To be a part of the smarter computing trend on today's smarter planet, your organization needs to be able to turn to the cloud to revamp your current business models — at the same time, you need to maintain the flexibility to manage an unprecedented rate of change.
In fact, many enterprises are already on the cloud in some capacity; some of the everyday Net sites you might use could be on the cloud transparently (short video on cloud).
The cloud computing sessions at the Pulse 2013 conference focus on IBM® SmartCloud Enterprise and IT optimization offerings, exploring how clients can successfully establish the right foundation of public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. It also features tracks on IT availability and performance, IT process optimization, big data and analytics, expert integrated systems, and storage management. Sessions feature best practices, case studies, and implementations from clients, IBM business partners and industry experts, all highlighting how these technologies help improve the economics of IT. This guide links you to existing developerWorks resources that support these tracks so you can expand the knowledge you learned at Pulse.
The ability to quickly transform a business requirement into a business service is fundamental to the success of today's organizations. Probably the best place to start with this topic is with this two-part knowledge path, "Cloud service management: Basic tasks and tools." This knowledg path introduces concepts and tasks on how to manage the delivery of cloud IT functions as services from within an on-premise, off-premise, or hybrid cloud environment. Activities include discovering the basics of cloud service management, learning basic tasks of cloud service management, exploring cloud service management from an IBM perspective, and exploring cloud service management with experts and tools.
The second part of this knowledg path, "Cloud service management: Explore major tasks," uncovers the major tasks to enable the delivery of cloud IT functions as services. It provides an introduction to the various major cloud services tasks, including configuration and change management, image life cycle management, service life cycle management, capacity and performance, storage, and security.
These two resources should provide an exhaustive start to the topic of cloud service management. To get started on a newer service topic, database as a service, you might also want to follow along in the introductory "Database in the cloud" which shows how database designers are adopting cloud computing concepts to offer databases as services.
There are also several groups of professionals that meet to discuss service management at developerWorks.
In operations, there's pressure to ensure high service availability and performance across critical applications and the network infrastructure. When it comes to cloud related performance management, developerWorks offers quite a few resources to bolster your knowledge:
- "Analyze and optimize cloud cluster performance" shows you how to use configurable parameters to monitor and tune the performance of a cloud Hadoop cluster.
- "Find provisioning performance bottlenecks in the cloud" details a provisioning performance test method you can use as a tool to determine where your provisioning performance may be lagging.
- "Craft a cloud performance metrics policy" introduces three proactive steps to ensure cloud performance: Monitoring, testing, and building a policy.
- "Compare performance of virtual agents with real ones" provides the performance results of running cloud agents on a virtual machine against those running on a "real" machine (and delivers some insights so you can make performance tweaks).
- "Evaluate ephemeral storage I/O performance" details an ephemeral storage input and output benchmark prototype constructed with vdbench. It explains why cache is an important element to enhance SmartCloud input/output performance.
- "Measure UI performance on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise" explains how to to establish an automated performance-measuring system and how the captured metrics are important to UI performance measurement.
- "Managing VMs with the Virtual Machine Manager" shows how to manage and monitor live VM performance.
It can be a struggle to process and extract insight from the mountains of information from log files, machine data, application, and performance data. For more on how to effectively do this, start with David Gillman's "Ten considerations for a cloud-based big data solution" which highlights 10 factors a company should consider when starting a big data project, even one that is considered a test.
For more on the topic of cloud, big data, and analytics, try these resources:
- "Deploy an OpenStack private cloud to a Hadoop MapReduce environment" delivers an understanding of the convergence of cloud computing, analytics, and big data technologies, as well as how to deploy them.
- "Cloud business analytics: Write your own dashboard" offers a simple look at the complex history of business analytics, illuminates the common points where both meet, explains the benefits that a cloud environment can bring to business analytics (and vice-versa), and gives you an example for writing your own cloud business analytics application.
- "Agile predictive analytics on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise" shows you how to tap into the future using past data patterns from your cloud.
- "Hadoop-based data analytics on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise" lets you explore setting up and configuring a a three-node cluster, Hadoop system on SmartCloud.
