Infrastructure as a service cloud development
AAmies 270002F3W7 1,442 Views
Initially, the primary purpose of this blog will be to discuss user group activities, individual publications relating cloud, and my other professional activities relating to cloud computing. In particular, initially, this will relate to IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) at www.ibm.com/cloud/enterprise, which has been my primary focus for the last three years. Today, I will write about our SCE API User Group.
The IBM SmartCloud Enterprise API User Group is a technical community that I host to help users of the APIs understand them and provide a place to ask questions. The group includes customers, IBM Business Partners, independent software vendors, and IBM employees who share a common interest in understanding the APIs of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise offering. There are two meetings every month, one in a US / Europe time and one in an Asia Pacific time. Meetings are via conference call with web meetings using IBM SmartCloud Meetings (aka LotusLive).
The last meeting was this Wednesday (April 25). Alexei Karve presented on the IBM Image Construction and Composition Toolkit (ICCT) and Software Bundles in SCE. It was part 2 of a presentation in March, also by Alexei. In the first presentation Alexei discussed using ICCT to create software bundles and creating customized images with software bundles. In this week's presentation he discussed cloning and manually customizing image template topologies and building software bundle with dependencies. The materials for the presentation are available in the SCE asset catalog at the link
Alternatively, search in the SCE asset catalog for the text 'Software Bundles in SCE.' You will need a cloud user account to access it, which is free and relatively easy to create. Follow the link Product Information | Learn more on the main page if you do not have currently have an account. There is a currently (between 12 April and 28 May) a free promotion program for new customers.
The next meeting of the API User Group will be on May 23 for US / Europe time and May 24 for Asia Pacific time. Please let me know if you wish to be added to the invitation list by sending an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
In this post I will highlight some experience with Rational tools on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE). Rational development tools support cloud in several different ways: by being available as pre-built virtual machine images for use on the cloud; by providing a way to manage cloud resources, and by providing tools that can directly support cloud infrastructures. The use of Rational tools work on SCE are outlined in this presentation:
that I gave with Scott Peddle and Harm Sluiman at Innovate last year. The deck outlines business scenarios for use of Rational tools in cloud projects, describes the different Rational tools available in the SCE catalog, and describes the use of Rational Asset Manager in SCE. The Rational tools on SCE include Rational Asset Manager, Rational Application Developer, Rational Quality Manager, Testing as a Service, Rational Software Architect, Rational Build Forge, and Rational Team Concert. The ability to provision and manage J2EE servers on SCE directly from Rational Application Developer and Rational Software Architect is particularly useful. There is a deep dive on the use of Rational Asset Manager to support cloud-based asset development, especially development of virtual machine images.
Also, just a reminder that the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise promotion is still ongoing and allows new customers to test drive the cloud for free for a limited period. Details here:
Apache Libcloud is a cloud management API written in Python. It is provides a uniform API that connects to multiple cloud providers, including IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, and 23 others. Its goal is to provide a basic yet functional cloud library. Libcloud includes modules for managing virtual machines, storage, and load balancers. The current version is 0.5.2. It depends on Python 2 and will not run on Python 3. All the Linux virtual machine images in the SCE image library include a Python 2 interpreter. On Windows you can freely download and install a Python 2 interpreter from python.org.
I wrote a technical article in the SCE asset repository that explains the basics of using the Apache Libcloud
Python API with IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. Here is the link:
Sengor has contributed to the libCloud project and also helped my add an update for the SmartCloud Enterprise driver. Details are here:
Thanks to Sengor for his help.
Connecting to remote Linux desktops on is frequently needed in cloud applications. Because the remote machines are on the Internet you should be avoid sending unsecured network traffic to them and also avoid opening insecure services, like VNC, on the Internet.
I have written a technical article in the SCE asset repository that explains how to connect to a remote Linux desktop securing by tunneling VNC traffic over SSH. Besides encrypting the network traffic the technique avoids the need to open the firewall for VNC. The technique is explained for OpenSSH and PuTTY. I presented this at an SCE User Group last year and just updated it to include instructions for tunneling through a firewall to a virtual machine on a private VLAN. The TechNote will be useful to readers who have basic experience with SSH and Linux. The article is here:
Storage Management in SCE
1.May 30, 2012 10:00 AM Eastern US
2.Asia Pacific Alternate Meeting May 31, 11:00 am Beijing time
I will present on use of storage management features from the command line and API.
Change in the name of the group: I have changed the name of the group from the SCE API User Group to the SCE Developers Group.
Send me an email (email@example.com) if you would like to be added to like to be receive a meeting invitation.
You can view the Javadoc for the SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) Java API directly at this URL:
You need an SCE user account to access that URL. Sign up for the trial if you don't have an account already!
In addition, the asset download for the Java API for includes a Javadoc zip bundle that is handy to use in your IDE. For example, in Rational Software Architect or Eclipse you can mouse over the API's to view the Javadoc, as shown below.
Notice that it includes the Javadoc zip, as shown in the screenshot below.
Download all the files by clicking the Download this Asset button.
2. Enable Javadoc in the Java Build Path tab of the Project Properites dialog. Open up the entry for DeveloperCloud_API_Client-2.1.jar, as shown below.
1.May 31, 2012 10:00 AM Eastern US
2.Asia Pacific Alternate Meeting May 31, 11:00 am Beijing time
3.Alex Amies: Storage Management in SCE
The demo illustrates the use of storage availability areas and dynamic attach / detach features in an end-to-end data back-up and verification scenario on SmartCloud Enterprise with the command line tool and Java API.
