IBM SmartCloud Enterprise unleashed IV

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ibm smartcloud logoAbstract: This edition discusses the improved Red Hat Linux update service and elaborates some of the cloud ecosystem partner images. I also list new innovation center events, discuss the book “Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud” written by some of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise developers and experts, and detail the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group. Last, I focus on big data workloads and elaborate how everyone can now create platform services by using the Cloud Services Framework.


This is the fourth edition of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise unleashed series, find the previous posts here:

  • Unleashed I takes you through all the basics of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and details all valuable information resources.
  • Unleashed II is a deep dive into functional and technical use cases, utilizing the capabilities that IBM SmartCloud Enterprise offers.
  • Unleashed III goes into detail about how security is arranged within and around IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

What’s new

Enhanced Red Hat Linux update service

As detailed in an earlier notification email, IBM is excited to announce an enhanced Red Hat Linux update service for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. This new service uses new content distribution servers at each IBM SmartCloud site around the world, providing greater redundancy and reduced latency as compared to the previous Red Hat update system. The update service uses the “fastest mirror” plug-in for YUM, which will meter the latency to all the update servers and select the one with the shortest response time.

New images and software products

In the May newsletter the cloud ecosystem partner images were already mentioned. Here are some interesting examples of ecosystem images that offer very useful functionality and are ready to be provisioned right from the portal.

Asigra backup solution

Asigra Cloud Backup, the first enterprise-class cloud backup platform to protect the entire digital footprint (storage, servers, desktops, and laptops on the enterprise LAN as well as remote tablets, smartphones, and notebooks), provide data Recovery and Restore Assurance (R2A) for consumers, and establish new performance benchmarks.

AppZero application migration

The fastest and most flexible way to move server applications to and across any clouds or data center servers, without reengineering, reinstallation, or lock-in. AppZero makes complex Windows and Linux server applications moveable with the ease of an enterprise app store. Learn about training in the “IBM Innovation Center events” paragraph below.

A wealth of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise knowledge

IBM Innovation Center events

In the July newsletter the IBM Innovation Center was mentioned, offering a wide range of no-charge workshops, seminars, and briefings. Here’s an update of the coming events that can help you build technical skills, learn how to market and sell more effectively with IBM, and connect with other IBM Business Partners:

  • The Fastest PaaS to Cloud – SmartGuide and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
    Developing web and mobile applications is easy with the availability of new tools and platforms for cloud.  This session introduces Alphinat, a leader in Rapid Application Development PaaS tools that accelerate the development, deployment and maintenance of web and mobile applications in the cloud.
  • The enterprise answer for managing unstructured data
    This site details the possibilities and value of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise – object storage: 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years and 80% of that data is unstructured – data in the form of presentation files, email, audio and video files. Because of these trends, enterprises are looking for a public object storage offering that meets their unique requirements of security, visibility, and control.
  • Automate the migration of enterprise server applications to IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
    Moving existing server applications to any cloud takes heavy lifting. AppZero’s new zapp migration technology reduces that work significantly with automation for fast migration and redeployment of enterprise server applications to the cloud. The zapp tool extracts server applications that were “born in the data center” – without reengineering or reinstalling them. Join AppZero CEO Greg O’Connor and CTO Giovanni Boschi as they demonstrate how to extract a server application to run on IBM SmartCloud.

Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud

Interested in even more in-depth IBM SmartCloud Enterprise knowledge, all bundled in one? The book Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud is a great source! This is complete, practical guide to build and host cloud services that deliver exceptional business value. Key developers of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise share indispensable insights for developing and operating cloud-based solutions on any cloud platform. Drawing on their unsurpassed “in-the-trenches” experience, the authors help you develop the new mindset and skills needed to succeed in cloud environments, where development, business, and system operations are linked more tightly than ever.

Stay updated on everything IBM SmartCloud

Apart from the SmartCloud Enterprise SmartCloud newsletter, available in the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Asset Library, there is a wealth of additional information available in newsletters from IBM. Specifically interesting in relation to IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, the “Services Newsletter” and “developerWorks Weekly Edition” newsletters might be of interest to you. You can subscribe to these and other newsletters on the IBM eNewsletters Subscription Services web page.

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group

The IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group is a technical community composed of individuals who are interested in the application programming interfaces (APIs) of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise offering. The group includes customers, IBM Business Partners, independent software vendors, and IBM employees who share a common interest in understanding the APIs. The developers group covers how these APIs can be used to automate processes and build solutions that integrate with IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

The developers group holds virtual meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. During these meetings, subject matter experts present information that is related to the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise APIs. Past topics have included: accessing the REST API from a browser, using the RAM APIs, and uploading files to virtual machines during provisioning. Contact Alex Amies to receive an official calendar invitation for the developers group meetings, and get the latest schedule and conference call details. News about the group can be found on Alex’s blog.

Workloads on the cloud, big data, continued

Mentioned already in the May newsletter, big data is one of the major IT trends, so why not build part of your big data environment in the cloud? If you want to take it one step further, you can find developer and database administrator (DBA) resources, tutorials, and articles to help you grow your knowledge on big data technology and the IBM integrated big data platform on the developerWorks big data web page. I want to specifically mention the following sources:

  • Starting your education in big data
    Learn about current online courses that are available at BigDataUniversity. Follow the suggested path to get started and grow your knowledge on big data, and get ready to implement it to meet your own business needs.
  • Agile predictive analyses on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
    In this article, the author introduces the concepts of agile predictive analytics on the cloud, provides some information on Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML), and offers a real-world example of a tool that integrates these elements under a single control.
  • Get started with Hadoop-based data analytics on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
    The combination of cloud and Hadoop makes it possible to handle large amounts of structured and unstructured data. In this article, the author explains how to get started using Hadoop (in the form of InfoSphere BigInsights Basic) on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

The Cloud Services Framework (CSF)

Platform as a service (PaaS) services, like developer and operation (DevOps) tools and design patterns that implement ready-to-run workloads such as web server, application server and database server are emerging and are expected to have strategic growth for the coming years Gartner says. This type of services go beyond the infrastructure services (IaaS) by offering greater functionality off the shelf, which allows for easy configuration of automated scaling (elasticity) and reusable topologies.

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise also offers users the possibilities to design and create their own PaaS services, next to the ones that IBM has designed and made available in the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise portal. To create your own PaaS services, The Cloud Services Framework (CSF) provides an ecosystem on IBM SmartCloud that enables enterprise customers, IBM, and independent software vendors to deliver predefined and pre-integrated services with reduced development and management costs.

In this first of a four-part series of articles, learn how to create and register a mashup service in the Cloud Services Framework in IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. The authors show how to display the details of a service offering, dynamically update the displayed information, present data from third-party sources, and manage the service instance. Watch for follow-on articles in the series — they’ll show how to provision the service with multiple components and will illustrate a proxy VM with a load balancer and monitoring service.

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