As part of the transparent development initiative, IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (formerly known as IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud) launches a series of daily demos, starting from November 7th. Every session will take about one hour.
In this way you can have a look in almost real time at what is happening in IBM SmartCloud Provisioning development, learn about new and enhanced capabilities.
If you are interested in joining the sessions, here is the schedule in Central European Time (CET):
- Monday at 4:00 PM
- Tuesday at 11:00 AM
- Wednesday at 4:00 PM
- Thursday at 5:00 PM
- Friday at 11:00 AM
The sessions will be focused on image management.
If you would like to join, using your web browser, connect to
No password is required
Ok, I admit, I was among the early adopters of the late nineties to
get hooked on VMWare. In fact, as an open source advocate I remember
playing with "
freemware", qemu, bochs, openVZ, and several
other x86 virtualization technologies. Likewise, I was among the first
to start using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). I've been hooked
by x86 commodity hardware virtualization for a long time, and I thank
VMWare and Ed Bugnion in particular for that. But why choose VMWare
Ten years ago when the
CPUs made it hard to virtualize efficiently, VMWare was great. After
2003 if you were mostly interested in linux (king of the cloud) Xen was
an excellent open source alternative to virtualize x86 commodity
servers. In 2006 Amazon launched their EC2 service which would become
the defacto cloud standard. EC2 is built on Xen and is probably the
single biggest x86 virtualization environment in the world. Several
hundred thousand of my closest friends have found EC2 to be a fantastic
compute platform that goes beyond server virtualization, all without a
trace of VMWare. So why choose VMWare now?
modern CPUs include specific support for virtualization making it
easier to deliver efficient virtulaization without Xen's paravirt trick
or VMWare's innovative code patching. Current linux kernels include
support for KVM and I believe upstream kernels will again support Xen
natively. I remember when RedHat bought Qumranet,
developer of KVM, SPICE, and SolidICE (a desktop virtualization
technology) in 2008. Back then KVM didn't compare to VMWare. It
certainly was not "
back then. Three years later, KVM has matured extremely well. I think it really is "
for commodity OS virtualization. In my cloud development efforts I've
run hundreds of thousands of VMs on Xen and KVM during the past 2 1/2
years. While I really respect Xen, I've come to like and appreciate KVM
on modern CPUs since it's just so simple and easy to use. Today there
are so many "
choices for x86 virtualization from
Xen, KVM, and VirtualBox to Hyper-V, which Microsoft is practically
giving away just to keep Windows relevant in the datacenter. So why
choose VMWare now?
Is low end disruption
a threat for VMWare? Linux and Apache are certainly well established
in the datacenter preventing Microsoft's dominance over the desktop to
spill into the datacenter. Ten years ago when Windows had 90-something
percent market share of desktop computers, I myself considered Microsoft
an untouchable giant. Today, however, I think they're doomed because
Apple is cooler, all the kids have 'em along with iphones and and
ipads. By analogy, VMWare should be very concerned. IMHO, they can and
will lose their dominance and I think they'll do so by the classic Innovator's Dilemma
VMWare continues to cater to their traditional high end customers.
Meanwhile, nearly three quarters of a million developers are using
Amazon's cloud as their platform for new software applications and
services. And the best part is Amazon's cloud doesn't even need or use
VMWare. In fact, neither does Google's AppEngine or Microsoft's Azure.
Sense a pattern? If you believe, as I do, that we're on the cusp of a
new platform war to deliver the next generation of applications and
services, then the key to success is the application development
community. VMWare may have operations teams sold, but developers love
the cloud. Interestingly, they may not even have the ops guys sold
after all. Here's a forum thread titled "VMWare, a falling giant
"According to Ars Technica, 'A new survey seems to show that VMware's iron grip on the enterprise virtualization market is loosening,
with 38 percent of businesses planning to switch vendors within the
next year due to licensing models and the robustness of competing
hypervisors.' What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving
away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures
survey found that VMware is the primary hypervisor for server
virtualization in 67.6 percent of shops, followed by Microsoft's Hyper-V
with 16.4 percent and Citrix with 14.4 percent. Wow, this doesn't even
compare to Microsoft's former dominance for which I recall seeing
numbers as high as 98% market share!
So why choose VMWare now? Maybe the question should be, "
Have you tried an open source hypervisor lately?"
Or better yet, "
have you tried a public cloud yet"
Frankly, I don't even like using hypervisors directly anymore as I find
clouds much more powerful and easier to use. Why don't you give ISAAC a try
? You can see what a real cloud is like while also trying out open source hypervisors.
