Build a private cloud with CloudBurst and TSAM

Integrate WebSphere CloudBurst and Tivoli Service Automation Manager to create heterogeneous private clouds

An organization must address a number of considerations when building a private cloud computing environment; specifically, it needs to take a holistic approach to private clouds that include creating, deploying, monitoring, and managing service construction and delivery. Both the IBM® Tivoli® Service Automation Manager (TSAM) and IBM WebSphere® CloudBurst Appliance equip users with these capabilities. In this article, the authors discuss why and how you can integrate Tivoli Service Automation Manager with WebSphere CloudBurst to deliver a private cloud.

Dustin Amrhein, Technical Evangelist, IBM

Author photoDustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for the WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, Dustin worked primarily on web services infrastructure and web services programming models. In addition, Dustin worked on the development of a RESTful services framework for Java runtimes. In his current role Dustin is a WebSphere Client Technical Professional.


developerWorks Professional author
        level

Marcin Malawski, Software Developer, Tivoli, IBM

Marcin is a software developer for IBM Tivoli where he works on Tivoli Service Automation Manager and other Tivoli software.



01 March 2011

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Organizations are increasingly turning to private cloud computing environments to combat rising cost, increasing complexity, and burgeoning management overhead in enterprise data centers. Private clouds build on automation, virtualization, and standardization to attack many of the inefficiencies enterprises encounter within their current environments.

Introducing the tools

The Tivoli Service Automation Manager [Learn | Software] and WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance [Learn | Software] are private cloud management offerings that enable the cohesive approach necessary when building a cloud environment.

It is important to note that the two are not competing products, but instead are complementary in nature. Primarily they differ on their degree of specialization:

  • WebSphere CloudBurst focuses on addressing WebSphere workloads.
  • Tivoli Service Automation Manager provides standard management capabilities to a broad range of workloads.

You must consider the needs of your private cloud environment when deciding on whether WebSphere CloudBurst or Tivoli Service Automation Manager is appropriate for your cloud needs. It doesn't have to be an either/or decision — there are indeed usage scenarios where you will benefit from an integrated solution of both Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst.

[More on TSAM in article | More on CloudBurst in article]

But it doesn't happen by luck; selecting the right management components for your cloud is critical to achieve a satisfactory return on your investment and to avoid simply shifting costs around. Effective cloud management components provide you with a cohesive approach for creating, deploying, monitoring, and managing the services you can deliver in your cloud. Any solution that doesn't address each of these concerns for a cloud environment will fall short in providing for your cloud requirements and result in a patchwork approach that does little to reduce the complexity inherent in so many of the enterprise environments you encounter today.

The focus of this article is on an integrated approach to private cloud management using Tivoli® Service Automation Manager (TSAM) and WebSphere® CloudBurst. This article provides a brief overview of the integration architecture, a discussion on usage scenarios where the integrated approach is applicable, and a systematic walkthrough of setting up and leveraging the integration.

For administrators and planners looking to build a private cloud computing environment, Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst offer several distinct benefits:

  • Tivoli Service Automation Manager equips users with the tools to drive high degrees of standardization and automation in their cloud environment, thereby enabling rapid provisioning for a wide breadth of workloads. In addition, Tivoli Service Automation Manager provides an integrated management and monitoring platform that decreases operating costs for your private cloud.
  • WebSphere CloudBurst allows users to create, deploy, and manage customized WebSphere-based application environments in a private cloud. The patterns-based approach taken by the appliance allows rapid, consistent provisioning of middleware application environments.
  • The integration of the two products means users get the breadth of service delivery and management capability provided by Tivoli Service Automation Manager, while still benefiting from the depth of WebSphere capability provided by WebSphere CloudBurst. Further, the integrated solution delivers a unified interface, Tivoli Service Automation Manager, from which users can deploy and manage their cloud-based environments.

Let's jump right into an overview of integration.

