IBM recently shipped PureApplication 2.2.5, in fact 18.104.22.168 became generally available on Friday 13th April. You can read about some of the new features and capabilities here in IBM the Knowledge Center. However I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update, as not all changes are covered there.
Firstly IBM introduces support for new operating systems, in particular IBM AIX 7.2 as well as Windows Server 2016. The support of Windows Server 2016 is relevant from a timing point of view, since general support for Windows Server 2012 will end in September this year.
- AIX 7.2
- Windows Server 2016
In addition IBM added support for the following within the platform:
- Improved VMware license handling
The PureApplication Platform comes with built-in VMware licenses for both ESX and vSphere. Even though the VMware licenses are included, those licenses do expire and clients will have to obtain new licenses through VMware (at no cost). IBM has introduced a mechanism to issue events to warn administrators about VMware licenses that are getting close to their expiry date. This helps prevent surprises and gives clients plenty of time to obtain new licenses ahead of time.
- Support to increase size of VMFS disks for existing VMs
Up until PureApplication 2.2.4, only increasing the size of Block Storage Volume disks attached to VMs was supported. Normal disks (of type VMFS) could not be increased in size, which included the boot disk of each VM. In PureApplication 2.2.5, it is now possible to increase the size of VMFS disks through the UI, which makes the administration of deployed VMs considerably easier.
Note that on this page in the Knowledge Center, IBM specifically states that increasing the size of (internal) Storage Volumes is now also supported for internal VMFS volumes:
"You can resize (expand) internal VMFS, Block, Block Shared or Block VMFS volumes."
Also refer to this page in the Knowledge Center on how to increase the size of Operating System Volumes for existing VMs.
- New version of built-in ITM within System Monitoring shared service
The built-in ITM runtime that comes with the System Monitoring shared service used to be on version 22.214.171.124. On Intel based PureApplication 2.2.5 environments, IBM has refreshed this to version 126.96.36.199. This applies to the internal System Monitoring shared service deployment, where the full ITM stack is installed on the PureApplication platform. For external System Monitoring shared service deployments, PureApplication already supported integration with an external ITM stack up to 188.8.131.52.
Note that a similar refresh on Power based PureApplication environments is planned for a future release.
- Workload Environment no longer requires a dedicated Virtual Manager Cloud Group
Support for Workload Environments was introduced in PureApplication Platform 2.2.3. One drawback was that you had to dedicated a Virtual Manager Cloud Group to each Workload Environment. And since each cloud group must contain at least one compute node, this directly limited the number of Workload Environments that could be deployed. PureApplication Platform 2.2.5 allows multiple Workload Environments to be deployed within the same Virtual Manager Cloud Group. This allows for a more flexibility and a higher number of Workload Environments within a given system's capacity.
Furthermore a number of new PureApplication patterns have been released in Q1 2018. All these patterns are available to clients who hold licenses for the corresponding IBM software (no subscription to IBM Pattern Hub is required).
- IBM Cloud Private 184.108.40.206 for Linux
IBM introduced a new version of the IBM Cloud Private pattern, which supports IBM Cloud Private up to 220.127.116.11. IBM Cloud Private Community Edition and Enterprise Edition can be installed with this pattern an a PureApplication environment, on both x86-64 and ppc64le Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
- Docker on ppc64le Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Previously Docker was only available for x86-64 Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel based PureApplication environments. We now also support Docker on ppc64le Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which can run on Power based PureApplication environments.
- IBM GPFS 4.2
Supports the latest version of GPFS; note that GPFS is now known as IBM Spectrum Scale.
- Load balancer pattern 1.0
As you can read here in the Knowledge Center, the ELB proxy shared service is no longer supported starting with PureApplication 2.2.5. As a replacement IBM has introduced the Load Balancer Pattern Type, which provides the load balancing solution to route and load balance your web applications.
- WAS 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, Liberty 126.96.36.199
Support was added for the latest fix packs of WebSphere Network Deployment 8.5.5, 9.0.0 and WebSphere Liberty 17.0.0. PureApplication 2.2.5 firmware comes with the appropriate content for the built-in IBM Installation Manager repository.
- IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM) 8.9.2
IBM ODM 8.9.2 was released on 13 March 2018, refer to the IBM ODM Knowledge Center here for more information regarding the new ODM 8.9.2 PureApplication pattern.