There's still time to sign up for the IBM webcast: Managing the Cloud – Best practices for cloud service management
Organizations today are looking to cloud computing to deliver cost savings and faster service delivery. However, most organizations are still struggling to have the basic IT infrastructure that is necessary to take the leap to a robust cloud. This session will explain how service management can help provide the essentials to maintain service levels in the cloud and best practices based on IBM's work with customers. This information will provide the foundation for building and managing a cloud to meet your business objectives and transform IT.
Interim fix 1 for IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud 1.1 (
1.1.0-TIV-ISAAC-IF0001) has been published.
It addresses three defects related to the deployment of windows images.
More in details, if fixes the following issues:
- Launch windows persistent instance failed: after launching windows persistent instance, the instance will be in stopped status and not able to run.
- Not able to run persistent instance on VMware hyper node
- Lack of support for windows 7 and 2008 sysprep-ed images: not able to change the administrator's password if it is prepared by sysprep.
For further details read the readme file associated with the interim fix
Today IBM announced new SmartCloud Foundation capabilities to help organizations realize the potential of cloud computing. Watch the replay of the IBM SmartCloud launch webcast, to learn more about how the new announcements, including IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (delivered by IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud), can help customers move beyond virtualization to more advanced cloud deployments.
If you are interested in IBM Service Agility Accelerator, if you would like to discuss technical topics related the product, join our forum.
Users with all experience levels are invited to contribute. All
information is for community discussion and should not be considered IBM
If you would like to easily access information related to IBM Service Agility Accelerator for cloud, visit our wiki
The IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud 1.1.0 customer interaction program has just concluded. The program ran throughout the development phase of the product.
Participants interacted with the development team via demo sessions and design reviews, and provided valuable feedback on the product's capability. Some participants engaged
further in the beta program to try out the product in house and share their feedback and experience with the development team during this hands on experience.
IBM will continue this flexible customer interaction program for the upcoming IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud release.
The program is open to customers and business partners.
Join us if you would like to hear the latest news on the product, familiarize yourself with the newest capabilities, and help us improve the product quality and usability.
To join the program please contact email@example.com
IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud V1.1.0 delivers an entry-level cloud solution to fulfill demand for rapid deployment of virtual machines (VM) and associated server images in high-volume or low-volume environments. It enables VM deployment and low-touch characteristics for businesses to provide cloud services within dynamically changing environments.
IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud V1.1.0 capabilities for high-scale, low-touch VM deployment allows enterprises and cloud service providers to give their users fast and flexible access to VMs and storage on demand over the network. It is highly resilient both to failures of the service and to failures of the components underpinning the cloud infrastructure. Conflicts are reduced because load and demand balancing are carried out based on the real system state.
Differentiating characteristics of IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud:
- Rapid image deployment
- Rapid automated recovery from provisioning errors since failures are retried automatically with little or no manual intervention (compared to hours or even days for traditional manual recovery)
- Scalable to handle high volumes of simultaneous requests, over 4,000 VMs per hour (compared to 20 to 200 VMs per hour using traditional deployment)
- Increased time-to-value implementation by leveraging virtual images to install the solution, which translates into an installed solution in hours compared to weeks or months using traditional software installation methods
- Designed to provide enhanced return on investment (ROI) for virtualized environments
- Can provide low cost, lightweight introduction to cloud technology with highly automated, fault tolerant, rapid deployment of VMs
- Can help improve performance against service level agreements (SLAs) through highly automated, fault tolerant parallel deployment of VMs
- Can help reduced operational expense through self-service UI, fault tolerance, and automatic error recovery
- Is designed to deliver rapid time to value and unmatched automation and performance.
More details here in the Announcement Letter
Join us for the Managing the Cloud Webcast series to learn more about best practices, technical approaches and capabilities to help solve your business and technical challenges in the cloud. Sign up for these free 1 hour webcasts today.