Integration overview

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WebSphere CloudBurst provides complementary value to users of Tivoli Service Automation Manager by exposing its patterns as service offerings in the Tivoli Service Automation Manager console. In this way, you can directly deploy WebSphere CloudBurst patterns from the Tivoli Service Automation Manager web interface.

In turn, this lets you benefit from the value provided by WebSphere CloudBurst and its patterns, namely rapid provisioning, consistent configurations, and inherent product knowledge for WebSphere workloads without the need to switch between multiple service management portals.

Figure 1 provides a depiction of the integration of the two offerings.

Figure 1. Tivoli Service Automation Manger and WebSphere CloudBurst integration
Tivoli Service Automation Manger and WebSphere CloudBurst integration

As depicted in Figure 1, when combining the two products, Tivoli Service Automation Manager becomes the top-level management device for your private cloud. In this sense, Tivoli Service Automation Manager exposes both patterns from a specified WebSphere CloudBurst device and service offerings defined in its own catalog from within a single management portal. You can select, configure, and request the deployment of any of the WebSphere CloudBurst patterns or other service offerings from a single web interface.

When you request a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern deployment via the Tivoli Service Automation Manager portal, Tivoli Service Automation Manager communicates with the appliance in order to drive the deployment of the requested pattern from the appliance's repository to the private cloud.

In the sample scenario to follow, we will provide more details on the technical aspects of the integration, but before that, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding this integrated solution:

  • Tivoli Service Automation Manager interacts with WebSphere CloudBurst through a well-defined interface. Any WebSphere CloudBurst capability exposed by Tivoli Service Automation Manager derives from its usage of the appliance's REST APIs. In this way, the coupling is loose and inter-product dependencies are limited to publicly documented and supported interfaces. Additionally, this means that WebSphere CloudBurst behaves as it would if you were to use it directly, meaning, among other things, that you still benefit from the appliance's intelligent placement algorithm for virtual systems.
  • Tivoli Service Automation Manager enables other solutions to be integrated. Tivoli Service Automation Manager is a prominent part of other IBM® cloud offerings including IBM CloudBurst and IBM Service Delivery Manager. Because of that, you can integrate WebSphere CloudBurst and IBM CloudBurst, as well as WebSphere CloudBurst and IBM Service Delivery Manager, in the same way that you integrate it with Tivoli Service Automation Manager.
  • Tivoli Service Automation Manager exposes a subset of WebSphere CloudBurst capability in its management portal. From the Tivoli Service Automation Manager interface, you can request a deployment of a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern and remove the virtual system when you desire. You still interact directly with WebSphere CloudBurst to define your private cloud, creating custom images and patterns, manage resource access, and more.
  • All Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst capabilities remain the same. When integrating Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst, the integration in no way restricts the capabilities of either of the products. Rather, the integration sets the stage for you to take a unified approach to managing a cloud consisting of heterogeneous services.

As promised earlier, we provide a deeper dive into how you go about integrating the two solutions. However, before we pop open the hood, let's discuss different scenarios in which Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst deliver something of value to your efforts.


Knowing when to integrate

What is Tivoli Service Automation Manager?

The Tivoli Service Automation Manager provides you with the capability to request, deploy, manage, and monitor cloud services from a single management interface. Regardless of which type of cloud service or software components constitute the service, you can use Tivoli Service Automation Manager to standardize and automate the delivery of the environment to your cloud. Once delivered, Tivoli Service Automation Manager builds on existing IT infrastructure to provide insight into the full life cycle of the cloud-based service.

In general, knowing when to integrate Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst is about identifying situations where one offering can provide complementary value to the other. While we cannot enumerate every possible scenario, we can identify a couple of common integration scenarios based on user needs:

  • When there is a need for unified management of private clouds that include WebSphere.
  • When you need to add request workflow capabilities to WebSphere CloudBurst.

Unified management of WebSphere-oriented private clouds

One of the steps in formulating an organizational plan for cloud computing is identifying which services you want to deliver via the cloud. Consider this in the context of delivering application environments in a private cloud.

