Five benefits of deploying IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator 2.3

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Since I deployed the first release of IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator 2.2 (SCO 2.2), my users have experienced significant productivity gains. (For more information on this, see my previous blog post: Five benefits of deploying IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator 2.2). With IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator 2.3 (SCO 2.3), available as of Nov. 15, 2013, there are several enhancements that you can look forward to. Here are my top five:

  1. Power support

SCO 2.3SCO 2.3 will now incorporate the AIX and pLinux operating systems into the service offering catalog.  Previously I could provide AIX through Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TSAM), but could not automatically deploy pLinux.  Additionally, this was infrastructure as a service (IaaS) whereas now deploying through SCO, the AIX and pLinux operating systems can leverage the full dynamic cloud capabilities: script packages, virtual system patterns and self-service.

  1. Production architecture

SCO 2.2 required a physical server that deployed nested virtual machines (VMs) running the various software components.  I found it could be difficult to modify resources based on utilization.  I also had to rely on someone that was physically on-site for initial server set-up, operating system installation and any on-going maintenance.  In SCO 2.3, I have the ability to create my virtual machines first with the specs and location of my choice.  I want to be able to run my entire production environment in the cloud and this enables me to do it.  The SCO 2.3 installation has a configuration file that allows me to specify the virtual machines and then deploys the software components to those VMs.

  1. Multitenancy support

An improved multitenancy architecture accompanies the 2.3 release.  If you are a service provider or have requirements to maintain separation of various tenants, this now is feasible with SCO 2.3.  Based on our service level agreements (SLAs), I can now assign tenants to various cloud groups that are capable of meeting those requirements.

  1. LDAP integration

SCO 2.2 FP1 incorporated Microsoft Active Directory support, and now supports the IBM enterprise LDAP integration in SCO 2.3.  This allows me to enable the LDAP integration and users can leverage their existing accounts without a need to remember a SCO-specific account and password.

  1. Discovery of non-SCO VMs

Not every operating system is supported by SCO.  Some VMs are created manually through a physical to virtual conversion.  Many VMs were created through TSAM.  Do users require separate management tools depending on the creation source of the VM?  Not anymore. With SCO 2.3 users can have some basic management capabilities of any VM that is discovered in the cloud group.  This capability greatly simplifies the VM administration from a user perspective.

Which of the new SCO features are you most excited to utilize?  Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below, or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisRosen188.

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