This article details an actual pilot implementation project of a private cloud deployment model recently completed by the IBM® Global Delivery team. The initiative was accomplished by leveraging an IBM hardware and software stack, the software in this case is Tivoli®, as part of the strategic roadmap. The goal of this article (designed for IT specialists, architects, and technical team leaders) is to provide a reference guide for any cloud-related engagement. I think you'll find information in this article that is useful to all levels of experience — from beginners to advanced professionals.
This article assumes you have knowledge of basic cloud computing concepts and operations; you should also be familiar with AIX®, Power®VM, and virtualization concepts. You do not need extensive knowledge of WebSphere®, DB2®, or Tivoli products, but I do mention the use of those products in this article.
Topics covered include:
- Installing, configuring the components: Server environments, cloud software, post-installation activities.
- Special features of the software we installed.
Installing and configuring the components
IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TSAM) is central to this project; it is an offering built on multiple IBM products like WebSphere Application Server, IBM Directory Server, IBM HTTP Server, a DB2 database, and Tivoli Provisioning Manager. From a packaging perspective Tivoli Service Automation Manager has multiple packages or deployment units which need to be deployed on multiple nodes based on the operation environment.
The installation and configuration process of Tivoli Service Automation Manager is divided into segments. This approach provides a methodical way to deal with the complexity of the product install and configuration steps:
- Prepare the AIX management server environment.
- Prepare the Linux administrative server environment.
- Install the cloud software.
- Perform some post-installation activities.
Prepare the AIX management server environment
This is a pre-install phase which requires that all the OS-level settings are set as required by the Tivoli Service Automation Manager and Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM). In addition, certain OS-level packages and generic utilities (like bash, GNU tar, Perl, etc.) are also required prior to installation. Most of the required open source packages can be found in the IBM AIX Toolbox download page. This is also the time to verify that all the required cloud software installation source files with their fixpacks are properly unpacked and available in their correct directory location.
Prepare the Linux administrative server environment
The administrative server does not require as much preparation as the management server; however ensure that you have the correct installation components meant for Linux, unpacked and available in their directories. Also update the /etc/hosts file with the required settings at this stage.
Please note the following:
- A similar setup needs to be completed before the actual installation starts if your configuration has Linux as the management server and Windows or AIX as the administrative server. The Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide covers such scenarios.
- Please follow the detailed instructions in the Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide for completing these pre-installation phases.
- Ensure that you have a virtual network computing (VNC) tool meant for GUI access on AIX and Linux installed on both the administrative and management environments. The VNC software for AIX and Linux is available at the AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications page.
- The web browser that Tivoli Service Automation Manager supports is Mozilla. The latest version of this web browser needs to be installed and functional on both the administrative and management servers.
- Ensure that you have given recursive read-write-execute permission to the various installation binaries before starting the installation:
chmod -R 777 <TSAM_binaries>.
Install the cloud software
Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation is GUI based and the installation launch pad which comes along with the product takes you through the entire installation process. At this stage, though, before proceeding any further with the product installation, I recommend you make backup copies of both the administrative and management servers. This way, in case you run into problems during the installation from which you cannot recover, you have the option to restore the original configured copies.
After backup, continue the installation procedure following the instructions given in the Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide. The installation process involves both the administrative and the management server and you will need to switch back and forth between the two.
A pre-install verification script is packaged with the Tivoli Service Automation Manager product offering. As Tivoli Service Automation Manager has dependencies on many base application packages with specific versions, the script is designed with the objective to check the preparedness of the environment from the dependency management perspective.
The following table shows what software components need to be installed on which environment:
|Admin server||Management server|
|Install license||Install license|
|Install base services|
|Install TPM core components|
|Install TPM web components|
|Install SRM 7.1 base product|
|Install SRM fixpack 4|
|Install TSAM PMP|
|Install TSAM enablement keys|
|Install Image library|
|Install configuration files|
|Install Automation packages|
|Optional: Install TSAM WAS PMP|
|PMP maintenance (if required)|
The Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide details the steps which need to be followed.
On the administrative server, Tivoli Service Automation Manager launch pad is invoked as :
<your installation directory>\TSAMBASE7200\launchpad.exe (for Windows) <your installation directory>/TSAMBASE7200/launchpad.sh (for SLES10)
On the management server, Tivoli Service Automation Manager launch pad is invoked as:
<your installation directory>/TSAMBASE7200/launchpad.sh
Some tips that can help you here:
- You can unpack or mount the installation binaries anywhere on your system; there's no special location needed.
- In the Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation GUI, if you Ctrl-click anywhere in the blue bar at the top, a trace window opens up at the bottom of the page which logs the progress of the installation. Here you can see the various messages and their time stamps. You can save or even print these log messages.
- There is a script within the Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation source file, called tsam_middleware.sh that starts up the middleware (for instance, DB2). You can adapt and use this script on your own if you want.
- The Tivoli Service Automation Manager pre-installation verification process actually utilizes the following scripts which can be found in the installation source package:
After the installation is complete, the following post installation tasks need to be done:
- Set up email server and email clients for all users that need to be notified when the cloud infrastructure becomes operational.
- Set up data configuration tasks in Tivoli Service Automation Manager.
