cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  devops agile cloud development cloud_computing cloud-computing provisioning 4,673 Views
Get involved with the new IBM DevOps project and beta on Jazz.net-- IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery is an agile, scalable and flexible solution for end-to-end lifecycle management and automation, creating an environment that takes collaboration between Development and Operation teams to the next level. Learn more.
NathanBullock 060001D562 3,118 Views
New Open Beta Drivers are now available for download for both ITM vNext and ITM for Virtual Environments vNext. Please check out the SCM Open Beta Community site
DRussell4881 12000070EV 2,703 Views
Dr. Angel Diaz, VP, IBM SWG Standards is the thought provider behind an article on the activities to ensure that the standards being developed for the Open Cloud are drivers by the User.
For an easy read, here is the link to the article - http://www.linux.com/news/featured-blogs/200-libby-clark/625143-ibms-angel-diaz-3-projects-creating-user-driven-standards-for-the-open-cloud.
OpenStack - http://www.openstack.org/
Cloud Standards Customer Council - http://www.cloud-council.org/
TOSCA - https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=tosca
N9HT_Keith_Biegert 060000N9HT 3,305 Views
Capacity planning and optimization are an extremely important part of managing a production environment, but it is also a complex process. This is particularly true in a virtualized environment like VMware. Statistical analysis of the key bottlenecks and an understanding of the system capacity is a requirement. In addition, it is important to take into account key business objectives. For example, a customer might want to provide more capacity for certain business applications or middleware components to ensure that their performance objectives are being met. The IBM Tivoli Monitoring capacity planning and optimization tools are designed to simplify this process and allow customers to meet their business objectives. The following paper outlines a case study performed at a customer location to analyze and optimize their VMware environment.
Click to access the rest of the whitepaper.
Version 2.1 of Service Health for IBM® SmartCloud Provisioning, featuring SmartCloud Monitoring, has been released
marvin_goodman 11000085U5 Tags:  scp smartcloudmonitoring smartcloud scm smartcloudprovisioning monitoring 4,322 Views
Version 2.1 of the Service Health for IBM® SmartCloud Provisioning has been released, and is availble for download from the IBM Integrated Service Management Library (ISML, see link below). This offering provides prebuilt integrations between IBM SmartCloud Provisioning and IBM SmartCloud Monitoring, allowing you to increase the performance and resilience of your IBM SmartCloud Provisioning infrastructure through identification of performance issues.
This solution is installed using the IBM Installation Manager. The installation uses the IBM SmartCloud Provisioning PXE server to automatically configure and deploy the necessary monitoring agents to the entire SmartCloud Provisioning infrastructure. Any future machines added to the infrastructure will automatically include the appropriate monitoring agents.
Once installed, this solution will add to the Tivoli® Enterprise Portal, provided by IBM SmartCloud Monitoring, a new custom navigator which provides a logical view of your SmartCloud Monitoring infrastructure. For each grouping in this navigator view there is a pre-built, customizable Workspace to provide information relevant to the selected SmartCloud Provisioning component.
This solution also provides sixteen new monitoring situations, or threshold configurations, to provide alerts for common issues that could affect the availability of your IBM SmartCloud Provisioning environment. In addition, Version 2.1 also includes support for IBM Virtual Image Library and IBM Workload Deployer.
This solution can be downloaded from the IBM Integrated Service Management Library( ISML ) following this link ->
LB_71GX 10000071GX 2,561 Views
How and where to download a software fix from. Did you know?
- You can isolate to only certain types of fixes?
- You can upload an inventory file, and have fixes for all those products listed for selection?
- Did you know that Fix Central supports pre-rec and co-rec associations, so that you will know if a fix you need has other required changes even for distributed platforms?
NathanBullock 060001D562 2,940 Views
Some of Tivoli’s expert testing leaders have provided a new document that discloses what types of testing the ITM test team conducts during the first 48 hours of operation after installing a new IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) environment. Although a very broad regiment of testing is performed before products are released, these tests provide assurance there is no regression in code quality, stability and functionality from one build to another. This document is offered to customers for several reasons:
IBM SmartCloud Cost Management now provides usage metering and reporting for IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (SCP). This is now available for download on the ISM Library here: http://www.ibm.com/software/ismlibrary?NavCode=1TW10UM08
This new capability allows you to collect usage information from SCP environments using the SCP High scale low touch (HSLT) commands. The new HSLT SCP Collector gathers usage data every hour and processes it once a day. Usage, Detail and Identifier data is stored on a daily basis. The usage data is then billed, stored and can be reported on on a monthly basis.
A sample job file is provided as part of this functionality to show how to bill each access-id for the high-water mark of allocated resources in the month. The sample job file, SampleHSLT_SCP.xml is divided into three separate jobs.
