Before you start
IBM® Rational® Software Architect is a powerful tool for software development, but the capabilities are not limited to that specific area. With its complete UML support and overall modelling abilities, it can be used in quite flexible ways:
- Free-form diagramming: The plethora of diagram options provides a complete foundation for free-form diagrams, as they are often used in non-software development scenarios. An IT architecture overview can easily be made by using a Deployment or Component model or even by mixing concepts from different models.
- Method artifacts: When following a specific methodology (Rational Unified Process or OpenUP, for example) there is often the need to create models and diagrams. Rational Software Architect can be used to good effect in producing them, either by itself or by using specific plug-ins that streamline the process and provide helpful templates.
- Modeling deployment topologies: This is a specific ability that recent versions make available and one that is different from the UML deployment model.
This tutorial focuses on the last point: deployment topologies. This feature can be used in many different ways. As an example, you could put aside all of the niceties regarding constraints, requirements, and capabilities and simply use it as another form of diagramming. This is true for most parts of Rational Software Architect, in that there is a superficial use that can be immediately productive and a more involved one that takes more time to learn but that has an even higher potential for productivity.
The deployment topologies are not UML (although they will use UML links if they are present and are integrated with existing UML diagrams), and they can represent a wide variety of computer systems in different levels of abstraction. It's quite intuitive, because it doesn't require the level of conceptual understanding that UML does. It uses well-known terms for well-known relationships among software, hardware, and other IT components. By default, Rational Software Architect comes with templates that cover many different software packages, hardware models, operating systems, and many other different units in different domains. But equally important, Rational Software Architect makes it possible to customize the existing units to your own needs.
This tutorial guides you through the process of developing a custom-made virtualization framework to use with modeling for the IBM® Power Systems™ platform with PowerVM technologies. Rational Software Architect has a rich deployment topology editor that contains explicit support for several virtualization technologies and, equally important, makes it easy to customize existing elements. Using PowerVM modeling as an example, you learn how to quickly modify generic units to adapt them to new scenarios.
This tutorial is broadly divided in three major steps:
- A quick introduction to physical deployment modeling, using discrete servers
- A hands-on overview of some of the existing virtualization technologies explicitly supported by Rational Software Architect
- The gradual development of PowerVM virtualization support by using the Rational Software Architect customization tools
Although the customization process is straight-forward, this tutorial assumes no prior experience with Rational Software Architect. Therefore, some emphasis is given to showing how deployment topologies are created and populated. By the time the customization process begins, the core concepts of topologies have already been demonstrated and it is a natural progression.
In this tutorial, you will learn about Rational Software Architect deployment topologies, how to model a physical infrastructure, and how to model different virtualization technologies. By the end of this tutorial, you will have successfully implemented support for PowerVM modeling and will have learned the fundamentals of customization that can be used in many other scenarios.
This tutorial is not based on any specific operating system. However, the examples use Linux, so any file system operation should be converted to the equivalent if some other operating system is used.
This tutorial requires no prior knowledge of modeling deployment topologies. Some familiarity with Rational Software Architect is helpful but it is not assumed.
The sole requirement of this tutorial is Rational Software Architect Version 8.0 (or later) with the Deployment Modeling capabilities enabled.