- Configure Tivoli Service Automation Manager components.
- Set up the Tivoli Service Automation Manager self-service environment.
Certain simple connectivity tests should be performed to verify the integrated installation as detailed in the guide.
Some tips that can help you here:
- At various stages during the installation process, the installation guide will ask you to make a backup of the management and/or administration servers. Although this is not mandatory, it is advisable to restore the backup images onto a separate machine and carry out few sanity tests to verify the sanctity of the backup images.
- Ensure that DB2, WebSphere Administrative Server, LDAP, and Tivoli Provisioning Manager processes are brought down before you make a backup of the management environment.
Before you can start using the cloud setup, you still need to configure Tivoli Service Automation Manager for the selected hypervisor (PowerVM) so that it can provide the self-service provisioning in a virtualized environment. This is where you also create various software stacks which you intend to offer to end users (like AIX, WebSphere® Application Server, Portal) through mksysb image objects and make them available for Tivoli Service Automation Manager to deploy. The basic configuration process consists of the following phases:
- Customize the hypervisor environment.
- Hypervisor configuration in Tivoli Service Automation Manager environment.
- Prepare OS image templates to be used by Tivoli Service Automation Manager.
Detailed instructions on this configuration are provided in the installation guide.
It is important to note:
- Do not configure the LPARs in the managed environment. LPARs will be created and configured by Tivoli Service Automation Manager dynamically when a provisioning request comes in from the end user.
- Get a set of hostname and IP addresses beforehand; the ones which would be used for the LPARS created dynamically by Tivoli Service Automation Manager in the managed environment.
This completes the configuration; now you're ready to login to the self-service portal which gives you direct access to the various offerings. This is the basic cloud infrastructure in place; now it's time to provision the server images that were initially planned in the service catalog.
The Tivoli Service Automation Manager user guide is the best resource to get familiar and start using the various services that are offered through the cloud self-service portal. The default user-access required to login to the portal is mentioned in the installation guide.
Some special features of the components
Now that the basic setup is complete, let's look closer at other features. Tivoli Service Automation Manager can be integrated with other Tivoli products like IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) and IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (ITUAM). In our environment, Tivoli Monitoring and Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager were installed on separate Series P LPARS (Figure 1, Part 1) using the respective product installation guide. The Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide was followed to set up the configuration so that Tivoli Service Automation Manager can deploy the Tivoli Monitoring agent on the provisioned virtual images. Once configured, it would be possible for a user to monitor the resource utilization of the provisioned images through Tivoli Monitoring console.
Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager is used for realizing the cloud pay-as-you-go model. It enables metering and generates invoices/reports for cloud end users.
The primary method for input into Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager is the Common Source Resource (CSR) file that contains key pieces of cloud usage data. To use Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, Tivoli Service Automation Manager needs to be configured so that it can generate the appropriate CSR files required for Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager. After metering is enabled in Tivoli Service Automation Manager, the next step is to configure Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager so that it can retrieve and process the CSR files that it receives from Tivoli Service Automation Manager. The Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation guide has the details for these tasks.
Some other points about Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager:
- What is metered? Server hours (the time a server is allocated to a project, in h for hours). CPU hours (the time one or more CPUs are allocated to a server, also in h). Memory hours (the time xMBs of memory are allocated to a server, in MB/h).
- Accounting information for projects can be defined for teams.
- Collection of metering data can be activated or deactivated by customer.
- If activated, an ITUAM-consumable CSR file is automatically generated once a day with metering data from the previous day.
- Pre-defined set of metrics to be used in Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager: SRVHRS, CPUHRS, MEMMBHRS.
- Pre-defined set of identifiers that can be used in Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager for accounting (server name, project, team requesting the project/server name, department being charged).
- Loose coupling (no metrics and prices are visible in the self-service user interface).
Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager generates the following types of reports:
- Account reports
- Top usage reports
- Variance reports
- Resource details
- Custom reports
To view the various invoices and reports generated by Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, you would need to install a reporting server. You can use the Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Report Viewer and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows environment; for Linux/UNIX® environments you need to use Business Intelligence Reporting Tools (an open source Eclipse-based reporting system).
Figure 1. An overview of the ITUAM and TSAM user interfaces
In this article, I provided the background planning concepts for a real-world project implementation to build an on-premise IaaS/PaaS cloud, including
- The overall steps in the installation and configuration processes (the individual details are to be found in the installation/configuration guides of the software components you choose). This includes preparing the management and administration servers, configuring the cloud software and attending to post-installation activities.
- Integrating Tivoli Service Automation Manager with other Tivoli products to increase productivity (such as Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager to provide monitoring/billing services).
In the Part 3, I cover using your cloud — provisioning, testing, and workarounds.
I would like to express my gratitude to the following members of my team who were involved in this engagement and directly or indirectly provided inputs to this article: Biswajit Mohapatra, Debasis R. Choudhuri, Santhosh Vandyil, Birla P. Raj.
I would also like to thank the India Cloud Lab team and the IBM Software Group, Poland and Germany, for their valuable guidance during this engagement.
Credit for Figure 1 goes to IBM India Software Group.
- For Tivoli Service Automation Manager, product manuals, installation guides, and other documentation are available in the IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager Documentation Center.
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