Best practices for cloud service management - Nov 8, 12-1EST
Organizations today are looking to cloud computing to deliver cost savings and faster service delivery. However, most organizations are still struggling to have the basic IT infrastructure that is necessary to take the leap to a robust cloud. This session will explain how service management can help provide the essentials to maintain service levels in the cloud and best practices based on IBM's work with customers. This information will provide the foundation for building and managing a cloud to meet your business objectives and transform IT.https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-tivoli-nov8managingcloud
Performance management in the cloud - Nov 15, 12-1EST
Cloud services can leverage everything from databases to mainframe transactions to SOA services, so the ability to see how all these different touch points are performing is critical. See how integrated service management can provide the capabilities you need to monitor and manage today's cloud based services and help you meet your service level goals.https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-tivoli-nov15managingcloud
This week IBM is delivering enhanced capabilities to optimize IT service delivery through a new release of IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager
--providing even greater value to customers. TSAM enables a more modern and dynamic data center, allowing users to request, deploy, monitor and manage cloud computing services. Key differentiators include solution transparency, ease of use and cost savings.The new release allows IT service providers to onboard multiple customers, deploy IT services very quickly across multiple platforms and hypervisors, maximize resource utilization and drive cloud operations effectiveness and efficiency by adding storage support and expanding on network integration. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/service-auto-mgr/
The new capacity planning tool, now available in Beta, will unlock the value of Tivoli Monitoring and Warehouse and enable a rich set of analytics on the existing data. This new capability will enable you to
- Understand and plan your virtual environments pro-actively, initially for VMWare
- Minimize risks in your plan
- Optimize how you use capacity in the environment with intelligent workload sizing and placement
- Apply business and technical policies to keep your environment efficient and risk-free
- Make changes in a what-if analysis framework and view the impact of change.
The tool leverages Tivoli Integrated Portal (TIP) and Tivoli Common Reporting (TCR) with embedded Cognos reporting engine. It integrates with the ITM and TDW infrastructure to get configuration and usage data from your virtual infrastructure.
Here's a quick overview of the advanced planning scenarios you can now implement in your virtual environment using this tool.
Key Scenarios for a Capacity Analyst
- Planning for capacity growth: Let's suppose your business provides a forecast that will increase the load on the IT infrastructure in the coming months. The capacity analyst can model the increase in resource requirements from the existing VMs in the what-if planning tool, scope the part of the infrastructure to analyze, and automatically generate a plan to fit the increasing demand. If required, new servers can be added to handle the growth.
- Ensure compliance with defined capacity planning policies: The LOB and application owners often provide a list of their requirements to the capacity analyst in terms of how their workloads should be placed on the IT infrastructure. These are typically business guidelines to improve efficiency, reduce cost, respect organizational boundaries, or cut risks on a virtual infrastructure. For e.g. The Finance and Payroll apps may not share common hosts or may not want to share hosts among apps with different downtime requirements. There may also be technical policies that guide planning. For e.g. reduce license cost by putting OS images on fewer hosts or the DBA may want to keep some headroom for the database VMs. The tool can help to centralize the creation of such policies and select a subset to guide a what-if planning scenario.
- Avoid bottlenecks in your environment: IT Administrators can predict a bottleneck in a VMWare cluster that may not be fixed by dynamic allocation within the cluster. These are often long term issues as the cluster may be running VMs that are not the right combination to share resources dynamically. The planning capability may be used to recommend how VMs can be moved “across” clusters or clusters can be restructured to remove bottlenecks and optimize resources in a broader scope.
- Plan for new users into a Cloud environment: The Cloud administrators are often challenged with planning for new users on the shared infrastructure and do what-if analysis planning. With this tool, they can simulate new VMs on the discovered Cloud, add information regarding users, create policies specific to such users, and create a recommended new environment plan. The policies may simulate users that want dedicated hosts for their VMs, or some images that need specific types of hardware etc. The recommended plan can help them to understand how and where to add new hardware or consolidate VMs to free up fragmented Cloud resources.
- Plan for retiring or re-purposing hardware: The planning capability enables the user to add new information for the discovered environment. For example, a user can add warranty date information about the discovered hardware, often contained in spreadsheets or other tools, and then select hosts that are more than 5 years old in the planning tool. They can add new hardware from the catalog for a what-if scenario. The tool can then automatically generate an optimized plan on how the workloads from the old hardware will fit on the new hardware and how many new machines of what type are required.
There may be several other scenarios that one can come up with on this tool framework.
The planning tool also provides a workflow-driven UI with both fast-path and expert-mode options. The main workflow page is shown below with a 5-step approach to create optimized virtual environment plans with default options for several steps. One can iterate through these steps to reach the desired results.