The first job, SCP_collect_HSLT_hourly_data is recommended to be run every hour at XX:59. This job will run HSLT commands to collect all relevant resources for each access id that is using the SmartCloud Provisioning Service. Firstly, a list of all available access ids is collected using the command iaas-describe-accesses-by-user.
Then, for each access id, the command iaas-describe-resources-inuse-by-access is run to collect the relevant resources for that access id. The resources gathered per access id include:
Memory (MB) , Volume (GB), Number of Virtual Processors, Number of VM Instances, and Number of static IP Addresses.
The HSLT commands also provide context information that feeds into the Account Code Structure. The Account Code Structure includes the following identifiers:
The second job, SCP_Process_daily_data is recommended to be run every day some time after midnight. This job will process the daily CSR file and extract the maximum value across the day for each resource for each access id. The resource values are then stored in the cimsresourceutilization table of the SmartCloud Cost Management database. Detail and Identifier data is stored in the cimsdetail and cimsident tables of the SmartCloud Cost Management database.
The third job, SCP_Process_monthly_data is recommended to be run once a month at the start of the month. It will process the last months worth of data from the cimsresourceutilization table. It will do this by extracting the maximum value for each resource for each access id. Billing is applied to the data using the relevant SmartCloud Cost Management rate codes and the processed data is then stored in the cimssummary table of the SmartCloud Cost Management database, allowing reports to be run on the data.
The sample jobs can be customized for other charging algorithms if desired. Examples include charging on a daily (or hourly) basis in addition to or instead of on a monthly basis. Tiered pricing logic can be applied to provide for having charging amnesty for users/departments that stay below a certain threshold.
Rates are defined for each resource. These rates are used for billing purposes.
Additions have also been made to the existing SmartCloud Cost Management KVM collector to include new resources and a separate job file has been included to to add some SCP context data to the Account Code Structure, achieved by running HSLT commands.
For information about the existing TUAM KVM collector refer to the following link in the TUAM 7.3 Information Center:
The new resources for the KVM Collector include Bytes Received, Packets Received, Receive Packets dropped, Receive Packet errors, Bytes Transferred, Packtes Transferred, Transfer Packets dropped, Transfer Packet errors, Log Size of VM Image, Size of VM Image on Disk.
The new Account Code Structure for the KVM Collector contains the following identifiers: Service Region, Group, Username, Access id, VM Name
The VM Name contains the Access id allowing the information collected from the Hypervisor to be related back to the SmartCloud Provisioning identifiers.
The following reports are sample reports run on a system that has collected data from one Service Region on a SmartCloud Provisioning System:
Top 10 Pie Chart
Invoice By Account Level
Note also that other existing SmartCloud Cost Management collectors can collect information from VMWare and Power hypervisors.
See the Information Centre (http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v3r1/topic/com.ibm.ituam.doc_7.3/admin_win_dc/c_core_data_collectors.html) for details.
If you have any questions about this functionality, please contact John Buckley (John Buckley/Ireland/IBM) or Louise O'Halloran (Louise O'Halloran/Ireland/IBM).
LB_71GX 10000071GX 3,690 Views
The Software Product Compatibility Reports site is an innovative tool, designed to allow YOU, IBM clients, to easily generate custom reports about compatible IBM software combinations, product end-of-service dates and product translations.
This is a great tool for figuring out what products are compatible with others and how your particular implementations may need to be designed to ensure your success. To read more about these reports, then head on over to the Software Product Compatibility Reports site's home page and see what these reports can do for you! Here is a quick link to this tool, and to find it in the future, look under the support resources on the overview page of the IBM Support Portal.
Starting from August 10th 2012, SmartCloud Provisioning 2.1 is generally available.
Here is a synthesis of the new features added:
If you would like to read more about that, see IBM SmartCloud Provisioning announcement letter and IBM SmartCloud Provisioning information center
Antonio_Di_Cocco 060001977Q Tags:  onboarding cloud cloudinit image smartcloud imagelibrary 5,880 Views
Being VMware one of most used hypervisor, it is a common scenario to have an already exiting cloud environment based on a vCenter hypervisor manager and a new cloud environment based on IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. In this scenario end user would usually starts to sue new environment but working with already existing images, containing known software as well as all required settings fulfilling company rules.
Manually running this task could not be so easy especially if new IBM SmartCloud Provisioning environment is only based on KVM hypervisor> image format conversion is required. Moreover IBM SmartCloud Provisioning requires some specific OS setting that could not be present on the already existing images.
IBM Virtual Image Library would help to overcome all these time consuming inconvenient. New 2.1 version has new feature helping end user to understand which already existing images are ready to be ported to new cloud environment, which are not ready but could be automatically modified and which are not compatible at all (i.e. because based on multiple disks).
