February 3, 2014 | Written by: Chris Rosen
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I am the team lead for the internal private cloud providing services working to test, develop and support engineers within Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure (formerly Tivoli Software), a division within IBM Software Group. One of the biggest challenges our IT organization faced was improving the efficiency of our test, development and support engineers. Continue reading to learn how we accomplished this.
The deployment of IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator (SCO) represented the end of enterprise virtualization and beginning of dynamic cloud. This transformation provided five time saving and efficiency gaining benefits.
1. Script packages
The script packages’ functionality within SCO allows the test, development and support users to create a software deployment or configuration package one time and then share that across the business. Automating every aspect of their daily jobs is an enormous benefit of the SCO-based cloud. The centralized sharing method also eliminates past problems with duplicates and reduces efforts from the various teams creating solutions without a mechanism to share them.
2. Virtual system patterns (VSPs)
VSPs enable users to create and share configurations that can be as simple as a single virtual machine or a very complex and integrated solution with several products. One team has a VSP comprised of 17 images and 11 IBM products. New product builds can then be easily integrated into the pattern. Additionally, users that may not have the product knowledge to install and configure a given product can leverage the existing VSP.
3. Self-service portal
SCO incorporates Business Process Manager and the self-service portal for the users that do not have a need or time to understand the complexities of script packages, virtual system patterns and virtual images. By leveraging the simplified point and click self-service portal, these users have access to patterns of software solutions while abstracting the complexity of those products, allowing them to plug their product into the solution for an integration verification test environment.
4. Clone environments
SCO enables the user to deploy a clone of one of their existing VMs. These replicas then enable them to run parallel test cases with a variety of input data to compare and validate their results.
5. Virtual machine administration decreased
Due to the dynamic nature of the SCO-based cloud environment, users have less stringent security requirements and therefore spend less time with maintenance when a VM will only live for a short duration. Additionally, in an enterprise virtualization environment, the user invested significant time to get a set of VMs installed and configured which decreased the likelihood they would give the resources back to the pool. With the technical capabilities listed above provided by SCO, users can have a new, complex environment much faster.
Which of the top five takeaways are most relevant to your business? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below, or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisRosen188.