June 11, 2019 By Prakash Rajendran 3 min read

It’s evident that a “one-cloud-fits-all” approach doesn’t always work, and the IBM Systems Lab Services team’s work on thousands of IBM client engagements demonstrates this. Organizations are now using multiple clouds and integrating them with existing IT systems to generate more value. To compete successfully in today’s dynamic era of multi-cloud, you need flexibility and choice to manage both traditional and emerging workloads, while transforming your IT to keep pace.

That’s why 84 percent of enterprises are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy, and organizations on average are using approximately five different clouds, according to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera.

Enterprise clients are looking for ways to modernize their traditional applications to cloud-native applications, but there are many good reasons why they still want to keep some of their workloads on virtual machines (VMs). This requires adopting hybrid architectures with VMs and containers, which brings additional challenges in provisioning and managing VMs and containers side-by-side.

Many enterprise clients are using IBM PowerVC to simplify the creation, deployment and maintenance of VMs running on IBM Power Systems, and some are looking at using IBM Cloud Private to modernize existing applications on IBM Power Systems. If you want to provision VM and container-based applications side-by-side from a single pane of glass, you should look at IBM Cloud Automation Manager.

IBM Cloud Automation Manager

IBM Cloud Automation Manager is a container-based application that runs on top of IBM Cloud Private and is available with the Cloud Native Edition of IBM Cloud Private. Cloud Automation Manager is a multi-cloud, self-service management and orchestration platform that helps infrastructure teams and developers do automated provisioning of VMs and cloud-native applications from a single management console. It also provides self-service access to cloud infrastructure and application services, to help you manage and govern workloads across multiple and hybrid clouds. And as is true with IBM Cloud Private in general, Cloud Automation Manager is built with the open source platform Terraform to help you avoid vendor lock-in, provide future extensibility and ensure investment protection.

Integration with PowerVC and IBM Cloud Private

IBM Cloud Automation Manager uses the OpenStack APIs in IBM PowerVC to provide seamless access to and control of Power virtualized infrastructure.

By integrating PowerVC with IBM Cloud Automation Manager, you can deploy existing VM-based workloads onto a private cloud infrastructure running on IBM Power Systems. By integrating IBM Cloud Private with Cloud Automation Manager, you can provision new cloud-native workloads as containers. Deployment of VMs and containers can be done either from the IBM Cloud Private catalog or Cloud Automation Manager, giving a single catalog view of mission-critical, more traditional, VM-based applications alongside your container-based applications like WebSphere Liberty.

Use case: Deploy database in VMs and WebSphere Liberty in containers on IBM Power Systems

Let’s look at a scenario in which a large Power Systems client was looking to deploy VM and container-based applications from a single management console. IBM Cloud Automation Manager has the built-in “Service Composer,” which helps organizations create hybrid workloads of containers and on-premises VMs with the click of a button. This simplicity comes in handy at the end of the DevOps toolchain, when environments need to be deployed on demand for development, testing, quality assurance and then production.

In Cloud Automation Manager, PowerVC can be added as one of the cloud connections to deploy VMs on the target Power cloud environment, and an IBM Cloud Private cluster can be added as another cloud connection to deploy the container-based applications.

Service Composer

With Service Composer in Cloud Automation Manager, a new service can be created by drag and drop of VM templates using OpenStack templates and/or Kubernetes Helm charts from IBM Cloud Private based on a decided sequence. Service Composer can also call REST APIs for third-party integration and send emails.

The following are high level steps for creating a Service Composer:

  • Drag Terraform templates, logic and integrations from the palette to the canvas to compose application service objects
  • Drag Helm Charts from IBM Cloud Private catalog to the flow
  • Save and publish composed service objects and order forms into service catalogs

The following image represents Service Composer creation:

Once the service is published, VM and container-based applications are deployed onto the respective cloud platforms. Also, the composed service is published to IBM Cloud Private catalog where administrators and developers can consume the service without having to log in to multiple tools.

Need support for IBM Cloud Private on Power Systems?

IBM Systems Lab Services offers a wide range of services to support clients’ public and private cloud and DevOps journeys. If you’re interested in talking to Lab Services or need more information on PowerVC or IBM Cloud Private on IBM Power Systems, contact us today.

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