In mapping out your end-user requirements, you will likely find that you need to deliver a diverse set of such environments. Some users may require application platforms built on IBM software such as WebSphere while others may require non-IBM software for their applications.

What is WebSphere CloudBurst?

The WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance is a cloud management device, purpose-built for WebSphere application environments. It builds on special virtual images, such as the WebSphere Application Sever Hypervisor Edition, and allows users to create patterns that represent their target application environment. These patterns encapsulate the application infrastructure nodes and configuration necessary for the environment; you can use WebSphere CloudBurst to deploy them into your private cloud. Once deployed, WebSphere CloudBurst provides management and monitoring capabilities that give you necessary controls over your running application environments.

In this scenario, the combination of WebSphere CloudBurst and Tivoli Service Automation Manager allows you to address this diverse set of requirements. Tivoli Service Automation Manager delivers the flexibility necessary to create and deploy application environments based on any kind of software, including non-IBM products. WebSphere CloudBurst delivers purpose-built capabilities for application environments based on IBM software, thereby eliminating a significant effort in installation, configuration, integration, and orchestration scripting for those workloads.

Of course, integrating the two products to create heterogeneous private clouds extends beyond delivering multiple types of application platforms in the cloud. Tivoli Service Automation Manager enables the provisioning and management of a wide array of cloud-based services including operating systems, application platforms, and end-user applications. You can integrate WebSphere CloudBurst to enhance the time to value for delivering WebSphere environments regardless of what other services you deliver through Tivoli Service Automation Manager. Further, integrating the offerings allows you to unify management of your cloud services using the Tivoli Service Automation Manager web interface.

Adding request workflow capabilities to WebSphere CloudBurst

WebSphere CloudBurst provides both permission and fine-grained access controls that together help to govern which users can take which actions on which resources. As an administrator, you can use permission controls to define users that have access to deploy WebSphere CloudBurst patterns to the cloud. You can use fine-grained access controls to define exactly which patterns they have access to deploy. In many cases, these two levels of control enable efficient resource governance for pattern deployments.

There are some scenarios though where this approach does not provide the necessary deployment governance. In these cases, organizations require further control to the governance level needed to approve each pattern deployment request.

In other words, the organization needs to layer on request workflow capabilities for WebSphere CloudBurst pattern deployments. When you integrate WebSphere CloudBurst and Tivoli Service Automation Manager, WebSphere CloudBurst patterns are essentially service offerings in the Tivoli Service Automation Manager catalog. This means that when a user selects a pattern and requests deployment, it goes through the same request approval workflow as all other Tivoli Service Automation Manager service requests. This allows you to add a layer of organizational governance to your WebSphere CloudBurst pattern deployment process that goes beyond permission and fine-grained access controls.

These are just two common scenarios where you should look to leverage the combined WebSphere CloudBurst and Tivoli Service Automation Manager solution. Now let's shift away from common usage scenarios and look at a step-by-step example for setting up and exploiting the integration.


Integration and deployment, close up

Now let's take a close-up look at how you go about setting up the Tivoli Service Automation Manager/WebSphere CloudBurst integration. You'll see a sample usage of the integration and a look at the following actions:

  1. Defining WebSphere CloudBurst as a provisioning computer.
  2. Running the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance discovery process in Tivoli Provisioning Manager.
  3. Connecting virtual server templates with software templates.
  4. Deploying a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from Tivoli Service Automation Manager.

Defining WebSphere CloudBurst as a provisioning computer

The first step in integrating Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst is to define the appliance as a provisioning computer. In order to do this, you need to navigate to the Maximo user interface in a web browser by opening the http://<hostname>/maximo URL. Once opened, define the appliance as a provisioning computer by following these steps:

  1. Select Go To > IT Infrastructure > Provisioning Inventory > Provisioning Computers.
  2. Click Add Computer.
  3. Set the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance host name, for example, wcahostname.ibm.com, and then click Save.
Figure 2. Defining the provisioning computer
Defining the provisioning computer

