- IBM is one of the few vendors paying attention to the configuration implications of cloud.
- IBM is actively addressing Cloud capacity planning within IBM Smart Cloud Monitoring.
- IBM is one of the few vendors who has thought through monitoring and management of complex cloud transactions
marvin_goodman 11000085U5 Tags:  cloud_cost_management cloud-monitoring smartcloudmonitoring 5,279 Views
In February, the IT industry analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) released its first Radar™ for Application Performance Management (APM) for Cloud Services report.
IBM scored above the norm on all five axes measured – Architecture & Integration, Functionality, Deployment & Administration, Cost Advantage and Overall Vendor Strength.In addition to garnering the highest scores of any vendor, IBM was also noted for demonstrating “an in-depth understanding of the complex factors that support quality Cloud deployments." EMA goes on to extol the virtues of IBM's APM solution, asserting that:
Echoing recent analyst briefings on the use cases and customer value proposition vision of SmartCloud Monitoring, EMA said “We are seeing a new role within IT organizations called the ‘Cloud administrator’. Some companies are using an existing virtualization person, skilled in VMware or other virtualization technology. It is really important for a company to have such a role, and to have designated “Cloud architects”, as these skills are necessary to take a cross-platform, hybrid approach to Cloud rollouts.”
Read the full EMA report at the following URL: http://w3-03.ibm.com/software/analyst/articles/ema/emaapm.pdf
Pino 100000UGHN Tags:  servicemanagementconnect service-management virtualization cloud ism user-data 4,856 Views
I really liked the post “Rapid deployments with IBM
SmartCloud Provisioning” that explains
how simple and fast it is to deploy instances using SmartCloud Provisioning.
IBM SmartCloud Provisioning provides in the launch instance panel, and also using the CLI, the “user_data” text field that can be used for this scope.
It is inspired to the Amazon EC2 instance metadata and here you can find an interesting article on it: http://alestic.com/2009/06/ec2-user-data-scripts
The “user_data” field is a free text field so for example it can contain:
The launched instance can easily retrieve the user data field invoking the predefined URL http://169.254.169.254/latest/user-data and processes it according the needs.
It can be achieved by exploiting the current integration between IBM SmartCloud Provisioning and the Image Construction and Composition Tool (ICCT), available in IBM SmartCloud Provisioning version 1.2, creating a new bundle, the User-Data consumer bundle that contains a script that retrieves the “user-data” and process it based on his needs.
An interesting scenario is the capability of passing directly one or more scripts to be invoked at deployment time to have a really dynamic configuration. In this way, a new image can be configured/customized at deployment time.
If you want to have more information on user-data capabilities and examples take a look at the Ubuntu cloud-init component described here https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CloudInit
For further information about IBM SmartCloud Provisioning and Image Construction and Composition Tool see IBM SmartCloud Provisioning Information Center.
The open beta program for the upcoming IBM SmartCloud Provisioning release started:
Sreek Iyer 2000001K7N 4,093 Views
Among top challenges for cloud, Security is the top most concern. There are several concerns with regard to securing the cloud. Cloud computing tests the limits of security operations and infrastructure for the various security and privacy domains. Check out all the details of these interesting topic discussed as part of these blog posts.
Follow/ Click the tag “stepbystep” once you are on cloud computing central to see all the previous posts on the topic.
marcese 11000065AG Tags:  low-touch pxe cloud smartcloud installation configuration isaac image 6,242 Views
In my previous blog I talked about the speed of deployment of virtual machines when using IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning. I showed that virtual machines can be started and configured in a matter of seconds and I described a little in bit in details how this could be achieved in terms of the internal infrastructure of the product.
Let's consider, for example, how you can manage of one of the core elements of the solution: the compute node (i.e. the node where the virtual machines are hosted and run).
Several variations from the basic setup described above are possible depending on the actual topology of the environment and on the kind of nodes to be installed.
If you're interested in trying IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning, you can download a demo version from here:
ChrisNero 120000EDBS 4,047 Views
A usual adoption pattern for cloud computing are desktops. It's really straight forward because in general each company has standardized desktops: only some specific version of the operating system are supported, only specific flavours, only some applications are allowed and typically everything is managed by the IT team.
If we think at the benefits of adopting desktop cloud, some of them really jump powerfully in front of the eyes: the IT team can really enforce standardization (e.g. you can select as desktop only one of the proposed flavours); the maintenance of the hw becomes far easier given its consolidation; old, out-dated PCs can be used just as connectors to the desktop hence gaining new life. From the desktop user point of view he does no longer need to carry on some company asset to work: healthier (no more heavy hw to take home or travelling); safer (data is in the cloud).
But this is nothing new, desktop cloud solution are already on the market, so let's see if IBM SmartCloud Provisioning can bring additional benefits to the desktop world.
What if we start dealing with non-persistent desktop images?
Non-persistent images are the ones that disappear once you shut them down. You might be asking yourself “well, that's not so clever, what about my data? Are they lost?”. This is actually a very good point and this is the keystone of the benefits coming with the adoption of non-persistent images.
