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Building your cloud using IBM hardware and software (Part 2 of 3) – Implement

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Update: Read part 3 of this series.

Summary: Part 2 of the three-part blog series provides information about installing and configuring the cloud software components, postinstallation activities, and special features of the installed software.

See also Part 1.

Installing and configuring the components

IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager is central to this project; it is an offering built on multiple IBM products such as WebSphere Application Server, IBM Directory Server, IBM HTTP Server, a DB2 database, and Tivoli Provisioning Manager.

The installation and configuration process of Tivoli Service Automation Manager is divided into following segments:

  1. Prepare the AIX management server environment.
  2. Prepare the Linux administrative server environment.
  3. Install the cloud software.
  4. Perform several postinstallation activities.

Prepare the AIX management server environment

This preinstallation phase requires that all OS-level settings are set. In addition, certain OS-level packages and generic utilities (such as bash, GNU tar, Perl, and others) are also required prior to installation. Most of the required open source packages can be found in the IBM AIX Toolbox download page.

Prepare the Linux administrative server environment

The administrative server does not require as much preparation as the management server; basically, update the /etc/hosts file with the required settings at this stage.

Notes:  

  • Ensure that you have a virtual network computing (VNC) tool meant for GUI access on AIX and Linux installed on both the 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 must 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 that is included 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 installation guide. The installation process involves both the administrative and the management server; you will need to switch back and forth between the two.

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, the launch pad is invoked as:

<your installation directory>/TSAMBASE7200/launchpad.sh

Tips:

  • You can extract or mount the installation binaries anywhere on your system; no special location is 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 and logs the progress of the installation. Here is where you can see the various messages and their time stamps. You can save or even print these log messages.
  • A script (tsam_middleware.sh) within the installation source file starts the middleware (for instance, DB2). You can adapt and use this script on your own if you want.
  • The Tivoli Service Automation Manager preinstallation verification process actually uses the following scripts, which are located in the installation source package:
    • tsam_prereq_os_aix.sh
    • tsam_prereq_os_linux.sh
    • tsam_prereq_packages_aix.sh
    • tsam_prereq_packages_linux.sh

If the preinstallation verification process shows errors, you might want to look at these files to better understand and trace the error or warning messages.

Postinstallation activities

After the installation is complete, the following postinstallation tasks must be done:

  1. Set up email server and email clients for all users that need to be notified when the cloud infrastructure becomes operational.
  2. Set up data configuration tasks in Tivoli Service Automation Manager.
  3. Configure Tivoli Service Automation Manager components.
  4. Set up the Tivoli Service Automation Manager self-service environment.

Certain simple connectivity tests, as detailed in the guide, should be performed to verify the integrated installation.

Tips:

  • At various stages during the installation process, the installation guide asks you to make a backup of the management servers, administration servers, or both. Although backup is not mandatory, it is advisable to restore the backup images onto a separate machine and carry out several sanity tests to verify the sanctity of the backup images.
  • Ensure that DB2, WebSphere Administrative Server, LDAP, and Tivoli Provisioning Manager processes are stopped 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). At this time you also create various software stacks which you intend to offer to users (such as AIX, WebSphere Application Server, Portal) through mksysb image objects and make them available for Tivoli Service Automation Manager to deploy.

Notes:

  • 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 user.
  • Get a set of host name and IP addresses before postinstallation: those that 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 log in 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 become familiar and start using the various services that are offered through the cloud self-service portal. The default user access required to log in to the portal is mentioned in the installation guide.

Several 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 such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring and IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager. In our environment, Tivoli Monitoring and Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager were installed on separate System p LPARS 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. After configured, it would be possible for a user to monitor the resource utilization of the provisioned images through the 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. Tivoli Service Automation Manager must 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.

Several other points about Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager include:

  • Items that are metered include 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 that a number of megabytes 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, a Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager-consumable CSR file is automatically generated once a day with metering data from the previous day.
  • Predefined set of metrics to be used in Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager are SRVHRS; CPUHRS; and MEMMBHRS
  • Predefined set of identifiers that can be used in Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager for accounting can include server name, project, team that requests the project and server name, department being charged.
  • Loose coupling: No metrics and prices are visible in the self-service user interface.

Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager product generates the following types of reports:

  • Invoices
  • Account reports
  • Top usage reports
  • Variance reports
  • Trends
  • Resource details
  • Custom reports

To view the various invoices and reports you 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 and UNIX environments, use Business Intelligence Reporting Tools (an open source Eclipse-based reporting system).

The following figure shows an overview of the Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TSAM) and Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM).

There’s more

In this article, I provided the background planning concepts for a real-world project implementation to build an on-premise IaaS/PaaS cloud. In Part 3, I will cover how to use using your cloud for provisioning, testing, and workarounds.

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