Richard Lewis is an IBM employee who is part of the IBM Washington System Center, Advanced Technical Support Organization supporting z/VM and Linux on System z. This is part two of a multi-post series on IBM Wave for z/VM, a systems management GUI for z/VM .This software promises to simplify the task of administering Linux guests running on z/VM. To read part one, see https://ibm.biz/BdDaBv . To read part two, see https://ibm.biz/BdRS83
With z/VM and Linux for System z it is possible to consolidate hundreds to thousands of servers on a single Enterprise System EC12 or BC12. While such a consolidation results in significant savings in terms of license charges, power, cooling, and administration, it also includes some challenges. While z/VM is more than capable of handling the workload, the z/VM System Programmer many times needs to resort to putting data into the directory entries for each virtual machine and then writing REXX programs or CMS Pipelines to identify categories of servers.
IBM Wave makes this process of categorizing and working with groups of virtual machines quite easy. In addition, IBM Wave provides the capability to authorize other employees to have limited management capability over a group or category of virtual machines.
By just installing IBM Wave you will automatically have all virtual machines on a particular system placed into default site defined groups. This immediately makes it easier to see what is running on the system and interact with virtual machines on the system.
However, most customers will want to go further than this by creating their own Site Defined Groups, and moving virtual machines into these groups. When viewing the existing users and groups it is very easy to create a new group by just right clicking on the desktop. This will result in a pop-up to input information for the new group
Once the group is created it will show up as a new icon on the Users and Groups display.
It is then possible to create new virtual machines in this group, or move existing virtual machines to the group.
Any new virtual machine created in the context of a group will have that group name already assigned in the Create New z/VM Guest panel.
The ability to group virtual machines not only makes it easy to see those virtual machines, but also provides the capability to execute actions on all of the virtual machines in the group. For example you can run a script across all members of the group, or deactivate and activate all members of the group.
IBM Wave also provides the capability to create projects and then associate virtual machines with a project. A project can span multiple groups and even multiple z/VM systems. A project is created from the administrative menu of IBM Wave.
When a project is created you identify a contact for that project and the team working on the project.
New virtual machines can be associated with a project when they are created, and existing virtual machines can be assigned to the project.
IBM Wave userids can then be defined for the project contact as well as team members working on the project. To define IBM Wave users, use the Manage IBM Wave Users function found in the Administrative menu:
Project users can be limited in terms of permissions and scope within IBM Wave for z/VM
When such a user logs on to the IBM Wave system, they will only see the groups and virtual machines they are permitted to work with. The actions they are allowed to take are limited to just what was defined in terms of scope and permissions.
The capability to group virtual machines and assign them to projects not only makes it much easier for the z/VM System Programmer, but also opens up a whole new capability for project personnel who might otherwise not be able to interact directly with the system aspects of their servers.