A storage volume in SmartCloud Enterprise is a virtualized block storage unit. It can be mounted to a virtual machine as a storage device and formatted with a file system to store data. Other terms sometimes used to refer to the same concept in SCE are storage unit or just volume. Cloud users can use storage availability areas to store data in different areas within the same data center for the back-up purposes.
When creating a storage volume a storage availability area can optionally be chosen for the volume to be provisioned to. If no storage availability is chosen then one will be assigned by the system. When cloning a storage volume it may be cloned to a different data center.
A storage volume may be attached to a virtual machine instance after creation using dynamic attach. This is in contrast to static attach where a storage volume is attached to a disk during the virtual machine creation time. The storage volume may be detached without deleting the virtual machine instance using dynamic detach.
The presentation for the demo with screen shots, sample commands, and code snippets is here:
You need an SCE user account to access this. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be invited to the meeting.
I have updated the Storage Availability Areas and Dynamic Disk Attach / Detach Demo presentation. There was a mistake on slide 15, Find storage volume offering information, which I corrected. While was changing that I also added more description on individual steps to make the use of parameters more clear. The link is in the same place in the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise asset repository:
I have uploaded the same storage demo presentation to slideshare.net here:
You do not need a SmartCloud Enterprise account to view it there and it will be able to be found by Internet search engines.
You can access all the documentation assets relating to cloud APIs in the SCE asset repository by searching on the sce_api tag:
Just published the article Develop cloud applications with Rational tools on IBM DeveloperWorks. Thanks to my co-authors: Scott Peddle, Johnny (Tian Ming Pan), and Perry (Pan Xia Zou).
Cloud computing can promise centralization, standardization, and automation — implementing cloud actually brings application development, business, and system operations closer together so that in order to maximize efficiency, software developers need to better understand business process and system operations. To achieve these promises of cloud computing, a developer has to think in a broader fashion. In this article, the authors paint a broad picture of how to widen the developer's scope of process by using application life cycle management tools available from Rational. They provide scenarios and an overview of tools and artifacts the developer needs to reach his goal. Finally, they demonstrate how to use IBM® Rational® tools and SmartCloud Enterprise in an end-to-end development scenario.
Just published another article on SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE). This article is on the use of Apache Libcloud to manage resources in SCE. Thanks to my co-authors Sengor Kusturica, Max (Michael Maximilien), Jonathan (Qiang Guo Tong), and Shirley (Yi Shuai Wang).
This article explains the basics of using the Apache Libcloud Python API with IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. The value of the Libcloud API is that it can be used across many different cloud providers. The article will demonstrate how to create and retrieve information about cloud resources and discusses managing virtual resources across clouds. This article is suitable for readers with basic knowledge of Python and a basic knowledge of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and who wish to combine the two.
Perry (Pan Xia Zou), Qi Wen, Jonathan (Qiangguo Tong), and Conan (Xing Hua Bi) published a very nice article titled Develop software faster with continuous integration that examine agile software development practices using IBM SmartCloud Enterprise as a platform. Here is the link:
Great article folks! Thanks!
In this article Chun Feng, Shirley (Yi Shuai Wang), Guo Ning, and I describe a step-by-step guide to transferring an image from one account to another. It is a five star article with over 4,000 views. Here is the summary:
On IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, images are important assets that are the base of virtual machines that the user can provision. Users can have different accounts for different purposes on the cloud among which they would like to share private image assets to avoid duplication of their efforts. In this article, we provide a guide to transferring an image from one account to another on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
Link to the article:
Thanks Chun Feng, Shirley, and Guo Ning
June 28, 2012 11:00 AM Eastern US
Asia Pacific Alternate Meeting: June 28, 9:00 am Beijing time
1. Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Customizing and managing Windows images on SCE
2. Alex Amies, Networking Concepts and Tools for the Cloud
Lisa will present on customizing and managing Windows images on SmartCloud Enterprise. Alex will present in the second half on cloud networking.
Windows slides: TBD
Book available. Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud By Alex Amies, Harm Sluiman, Qiang Guo Tong, Guo Ning Liu. Published by IBM Press. Link: http://www.ibmpressbooks.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=9780133066845
Date: June 28, 2012
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. Eastern US
Date: June 28, 2012
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Beijing time
Speakers:Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Advisory Software Engineer, IBM
Lisa is a software engineer in IBM Global Technology Services. She is a member of the SmartCloud Enterprise team and one of the primary developers of the core platform.
Alex is a Senior Software Engineer in the GTS Development Lab team. Alex chairs the IBM SmartCloud Developer Group.
I noticed that an article that I published with Alexei Karve, Andrzej Kuchut, Shaikh, Jonathan (Qiang Tong Guo), Randy Rendahl, and Scott Peddle on IBM developerWorks now has over 18,000 views. I would like to thank my co-authors for their help on this article. The article focuses on the use of software bundles for efficient image management. Here is the link:
Summary: A software bundle is a collection of software installation files, configuration files, and metadata that can be deployed on a virtual machine instance. In this first article of a series, the authors present an overview of software bundle and image management concepts, explain the resource model, compare this platform to other software package management platforms, discuss use cases, and survey the tools available. The concepts are illustrated with the use of an example energy-saving calculator application.