The underlying idea is based on the concept exposed in one of my previous blog entry: “Image portability across hypervisors”. During cloud environment registration to IBM Virtual Image Library, an image analysis retrieves all needed information, so that after initial introspection end user will have a clear idea of which images can be used or not to work with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
Opening image properties a new tab will appear showing list of executed checks and their results with a brief explanation on what is required to be fully compatible with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
At this point end user knows which images can be directly used, which require some modification and which can not automatically changed to run into IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. Next step is to check in desired images into the IBM Virtual Image Library reference repository, so that images can be either just moved to new cloud environment, or modified o be High scale low touch ready or moved to IBM SmartCloud provisioning environment and automatically modified to be ready for deployment. IBM Virtual Image Library also checks if CloudInit is present on the image. If not it is automatically installed and activated making the image compatible with High scale low touch. In this way the new imported image is ready to be deployed using package script and add-ons using workload deployer delivered with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. I consider this new feature very useful to start working with new IBM SmartCloud Provisioning allowing end user to easily and quickly populate new cloud environment. Key items saving user time are: · Having a clear list of already compatible images · Automatically configure image to be deployed through high scale low touch hypervisor manager · Reuse already existent images with few clicks without migrating any data · Automatically install CloudInit allowing to use images in more complex scenario using Workload Deployer Additional information about previous topics can be found at IBM info center pages:
At this point end user knows which images can be directly used, which require some modification and which can not automatically changed to run into IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
Next step is to check in desired images into the IBM Virtual Image Library reference repository, so that images can be either just moved to new cloud environment, or modified o be High scale low touch ready or moved to IBM SmartCloud provisioning environment and automatically modified to be ready for deployment.
IBM Virtual Image Library also checks if CloudInit is present on the image. If not it is automatically installed and activated making the image compatible with High scale low touch. In this way the new imported image is ready to be deployed using package script and add-ons using workload deployer delivered with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
I consider this new feature very useful to start working with new IBM SmartCloud Provisioning allowing end user to easily and quickly populate new cloud environment. Key items saving user time are:
· Having a clear list of already compatible images
· Automatically configure image to be deployed through high scale low touch hypervisor manager
· Reuse already existent images with few clicks without migrating any data
· Automatically install CloudInit allowing to use images in more complex scenario using Workload Deployer
Additional information about previous topics can be found at IBM info center pages:
Pino 100000UGHN Tags:  smartcloud build provisioning image icct icon windows 2 Comments 7,788 Views
In this new post I would like to introduce a new function added in Image Construction and Composition Tool (ICCT) 1.2, it is the capability to extend a Windows base image available in IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning 2.1.
In fact in ICCT 1.2 it's possible to:
- import a Windows base image available in IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning 2.1
- extent it adding Windows bundles created using ICCT 1.2
- capture it in order to have in IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning 2.1 a new extended Windows image
It is provided using the same User Interface and the same steps already available for Linux and AIX support.
The new extended image is now ready to be deployed showing the bundle configuration parameters from the IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning 2.1 User interface.
In ICCT 1.2 a new specific Windows Enablement bundle has been provided to support the Windows images and it is described in the screenshot below:
It contains the Activation Framework needed by ICCT 1.2 to install and configure bundles based on the Windows IBM VSAE.
For the Windows bundles created using ICCT 1.2 it is also possible to provide in the tabs Installation/Configuration/Reset the scripts for the installation, configuration and reset steps invoked by ICCT when an image is extended.
The Windows support is provided for the following Operation Systems:
Two new product forums are now available for key products in the IBM Cloud portfolio. The IBM Service Delivery Manager and Tivoli Service Automation Manager development teams recently launched product forums so that they can collaborate with clients. Service Management Connect forums provide a good avenue for clients to ask their technical "How To" questions, interact with the development team and other users, and provide direct feedback on product direction. To get started, access the product forums below:
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  virtualization provider cloud csp cloud-computing msp cloud_computing service provisioning 8,414 Views
With the proliferation of cloud computing, many businesses are starting to adopt a service provider model—either as a deliberate strategy to establish new revenue streams or, in some cases, inadvertently to support the growing needs of their organizations. This is especially true for companies with diverse needs, whether they’re tech companies with dev teams churning out new apps and services, or business owners driving requirements for SaaS services and cloud capabilities to enhance their data center operations.
In any event, the distinction between managed service providers (MSP) or cloud service providers (CSP), and companies growing in-house capabilities may not be as important as the common need to respond quickly and scale to support customer needs. The challenges facing all of these companies include facilitating the creation of new applications and services while maintaining quality of service, and the need for automation to reduce human resources and error from manual tasks—all with an eye to drive revenue and acquire new customers.
