The general availability of IBM’s platform as a service (PaaS), IBM SmartCloud Application Services has just been announced! IBM SmartCloud Application Services (SCAS) provides end-to-end services for applications ranging from development to production. In addition, the newly-released version of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) 2.2, IBM’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS), allows users access to IBM SmartCloud Application Services within their SCE account.
IBM SmartCloud Application Services consists of five areas shown in the following figure.
In this first release of IBM SmartCloud Application Services, you will be able to activate two services which support the DevOps (development and operations) scenario.
The first service, IBM SmartCloud Application Collaborative Lifecycle Management Service (CLMS), provides tools to manage the development of your application from the requirement up to “go live.” It contains a ready-to-use environment which includes:
Rational Team Concert
Rational Requirement Composer
Rational Quality Manager
I say “ready to use” because the full setup is already done during the service activation – you simply create your project and users via the CLMS console. This can be completed in just a few minutes! There’s no need to be a Rational Geek to prepare this environment.
The second service, IBM SmartCloud Application Workload Service (SCAWS), allows users to deploy pattern-based topologies onto IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
This first release of SCAWS will contain the capability to create virtual systems and virtual application patterns. Basically, a virtual systems pattern is a topology design based on images and scripts – they are they opposite of virtual application patterns, which are based on a single gold image and software installation packages. On SCAWS, IBM provides a number of images and scripts for the virtual systems and a number of pattern-types for the virtual application patterns.
A pattern-type is like a toolbox of components that you can drag and drop to create your pattern. For example, in the “Web Application pattern-type” you will find an “Enterprise Application,” an LDAP, and DB components. Using a special editor (called Virtual Application Builder), you will design your own pattern to deploy.
SCAWS provides some nice features such as auto-resiliency, meaning if in a rare case a VM of your deployment crashes, SCAWS will automatically detect it and regenerate the VM.
The best feature, for me, is scalability. With scalability, SCAS demonstrates the true meaning of cloud because with this feature you are able to specify how, for example, an “Enterprise Application” must scale in/out. It is done by defining rules to automatically add/remove resources, based on metrics such as response time. This means you will only pay for what you need when you need it.
The last feature I would like to cover is portability. As IBM SmartCloud Application Workload Service, IBM Workload Deployer and the IBM PureApplication System are based on the same technology, a virtual application pattern can be ported from one environment to another and thus from public to private cloud, or private to public.
And don’t forget — if you don’t find a pattern-type that suits your needs, you can always create your own. This is because the SCAWS solution provides you with the necessary tooling to do so (more information).
John Espey, General Manager and VP of Services at CLD Partners said about SCAS: “The SCAS platform will allow developers to focus on areas they like and where they have the best added value — the development, rather than losing time on environment setup.”
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