The idea is that all user data get stored into external (persistent) volumes that can be attached/detached on demand to the non-persistent image.If we now apply this technology to the desktop world, it shed an interesting new light on some typical and painful scenarios:
In a traditional infrastructure, when the operating system goes or is getting close to go out of maintenance, a massive migration campaign starts: all desktops need to be migrated. Now the migration statistically does not go smoothly for all users and hence some of them will be stuck even for days. If you use non-persistent images, you can easily overcome this either creating a new master image with the new operating system or upgrading a single instance of the image, do your test campaign to make sure everything keeps working, then deploy it in as many instances as the desktops you need to upgrade are, attach to the new images the volumes with the user data and get rid of the old images. If you leverage the incredible deployment speed of IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, you'll have a brand new set of desktops in minutes.
Analogously we may think about patching the operating system or a software running on the desktop: they key idea behind this is that you're always going to patch either the operating system or a specific software, never the user data that keep living into separate volumes.
If we think at the compliance aspect, remember that the user cannot save any change he does on the boot disk of the image since nothing gets ever stored on the disk. He is only empowered to write his own stuff on the additional volumes. This should discourage him from even trying installing new software or editing the operating system configuration, since everything will be lost at the first shutdown.I know in your company you may have different configuration flavours of the same operating system according to the department for which the desktop is tailored. For example you may need to have different firewall configurations according to the security level the end user is entitled to. Well, with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning you can leverage the User Data field at deployment time to specify these special configurations. Of course this may even not be shown to the end user, but you may mask it enlarging the list of the offering with the specific configuration. Under the covers the instance is launched with the proper parameters: no master image duplication, no manual configuration; everything is automated and standardized.
What about optimizing resources? Desktops by their nature have all the same operating system and configuration (at least for department),usually they come also with the same applications installed on top. If you deal with non-persistent images you are just saving lots of duplicated, useless copies of the same operating systems and software on the disk. Then, if you think that once the desktop is shut down, its resources are released (i.e. cores and memory), you can better optimize your hardware using those resources for other applications/users (they may even be server application or desktops for users residing in a different timezone).
New employees coming on board? A project outsourced to an external work-force?
You may want to have this people productive more than immediately. With IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, their desktops will be up and running in seconds.
See IBM SmartCloud Provisioning working in a recorded demo
Understanding IT Costs, Cost Variance and Budgets versus Actuals with New TUAM Cognos Reports and Dashboards
DLawson 27000369MF Tags:  tuam cognos reports accounting tcr cloud_cost_management chargeback showback 12,660 Views
The TUAM team are pleased to announce the delivery of a further 17 TCR Cognos reports. These enhance the existing TUAM reporting set plus allow you to:
Dashboards allow users to get an immediate understanding of the situation at-a-glance. As an introduction to Dashboards in Cognos, reports to demonstrate two methods for creating dashboards have been provided in this report pack. Users can build pages in Cognos containing reports as well as other Cognos navigation objects and set this to be their home page when accessing Common Reporting:
For more information about Dashboards, log on to the IBM Integrated Service Management library.
Two reports are also provided to allow users to understand how they are doing against their budget. The Line Item Budget report compares usage against budget at service level to help identify those services using more than their allotted budget. Similarly, the Client Budget Report is a new report showing a comparison of the client level budget with the actual charges for the client, with any deviations from the budget highlighted:
The Client Budget Report can also be used to help monitor the actual costs of a Cloud project. For example, the budget for different periods can be updated when you get a charges estimate for a new Cloud project and the report can then show the difference in what you were actually charged later. The difference will be as a result of server configurations or the duration of project changing after the estimate was produced. More details on this can be found in the cost preview blog entry here.
The Percentage report allows users to understand the charges by sub-client and service by showing the total charges and its associated percentage of the overall costs by both client and service. For cloud users, this allows you to drilldown to understand the distribution between projects and teams. Users can expand and collapse the report to get a full understanding of all the areas being charged.
Reports to compare both the charges and usage between periods have been provided in this report pack. The Cost Variance report compares the charges from the current and previous period by client and service providing an understanding of the changes in charges over time. Similarly, the Resource Variance report compares the usage in the same way so users can see in detail how usage is changing from period to period.
Drill Down Reports
Drill down through the account hierarchy and see the services being used by each client with the Application Cost Report. Cloud users can drilldown into their projects and teams to get an understanding of what resources are being used and their charges. Users can see the charges for each level in the Account hierarchy and the associated charge for each service and service group being used.
SmartCloud Provisioning limited-funciton version download, nice to pratice on this version when you only have 1 HW
SmartCloud Provisioning released its stand-alone, limited-fcunction version here:
If you only has 1 HW, you can play with it.
Nice to have it in hand to understand the product and learn how to use it.
The fix is downloadable from Fix Central and it is identified as 1.2.0-TIV-ISCP-IF0001
It addresses the following problems:
After the iFix installation the IHC component will be upgraded form version 0.20.2 to 1.0.0
For further details read the readme file associated with the interim fix