limit the number of software licenses required for any given server.

Read more on Oracle’s licensing policies for x86 virtualization on this Gartner Blog Network post.

Infrastructure

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP
Management Software $0 $0
JDK $0 $90,972 (RHEL)
Messaging $0 $0
HTTP Server $0 $12,000 (JBoss EWS)

Integrated Development Environment

JBoss EAP includes 25 subscriptions with support for JBoss Developer Studio for every 16 supported cores. WLS Enterprise includes support for JDeveloper.

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP
25 Users $0 $0

Total Cost of Acquisition

WLS Enterprise JBoss EAP
Application Server License / Subscription $4,480,000 $171,500
Application Server Support $985,600 $0
JDK $0 $90,972 (RHEL)
HTTP Server $0 $12,000 (JBoss EWS)
IDE $0 $0
Total $5,465,600 $274,472

Downloads: (PDF)

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About Shane K Johnson

Technical Marketing Manager, Red Hat Inc.

View all posts by Shane K Johnson

25 Comments on “Head to Head – JBoss v Oracle, TCA”

  1. shay Says:

    So JBoss Developer Studio is free now? Or do you just say that this is redundant and you don’t really need this tool if you want to do JBoss development?

    Reply

  2. Luiz Says:

    Why is RHEL included in the price? Is that the full cost of the RHEL?

    Reply

    • Shane K Johnson Says:

      I have included RHEL for OpenJDK support.

      The cost now includes 14 subscriptions with premium support (4 sockets, unlimited guests). It was 12.

      Reply

  3. Brad Davis Says:

    Shane, where does the 16 cores come in for EAP development environment cost? Red Hat doesn’t charge for development box cores, correct? If it is for JBoss Dev Studio, the cores from production or test should cover this, correct?

    Reply

    • Shane K Johnson Says:

      JBoss Developer Studio studio subscriptions are for developer environments (laptop, desktop, etc). Server based enterprise environments (e.g. – CI/DEV) require a JBoss EAP subscription. Perhaps I should clarify this in the post. By development, I meant ‘DEV’ or ‘CI’ as a precursor to ‘QA’ for release testing.

      Reply

  4. jose Says:

    hello, this articule is interesting, but jboss doesn´t have a JDBC to optimization to use a database cluster like grid link , or JVM to optimization of performace like JRockit, also one disadvantage of jboss is that weblogic product is part of the suite of oracle, and also have a equipament to improve the performance like Exalogic.

    JBoss is a interesting product that i used a little and i don´t know if a cluster of JBoss application server support failover and load balance of the session web and data?

    regards

    Reply

    • Shane K Johnson Says:

      Oracle RAC

      GridLink for RAC is a multi data source configuration. You can configure a multi data source with JBoss EAP.

      WebLogic Server Enterprise does NOT include Active GridLink for RAC.

      JRockit

      JRockit will be contributed to OpenJDK (link).

      OpenJDK is the official Java SE 7 Reference Implementation (link).

      WebLogic Suite

      WebLogic Suite includes Oracle Coherence. However, it is $45,000 per core. The total cost of acquisition would be $9,662,400. That is several million dollars more than JBoss EAP, JBoss EWS, and JBoss Data Grid subscriptions combined.

      JBoss EAP

      JBoss EAP includes session replication (link) and clustering (link).

      Reply

  5. drams Says:

    “JBoss EWS and IBM HTTP server are both based on Apache HTTP Server.”

    I’m assuming it should be Oracle HTTP Server :)

    Reply

  6. georgeav Says:

    Hi, I’m not very familiar with JBoss products, but why do I need or is recommended to also license EWS; from what I understand EWS = apache httpd + tomcat ? For web server can’t I just use the Apache HTTP Server bundled in RHEL ? The RHEL support doesn’t cover Apache HTTP server ?

    Reply

    • Shane K Johnson Says:

      Yes, Apache HTTP Server is included in RHEL (link). And yes, it is supported. Technically, I did not have to include the JBoss EWS subscription in this comparison.

      Reply

      • Massimiliano Adamo Says:

        no no…. it’s correct that you have put “Jboss EWS”.
        Webserver on Weblogic is not really an “Apache Server”. It is a plugin, available for Apache, IIS, iPlanet, blablabla… many servers, and it’s also available a complete suite called “Oracle WebTier”. And you can’t compare this plugin or WebTier with standard apache, using ajp or reverse proxy.
        The WLS plugin is really much more sophisticated and efficient.