After you define the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance, you need to configure a network interface for the device in order to establish a communication channel between Tivoli Service Automation Manager and the appliance. You can do this from the provisioning computers page by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Hardware tab.
  2. Open the New NIC Resource tab.
  3. Go to the Network Interface tab.
  4. Click on New Network Interface.
  5. Set the network interface name, for example, WCA Network Interface.
  6. Set the IP address for this interface to the IP address of the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.
  7. Select the Management check box and click Save.
Figure 3. Defining the network interface for WebSphere CloudBurst
Defining the network interface for WebSphere CloudBurst

Finally, you need to define credentials that Tivoli Service Automation Manager can use in order to authenticate its communication with the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. To provide the necessary credentials:

  1. Click on the Credentials tab.
  2. Click Add Credentials.
  3. Select New Service Access Point.
  4. Set the Service Access Point name to WCA HTTPS.
  5. Open Protocol Type list and select Network protocol IP.
  6. Open Application Protocol and select HTTP Secure Access.
  7. Set the port number (the default port is 443).
  8. Click New Password Credential.
  9. Set Search Key as master.
  10. Set the User Name to the value of an administrative user on the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.
  11. Set the appropriate password and click Save to confirm.
  12. Select the Default Credential check box and click Save.
Figure 4. Defining WebSphere CloudBurst credentials in TSAM
Defining WebSphere CloudBurst credentials in TSAM

This is all you need to do to define the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance as a provisioning computer and ensure that Tivoli Service Automation Manager can securely communicate with the appliance. Now you need to run a Tivoli Provisioning Manager discovery process for the appliance.

Running the WebSphere CloudBurst discovery process in Tivoli Provisioning Manager

In order for Tivoli Provisioning Manager to have the necessary information regarding the hardware configuration of WebSphere CloudBurst as well as the repository of deployable patterns, you need to run a WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance discovery process in Tivoli Provisioning Manager. The Tivoli Provisioning Manager product ships with this discovery process. To invoke the discovery process:

  1. Open Go To > Discovery > Provisioning Discovery > Discovery Configurations.
  2. Find the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance Discovery (using the search field) and open it.
  3. Click Run Discovery.
  4. Click Computers and select the device representing WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance in your environment.
  5. Click OK and then Submit to begin the discovery process.
Figure 5. Running the WebSphere CloudBurst discovery process
Running the WebSphere CloudBurst discovery process

The discovery process can take a few minutes to complete. Once it does, you can finish up by defining the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance a new image repository in Tivoli Provisioning Manager by doing the following:

  1. Open Go To > IT Infrastructure > Image Library > Image Repositories.
  2. Select wcahostname.ibm.com, add a repository location, and click the New Repository Location button.
  3. In the New Repository Location tab set the following attribute values:
    1. Directory: WCA Directory.
    2. Computer: wcahostname.ibm.com.
  4. Click OK and then Save.
Figure 6. Defining WebSphere CloudBurst as an image repository
Defining WebSphere CloudBurst as an image repository

Now the discovery process is complete and you define the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance as a new image repository. The last step before you can provision a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from Tivoli Service Automation Manager is to connect virtual server templates with software templates in Tivoli Provisioning Manager.

Connecting virtual server templates with software templates

Before you can successfully provision a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from Tivoli Service Automation Manager, connect virtual server templates with software templates in Tivoli Provisioning Manager:

  1. Open Go To > IT Infrastructure > Provisioning Inventory > Virtual Server Template.
  2. To connect each of the virtual server templates with software templates:
    1. Click on the template.
    2. In the Virtual Server Template click Select Value next to the Software Stack field.
    3. Set the software stack to the name that corresponds with the name of the template.
    4. Click Save to save your changes.
Figure 7. Connecting virtual server and software templates
Connecting virtual server and software templates

Now you are ready to provision WebSphere CloudBurst patterns from Tivoli Service Automation Manager.