And so, the challenge for service providers of any kind is to increase scalability, automation and uptime while constraining costs. Companies are increasingly solving the critical piece of this puzzle by embracing rapid, high-scale provisioning and key cloud management capabilities to allow them to grow as quickly as their customers’ needs. In particular, the benefits accrue in four key areas.
First, applications can be deployed rapidly across private and public cloud resources.
Second, rich image management tools simplify complex and time consuming processes for creating virtual images and constraining image sprawl.
Third, operational costs can be lowered by leveraging existing hardware to support an array of virtual servers and diverse hypervisors.
And fourth, high-scale provisioning enables rapid response to changing business needs with near-instant deployment of hundreds of virtual machines.
While the spectrum of virtualization to orchestration functionality helps to manage their environments, high-scale provisioning in particular offers a cost-effective way to leverage capacity as a business commodity—a way for service providers to offer seemingly limitless capacity to their customers while lowering the relative costs of providing it.
In the case of Dutch Cloud, a CSP based in the Netherlands, a growing client base allowed the company to expand but it was very conscious of the costs and issues related to scalability, performance and security. By adopting a lightweight, high-scale provisioning solution for core service delivery, Dutch Cloud added capacity easily and was able to scale up rapidly without interruption to customer service. The CSP also reduced its administrative workload by 70 percent by adopting automation best practices. Monthly revenue has tripled twice in the last six months without an increase in operational costs.
Other service providers such as SLTN, a systems integrator serving large and mid-sized businesses, have experienced similar cost savings by extending platform managed services to a cloud delivery model. By implementing a low-touch, highly scalable cloud as its core delivery platform across multiple compute and storage nodes, SLTN was able to deploy new services in seconds rather than hours. It was also able to utilize existing commodity skills without significant training, integrate the existing mixed environment and minimize operational administration and maintenance. The underlying IaaS cloud capabilities allowed SLTN to be more efficient and to provide the full spectrum of cloud services to their own customers in a pay-as-you-go model—with better service and at a lower price point.
The benefits that these companies experienced are evidence that high-scale provisioning and cloud management capabilities can dramatically increase service capacity. For service providers of all stripes—whether deliberate or not—these benefits are a critical part of the evolution of cloud services and offer a meaningful way to deliver more value to themselves and their users.
The Internet is changing the face of product support. It is an undeniable fact that the manner in which we attempt to resolve problems, be they complex software applications or finding the closest Italian restaurant, is entirely different than 10, 5, or even 2 years ago. In all facets of our daily lives, how we search for answers to even the simplest of problems have been forever changed through online technology and capabilities. The Internet permeates all aspects of our lives; how many readers of this blog post do not understand the phrase "Just Google it"?While one might argue social business is still maturing and that the social media landscape is still quite dynamic and reminiscent of the Old West (anyone still have a MySpace account?). the commitment to social business has seen tremendous growth in the halls of IBM Software Support. This acknowledgement of the import of social business is in no small part due to the explosion and popularity of these mediums as a viable means to resolve issues through a collection(s) of peer users. Community based, or to use the cool kid's lingo, crowdsourcing, allows you to move far beyond traditional support models. Prefer a concise and direct notification system? There is a Tivoli Support Twitter page. Want to engage in a dialogue with your peers? Check out the just released IBM Tivoli Support Facebook page. If you want to do more than just "like" the FB page, join the Tivoli Support Facebook group. Are you a visual learner? The IBM Electronic Support Channel on YouTube have generated over 50,000 views! There are hundreds of online instructional videos also available at the IBM Education Assistant site.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the emerging use of social media in the business environment. Over the past few years, social venues like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others have transformed from purely social offerings to bona fide business tools. For additional insight into IBM's approach and use of social business in the enterprise, I highly recommend following Sandy Carter, the IBM Vice President of Social Business. Sandy is an acclaimed author, expert, and evangelist in this business context.
Two of the most prominent IBM online offerings dedicated to problem resolution are the Support Portal and Service Requests systems. The Support Portal is the gateway into resolving your product issues. You can configure the portal and add any and all IBM Software products your organization utilizes. From the portal, you can search our extensive knowledge base, download product documentation, review deployment and configuration best practices, and obtain product updates and maintenance. Service Requests (SR) is the system where you can easily create new PMRs, view existing tickets. Two years ago, less than 20% of all new PMRs were created through the use of the SR system. Today, almost 50% of all PMRs originate electronically from the SR system..
I could go on and on about our IBM eSupport initiatives and will continue to focus and highlight online tooling in future posts. For now, I hope you take the time to review some of these tools and systems. I'm confident you will realize immediate value from these offerings. I welcome all comments on any aspect of Tivoli product support delivery. What works for you, and just as importantly, what's not working or what's totally missing. Our constant and driving objective is to continually improve the consistency and caliber of support we provide and your feedback in these forums is crucial to these goals.