      • Shane K Johnson Says:

        Not entirely. Oracle HTTP Server is equivalent to Apache HTTP Server + mod_cluster (via JBoss EAP). That, and a number of the features of Oracle Web Cache are available as Apache HTTP Server modules (e.g. mod_deflate / mod_cache). To be honest, I’m not that familiar with the iPlanet components. Are the web server and proxy components an alternative to Oracle HTTP Server?

      • Massimiliano Adamo Says:

        Hi Shane.
        I am really new to Jboss… so i prefer talking about weblogic.
        There are actually two options with weblogic.

        The first one is WebTier: this is 1.5 GB suite to download. WebTier contains the Oracle WebServer you area talking about, based on apache, but of course, as it is 1.5GB, it must have something more than apache. I don’t use this suite anyway.

        The second option is the single plugin. This is a zip file containing the plugins for many web-servers in the market and compiled for many architectures (as you don’t have sources): apache, Microsoft IIS, Netscape/iPlanet and so on….
        Perhaps it works in a similar way of mod_cluster.
        BUT IS mod_cluster SOMETHING THAT YOU GET WITH “Jboss EWS” OR NOT?
        That’s why I said that it’s correct to compare Jboss EWS…. … weblogic plugin is not like mod_proxy_balancer, but it’s specific to weblogic and it does much more.
        And to be honest, the same happens with websphere, based on apache, but using a custom plugin…. but websphere plugin has an awful xml file, whereas weblogic plugin is easy easy easy to use.

        Here you have a list of parameter for the plugin:
        http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E13222_01/wls/docs81/plugins/plugin_params.html
        And you can see as well all the supported platforms for this plugin.

        And here you have a list of plugins available inside the zip archive:
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-aix-ppc64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-hpux-itanium.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-hpux-parisc.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-linux64-x86_64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-solaris-sparc.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-solaris-x86_64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-Apache2.2-win64-x86_64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-iPlanet7.0-linux64-x86_64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-iPlanet7.0-solaris-sparc.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-64bit-iPlanet7.0-solaris-x86_64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-Apache2.2-linux32-x86.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-Apache2.2-win32-x86.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-IIS6-IIS7-IIS75-win32-x86.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-IIS6-IIS7-IIS75-win64-x64.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-iPlanet7.0-linux32-x86.zip
        WLSPlugin11g-iPlanet7.0-win32-x86.zip

        cheers
        Massimiliano

      • Shane K Johnson Says:

        The mod_cluster module is included with both JBoss EWS and JBoss EAP. However, RHEL includes an Apache HTTP Server distribution. Thus, there are two options: a) JBoss EWS + JBoss EAP or b) RHEL + JBoss EAP. JBoss EAP provides the mod_cluster module and RHEL or JBoss EWS provide the Apache HTTP Server distribution.

  7. Massimiliano Adamo Says:

    I’ll be much more specific and tell something to explain, for instance, few differences between a general purpose plugin and weblogic plugin. …… for instance, weblogic plugin does not communicates with the single nodes to get their state. It communicates with the cluster engine, and cluster engine tells weblogic plugin all about the cluster. The list of nodes is dynamic.
    As a consequence, JSESSIONID cookies, are treated at cluster level… it means that the session is sticky but you have the affinity with the cluster and not with the single node! This is great. Isn’t it? If one node goes down, you don’t loose the affinity!

    There may be situations where you don’t want this (it happened to me). In this case you switch the dynamic list to off, and the plugin will check the single sockets, with the risk of timing out the transactions.
    Of course there are many other options….

    This is clearly not mod_cluster … or something else: it’s the weblogic plugin and you can’t compare it with a “generic apache” ….

    Reply

    • Shane K Johnson Says:

      What you described is, in fact, mod_cluster. It can do all of that.

      Reply

      • Massimiliano Adamo Says:

        that’s really fair…. but this is – in fact – Jboss EWS :) For that I said: it’s correct the comparison with jboss ews that you have done, and not with a simple apache.

      • Shane K Johnson Says:

        Apache HTTP Server with mod_wl_ohs is more or less Oracle HTTP Server.
        Apache HTTP Server with mod_cluster is more or less JBoss EWS without Apache Tomcat.

        There are additional modules as well: mod_ossl (Oracle) / mod_ssl (Apache), mod_oradav (Oracle) / mod_dav (Apache), and so on.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Is the JDK and HTTP server optional or mandatorily included in the Jboss EAP? I can download the JDK for free.

    Reply

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