Deploying a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from TSAM

Now that you completed the following:

  • Defined WebSphere CloudBurst as a provisioning computer
  • Ran the discovery process within Tivoli Provisioning Manager
  • Connected the virtual server templates with software templates

To successfully deploy a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from Tivoli Service Automation Manager:

  1. Login to the Tivoli Service Automation Manager web interface and navigate to Home > Request a New Service > Virtual Server Management as shown in Figure 8.
    Figure 8. Virtual server management page
    Virtual server management page
  2. On the Virtual Server Management page, click on the Create Project with a WebSphere CloudBurst Pattern icon in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  3. Enter a name and description for your new project.
  4. Select a team that you want to grant access to.
  5. Configure the start and end dates for the new project.

    These dates set the lifespan for the WebSphere CloudBurst virtual system that result from the pattern deployment. Note that you can select Indefinite for the end date, which allows the virtual system to run until an administrator manually removes it. Figure 9 shows the Tivoli Service Automation Manager project configuration panel.

    Figure 9. Configuring the TSAM project
    Configuring the TSAM project
  6. Select a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from the list in the project configuration panel.
  7. Select the WebSphere CloudBurst cloud group to which you want to deploy the pattern. Cloud groups represent collections of hypervisor hosts; you define them within WebSphere CloudBurst.

    With the pattern and cloud group selected, all you need to do is configure the parts within the pattern for deployment. The required configuration parameters depend on the pattern you selected, and they are the same as if you were deploying directly through WebSphere CloudBurst. Figure 10 shows an example of the part configuration for a WebSphere Application Server Standalone server part in a pattern.

    Figure 10. Part configuration for a standalone server part
    Part configuration for a standalone server part
  8. After supplying the required configuration parameters, click OK to submit the service request. The request is subject to the normal request workflow approval process you defined within Tivoli Service Automation Manager.

Once the service request receives the required approvals, the deployment process can begin. If you indicated that the fulfillment should be immediate, the deployment process begins directly after the approval. If you selected a start date for a time in the future, the deployment process will begin at the specified time.

To fulfill the deployment, Tivoli Service Automation Manager communicates with WebSphere CloudBurst to convey information about the requested deployment. This includes the target cloud group, the pattern to deploy, and the configuration data for the deployment.

From that point, WebSphere CloudBurst takes over the deployment process and uses its intelligent placement approach to determine what machines in the cloud will host each part in the pattern. If there is not enough cloud resource to host the requested pattern, WebSphere CloudBurst will decline the deployment per its usual process. In this case, Tivoli Service Automation Manager receives information about the failure and conveys information that in its web interface.

On the other hand, if there is enough cloud resource to support the pattern, WebSphere CloudBurst creates the necessary virtual machines, assigns IP addresses and hostnames, starts up the virtual machines and software components (such as WebSphere Application Server), and runs any scripts you included in the pattern. When the deployment completes, you will see the successful startup of your virtual system in the Tivoli Service Automation Manager web interface as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11. Successful virtual system in TSAM console
Successful virtual system in TSAM console

You can also log into the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance, navigate to the Virtual Systems page, and see the successfully deployed virtual system there as well.


In conclusion

Congratulations! You successfully integrated WebSphere CloudBurst and the Tivoli Service Automation Manager. As a quick review, you started by defining WebSphere CloudBurst as a provisioning computer in Tivoli Provisioning Manager, proceeded to run a discovery process to discover WebSphere CloudBurst resources, connected virtual server templates to software templates, and finally you deployed a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern from the Tivoli Service Automation Manager web interface.

When you begin the journey of building a private cloud environment, an effective and comprehensive approach to cloud management is a must. Both Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst deliver exceptional cloud management capabilities and they are not mutually exclusive solutions.

Rather, you can integrate the two solutions (as you've seen here) to enable a comprehensive, encompassing cloud management approach. The combination of Tivoli Service Automation Manager and WebSphere CloudBurst delivers a cloud management solution unparalleled in terms of both the breadth and depth of capabilities in managing cloud services.

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ArticleTitle=Build a private cloud with CloudBurst and TSAM
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