- "Enable mapping and geospatial analytics on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise" introduces GIS, geospatial analytics, and the Esri ArcGIS and Esri Maps application and how it deploys on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
- "Explore analytics in the cloud with Zoho Reports and XML" demonstrates how to leverage the power of cloud analytics using Zoho Reports, the Zoho API, and XML to add analytical capabilities to any application, either in the cloud or local.
- "Big data analysis with Hadoop MapReduce" introduces the Hadoop MapReduce programming model.
- "Solve cloud-related big data problems with MapReduce" demonstrates why cloud computing and MapReduce are helpful in solving big data problems.
The new delivery models of cloud computing can transform the client experience and the economics of service delivery, so it is a good idea to sift a list of best practices out of initial experiences with these models. A developerWorks specialty is to convert experience into best practices to perform IT tasks, so a multitude of resources deliver on that promise. In the cloud computing arena, developerWorks produced best practices on the following topics:
- Cloud-based asset-centric collaboration
- Develop SLAs for cloud computing
- Access control in multi-tenant cloud solutions
- Create solutions on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
- Architect applications in the IBM Cloud
- Building a cloud computing multi-tenancy architecture
- Accelerate web content delivery in the cloud
- Integrate applications in a cloud appliance
Resources that help you understand recovery technologies useful in cloud environments include:
- "Disaster recovery in a cloud environment" provides real-world steps you can take to build your own disaster-recovery template.
- "Provide efficient backup and recovery using an agentless method" proposes agentless backup as a technique to provide better cloud-oriented data recovery choices than the more traditional agent-based backup.
- "Recover data in IBM SmartCloud Enterprise" explores backup and restore options in the IBM cloud.
- "Recover inaccessible instances using QEMU" walks you through the steps to recover an inaccessible Linux instance, including how to capture a private image, copy it to persistent storage, use QEMU to boot the captured image or mount it using kpartx, fix the problem, and then import the image back into the cloud.
As for storage management:
- "Evaluate ephemeral storage I/O performance" details an ephemeral storage input and output benchmark prototype constructed with vdbench.
- "Provide efficient backup and recovery using an agentless method" proposes agentless backup as a technique to provide better cloud-oriented data recovery choices than the more traditional agent-based backup
- "Cloud computing and storage with OpenStack" details the storage architecture of the OpenStack cloud.
- "Anatomy of a cloud storage infrastructure" explains the key architectural attributes of cloud storage architectures, from data protection and integrity to security and storage optimization.
- "Understanding ephemeral storage" provides an understanding of how to assign ephemeral storage to your IBM SmartCloud instance.
- "Serve stored data on the cloud to mobile apps using visual search engines" details how an organization can use a visual search engine and cloud-based storage to automate business processes.
Yes, we're talking about DevOps, the collaboration between development and operations within an organization:
- "The Agile DevOps series" is a great introduction to the concept of integrated development and operations. Two more cloud-related resources from that series include:
- "Transient environments" explains how to create ephemeral environments that are terminated on a frequent basis, creating the illusion of infinite capacity to reduce environment scarcity.
- "Continuous software delivery in the cloud" details how a continuous delivery platform, a single point of management for the change delivery pipeline, works.
- Cloud-based asset-centric collaboration
- Learn more about cloud computing technologies at cloud computing on developerWorks.
- Follow developerWorks on Twitter.
- Watch developerWorks demos ranging from product installation and setup demos for beginners, to advanced functionality for experienced developers.
Get products and technologies
- Access IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
- Evaluate IBM products in the way that suits you best: Download a product trial, try a product online, use a product in a cloud environment, or spend a few hours in the SOA Sandbox learning how to implement Service Oriented Architecture efficiently.
- Get involved in the developerWorks community. Connect with other developerWorks users while exploring the developer-driven blogs, forums, groups, and wikis.
Kane Scarlett is a technology journalist/analyst with 20 years in the business, working for such publishers as National Geographic, Population Reference Bureau, Miller Freeman, and IDG, and managing, editing, and writing for such august journals as JavaWorld, LinuxWorld, and of course, developerWorks.