WebSphere terminology

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Application server

The application server is the primary component of WebSphere. The server runs a Java virtual machine, providing the runtime environment for the application’s code. The application server provides containers that specialize in enabling the execution of specific Java application components.


The administrative domain that a Deployment Manager manages. A cell is a logical grouping of nodes that enables common administrative activities in a WebSphere Application Server distributed environment. A cell can have one or many clusters.


A logical grouping of one or more functionally identical application server processes. A cluster provides ease of deployment, scalability, workload balancing, and failover redundancy. A cluster is a collection of servers working together as a single system to ensure that mission-critical applications and resources remain available to clients.

Cluster member

An instance of a WebSphere Application Server within a cluster.

Deployment manager

The administrative process used to provide a centralized management view and control for all elements in a WebSphere Application Server distributed cell, including the management of clusters. The deployment manager is responsible for the contents of the repositories on each of the nodes. The deployment manager manages this through communication with node agent processes on each node of the cell. Typically, the Sametime System Console is used as the deployment manager for WebSphere servers within a Sametime deployment.


The process of combining items so that they can be represented as a single item; for example, when searching. Federated repositories enable you to use multiple repositories with WebSphere® Application Server. These repositories, which can be file-based repositories, LDAP repositories, or a sub-tree of an LDAP repository, are defined and theoretically combined under a single realm. Using federated LDAP directories with Sametime enables you to maintain multiple physical directories while allowing users registered in any directory to log in to Sametime.


A node is a logical group of one or more application servers on a physical computer. The node name is unique within the cell. A node name usually is identical to the hostname for the computer. That is, a node usually corresponds to a physical computer system with a distinct IP address.

Node agent

A node agent manages all managed processes on a WebSphere Application Server on a node by communicating with the Network Deployment Manager to coordinate and synchronize the configuration. A node agent performs management operations on behalf of the Network Deployment Manager. The node agent represents the node in the management cell. Node agents are installed with WebSphere Application Server base but are not required until the node is added to a cell in a Network Deployment environment.


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