Project goal

CERN is in the process of moving its Oracle WebLogic infrastructure to containers and Kubernetes, starting with the development environment. The goal is to achieve a robust, zero-downtime service. Taking advantage of the portability of Kubernetes, we want to evaluate Oracle cloud as a solution for disaster recovery.

R&D topic
R&D Topic 1: Data-centre technologies and infrastructures
Project coordinator(s)
Eric Grancher and Eva Dafonte Perez
Technical team members
Antonio Nappi, Luis Rodríguez Fernández, Artur Wiecek
Collaborator liaison(s)
Vincent Leocorbo, Cristobal Pedregal-Martin, Monica Riccelli, David Cabelus, Will Lyon


Project background

For over 20 years, CERN has run a production service to host critical Java applications. Many of these applications are central to the administration of the laboratory, while others are important for engineering or IT. We’re working on solutions to help keep these applications running in case of major problems with the CERN data centre.

At CERN’s database-applications service, there is ongoing work to migrate from virtual machines to Kubernetes. We’re capitalising on this opportunity to evaluate how our services can run on public clouds — in particular, on Oracle cloud. This new architecture will increase the team’s productivity, freeing up time to focus more directly on developers’ needs.

Recent progress

In 2018, we consolidated the work of the previous year. We worked on two versions of Oracle WebLogic, thus ensuring backward compatibility with legacy applications and giving our users the opportunity to test the newer version. We also integrated a new open-source tool, called Oracle WebLogic Deploy Tooling, into our infrastructure. This is used to easily configure WebLogic domains starting from simple configuration files. Integration of this tool has enabled us to move the configuration of the WebLogic infrastructure outside the Docker images and to increase the speed at which images are generated. In addition, we developed tools to automate the deployment workflow of new applications on Kubernetes.

Another area of work in 2018 was the evaluation of Oracle WebLogic Operator. This is a new open-source tool that provides a WebLogic environment running on Kubernetes. We worked very closely with the Oracle team responsible for this tool, with a number of our feedback and suggestions having a direct impact on new releases.

Next steps

In 2019, we will mainly focus on ensuring that our production environment runs on Kubernetes. In addition, we will start to evaluate a disaster recovery plan to run on the Oracle cloud. We will also look into new options for our monitoring infrastructure; in particular, we will evaluate a tool called Prometheus.


    A. Nappi. HAProxy High Availability Setup. Databases at CERN blog. 2017.
    A. Nappi. HAProxy Canary Deployment. Databases at CERN blog. 2017.


    A.Nappi, L. Rodriguez Fernández, WebLogic on Kubernetes (17 January), Presented at CERN openlab meeting with Oracle in Geneva, Geneva, 2017.
    S. A. Monsalve, Development of WebLogic 12c Management Tools (15 August), Presented at CERN openlab summer students’ lightning talks, Geneva 2017.
    A. Nappi, L. Rodriguez Fernández, WebLogic on Kubernetes (15-17 August), Presented at Oracle Workshop Bristol, Bristol, 2017
    A. Nappi, WebLogic on Kubernetes (21 September), Presented at CERN openlab Open Day, Geneva, 2017.
    A.Nappi, L. Rodriguez Fernández, Oracle Weblogic on Containers: Beyond the frontiers of your Data Centre Openday (21 September), Presented at CERN openlab Open Day, Geneva, 2017.
    A. Nappi, L. Gedvilas L. Rodríguez Fernández, A. Wiecek, B. Aparicio Cotarelo (9-13 July), Presented at 23rd International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics (CHEP), Sofia, Bulgaria, 2018.
    L. Rodriguez Fernandez, A. Nappi, Weblogic on Kubernetes (11 January). Presented at CERN Openlab Technical Workshop, Geneva, 2018.
    B. Cotarelo, Oracle Weblogic on Kubernetes (July). Presented at 23rd International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics (CHEP), Sofia, 2018.
    M. Riccelli, D. Cabelus, A. Nappi, Running a Modern Java EE Server in Containers Inside Kubernetes (23 October).