IBM WebSphere Application Server for IBM Cloud Private VM Quickstarter enables you to set up a preconfigured WAS Network Deployment, WAS Base, or Liberty Core environment within virtual machines running in a private cloud. If you’re familiar with WebSphere Application Server traditional or Liberty in an on-premises enviroment, you’ll be right at home – and get there a lot quicker! Within your WAS VMs in IBM Cloud Private, you have the same WebSphere administration experience and full access to the underlying operating system.
The WAS VM Quickstarter has the following key benefits:
- Setup in minutes: No need to install WAS – just choose your WebSphere edition, fix pack, and VM size, and your environment is ready in minutes.
- Familiar administration: Use your existing WebSphere administration scripts to adjust the configuration to fit your exact needs.
- Full access to your environment: Log in to the admin console (WAS traditional) or Admin Center (Liberty) to control your environment, or SSH in for direct access to your VM.
- REST API for service management: Let scripts do the work for you by using the REST API to create and delete WAS service instances, get VM resource information, and more.
- Flexible topologies: Set up anything from single server to a large multi-node Network Deployment cluster – it’s up to you!
When you create your WebSphere Application Server environment, you can choose from T-shirt-sized virtual machines to host each server or node. With T-shirt sizing, you can easily and independently size the VMs. For example, you might provision a small VM for a simple application or a larger VM for memory-intensive applications. If you’re migrating existing applications to the WAS VM Quickstarter, you can use your applications to guide your VM sizing because they’ll be deployed in a similar environment – just in a private cloud.
WAS VM Quickstarter virtual machines are sized in blocks. For each block in the T-shirt size, the virtual machine is provisioned with the following resources:
- 1 virtual CPU (vCPU)
- 2 GB RAM
- 25 GB of hard drive space
You can choose from the following T-shirt sizes of blocks (subject to any quotas put in place by your WebSphere administrator, of course).
T-Shirt Blocks vCPU RAM (GB) HD (GB) S 1 1 2 25 M 2 2 4 50 L 4 4 8 100 XL 8 8 16 200 XXL 16 16 32 400
Each server or node is provisioned in a single virtual machine. For example, in the Network Deployment plan, if you provision one M (medium) virtual machine (2 blocks) for your deployment manager and 8 S (small) virtual machines (1 block) for application nodes, your environment has a total of 10 blocks.
Create a WebSphere service instance
Before you can create a service instance, you’ll need to contact your WebSphere administrator for a link to the WAS VM Quickstarter service console. Your administrator can find the service console URL in the WAS VM Quickstarter notes.txt file. The URL is typically in the format
In your browser, go to the service console URL provided by your administrator.
- Click Create a Service.
- On the WebSphere VM Quickstarter page, fill out the following fields:
- Service name: The name for your new service
- Resource Group: The resource group that you want to create the service in
- Service plan: The WebSphere Application Server product edition that you want to provision
- Click Provision Service.
After a few moments, your selected WebSphere service plan will load. If you selected the WAS ND plan, you can additionally choose WAS traditional or Liberty and a single-server or cell environment. WAS Base and Liberty Core plans only have single servers, so if you chose these plans, you’ll go straight to further plan configuration.
From your WAS service plan page, you can size the VMs for each server or node. For WAS ND cell environments, you size the VMs for the deployment manager node and the application nodes separately. In single-server WAS traditional or Liberty environments, you only have to size the VM for server node.
- Click the tab for the component, such as the server, deployment manager, or application node.
- Review the available and remaining block quota. The quota is set by your WebSphere administrator.
- Select the T-shirt size for the component’s virtual machine. For WAS ND application nodes, the number of blocks used by the VM size is multiplied by the number of application nodes that you choose to configure.
On the Service Profile tab, you can also optionally choose from the available fix packs.
When you’re ready to provision your environment, review the details in the service configuration summary, including the estimated provision time. If everything looks correct, click Provision.
After a provisioning period, you’ll see the dashboard for your newly created WebSphere service instance, where you can see that your preconfigured WebSphere environment is up and running.
Manage your WAS environment
You can start and stop your VMs at any time from your WebSphere Application Server service instance dashboard. You’ll also find the login credentials for the following administrative IDs:
- virtuser: Use this ID along with its private key to log in to your VM. The virtuser user has limited administrative access.
- root: Use this ID for managing the operating system and environment within your VM. The root user has full system administration access.
- wsadmin: Use this ID for all WebSphere administration and scripting.
The wsadmin user name and password are listed at the top of your service instance dashboard and can be used for all of your VMs. The root OS administrative user name and password and the private key for virtuser are specific to each VM. To find these credentials, expand the details for each VM.
You can manage your WebSphere environment just like you would in an on-premises environment – by using wsadmin scripting or the administrative UI. To access the administrative UI, click Open the Admin Console/Open the Admin Center in your WebSphere Application Server service instance dashboard.
Learn more about using these tools:
- WAS traditional: Using the administrative console and Scripting the application serving environment (wsadmin)
- Liberty: Administering Liberty using Admin Center
If you have trouble connecting to the administrative UI, contact your WebSphere administrator.
Optional: Set up SSH access
To connect to your VM:
- From the service instance dashboard, expand the details for the VM you want to connect to.
- Make note of the VM’s IP address, which is listed under Host.
- Under Private SSH key for virtuser, click Save Key to download the private key.
Then, connect to your VM using your SSH client.
From the command line on your local machine, run the following command to change the file permissions on the private key file that you downloaded.
chmod 600 /path/privateKeyFileName
Run the following command to SSH into the VM, replacing the Xs with your VM’s IP address and specifying the path to the private key file:
ssh firstname.lastname@example.org -i /path/privateKeyFileName
- Use the PuTTy Key Generator to generate a PuTTy Private Key (.ppk) file.
- Open the PuTTygen tool.
- Next to Load an existing private key file, click Load, and select the private key file that you downloaded.
- If you want to secure the private key file, enter the passphrase in the Key passphrase and Confirm passphrase fields.
- Click Save private key to save the .ppk file.
- From the command line, connect to your VM by running the following command, replacing the Xs with your VM’s IP address and specifying the path to the .ppk file.
putty -i C:\Path\privateKey.ppk email@example.com
- Use the PuTTy Key Generator to generate a PuTTy Private Key (.ppk) file.
After you’re connected to your VM, you can gain full administrative authority by switching to the root user. To switch to the root user, run this command:
sudo su root
Manage your service instances
View, delete, or create more WebSphere service instances
From the same service console page that you went to when you created your WebSphere service instance, click Manage my Services to view a list of your created service instances. You can delete any service instances that you don’t need anymore, or create additional service instances.
REST API for managing services
You can use the WAS VM Quickstarter REST API to script service administration tasks, such as creating or deleting service instances and managing VM resources. The Swagger documentation for the REST API lists each operation that you can perform.
The REST API documentation is specific to your WAS VM Quickstarter installation. The URL to the documentation is in the format
https://<hostname>/<your-service>-wasaas-broker/wasaas-broker/api, where <hostname>/<your-service> is the same prefix that you previously used to access the WAS VM Quickstarter service console.
When you’re ready to log out of the console, just clear your browser cookies. Then, refresh the page to confirm that you are logged out.