Load the latest configuration data of the virtual environment for analysis
Set the time period to analyze historical data
Define the scope of hosts to analyze in the virtual environment
Size Virtual Machines in scope
Generate a placement plan for the virtual machines on the physical infrastructure in scope
An example recommendation output of the tool is shown below with interactive topology navigation capability, summary views, and risk scores assigned to the infrastructure elements. This is an actionable recommendation as one can take this structured output in an XML and write an adapter to trigger automation workflows that implement the recommendations. The example screen shows how we analyzed a cluster with 4 hosts and recommended a consolidation on 3 hosts.
The topology view is interactive as it allows the user to click on various nodes and visualize the summary of the infrastructure levels below the node. Risk levels of the nodes are shown as node colors.
Hope this will be an exciting set of functions to start with and we look forward to suggestions on feature improvements and scenarios. Please contact Gary Forghetti (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a demo or sign up for the Beta version of the tool. We'll keep updating this forum with more and more details, such as demo videos, white papers etc.
Anindya Neogi, PhD | Senior Technical Staff Member | Tivoli Software | IBM Master Inventor
The Tivoli User Community presents a free webcast with the IBM Cloud team:
EXTENDING YOUR ACTUALIZATION INTO THE CLOUD - a Community Focus Webcast
Webcast time: June 9, 2011 -- 11:00AM Eastern USASign up for this webcast >>
To learn more about the TUC Community Focus on Cloud and Virtualization click here
The Tivoli User Community offers FREE Webcasts to all members. Click here
to join today
Webcast Description: The benefits from cloud computing seem clear: cost reduction, better flexibility, scale to meet business demands, etc. However, getting to cloud involves a lot of decisions. Learn how some of your colleagues are leveraging Tivoli solutions to automate virtualized environments and move to private clouds.
Speakers: Moe Abdula, IBM Director of Service Automation and Cloud Solutions and Bowman Hall, IBM Director, Cloud Computing Client Engagements
Once you become a member you can join a local or virtual user group, take advantage of our online education and certification resources as well as our networking and collaboration tools.
Other benefits include; Pulse Conference Discounts codes; 40% Discount on Tivoli books from IBM Press, Free certification testing at local user group meetings and much more! Membership is free. Click here to join today
IBM has entered several papers to be presented at VMworld 2011. If you are attending VMworld and would like to hear what IBM has to offer to manage, automate and optimize VMware virtual and cloud environments, go to this link to vote for the IBM sessions (search IBM): www.vmworld.com
Since February, I have been speaking to many customers about our new capacity management and planning reports that are available in ITM for Virtual Servers v6.2.3 (click here for demos & whitepapers on the subject
). One common theme that has been popping up is in the form of this question - How do I take this information and automate the change I need to make to optimize my system? For example, one customer said they loved the report that shows a list of LPARs that could be right sized (LPARs that have been over allocated CPU, Memory), but they have 3,500 LPARs in their environment - who is going to take the time to make that adjustment - even if it is just 10% of the workloads that need to be adjusted, that is 350 LPARs that need to be reconfigured. Good point I thought. Computers are supposed to do the work for us, aren't they?
Thank goodness our smart PhDs are actively working on that problem now - by taking information and transforming it into recommendations. Using the above example, this customer wants to right size their VMs to optimize their environment - i.e. the goal is to free up space to add additional workloads in the future, or to lengthen the time to purchase additional hardware. Taking this business policy into account, the software will provide recommendations for configuration changes and where to place workloads in the environment to optimize hardware utilization.
This approach to solving the problem will require different thinking on behalf of our IT personnel from "give me the data" to thinking in terms of compliance to business policies - is the goal to reduce hardware costs, energy costs or to ensure application A does not sit on the same server as Application B.
If this topic is interesting, I invite you to join in the conversation by adding to the list of what other kinds of business policies would you like actionable recommendations. If you are really, really interested in this topic, I invite you to join our beta program (contact our beta manager Gary @ email@example.com).
The Tivoli User Community (TUC) has a second quarter Community Focus on Cloud and Virtualization.
It's a great time to check out the TUC and collaborate with some of the other 27,000 Tivoli Users. There may even be a local User Group in your area; there are more than 160 local groups world wide as well as ten virtual user groups, grouped by product focus areas.
Each quarter the TUC reaches far and wide to bring together many different view points, presentations, and "experts on tap" to discuss a hot topic that the members have voted on.
This month's topic is right in line with YOUR area of interest, Cloud and Virtualization.click here
for a full portal of Resources about these topics including:
- Client Presentations on Cloud - Pulse 2011
- New capabilities from IBM
- Business Partner perspectives on Cloud
- Forum discussions
- IBM Demos on Cloud and Virtualization capabilities
- demos, news, white papers, certifications