Self-service Virtual Server Provisioning in the Cloud
with IBM Service Delivery Manager
by Paul Quigley
IBM Service Delivery Manager (ISDM) is a software appliance solution that brings together, into an integrated platform, the capabilities of Tivoli Service Automation Manager, integrated with advanced monitoring of virtual environments from Tivoli® Monitoring and Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Servers, and with enterprise metering and cost accounting capabilities provided by Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager.
ISDM helps service providers as well as internal IT departments to deliver IT services in an efficient, standardized, and cost-effective way, achieving the benefits of a cloud delivery model. ISDM enables the data center to accelerate the creation of service platforms for a wide spectrum of workload types with a high degree of integration, flexibility and resource optimization with many core service management capabilities, such as, a self-service user interface.
This blog focuses on the self-service user interface. Topics discussed include:
- An overview of using the self-service UI to create a project with VMware virtual servers
- Modifying virtual server resources
- Creating a backup of a virtual server
The self-service interface contains functions that correspond to offerings in the Service Request Manager (SRM) offering catalog, such as Create project with VMware servers. Access to offerings is based on the user’s role (security group).
You can modify offerings, delete offerings, or create new offerings. For example, you can modify the offering to automatically create a mount point for a Network File Server (NFS) when creating a virtual server. Or, you might modify the offering to support only 3 types of virtual servers: small, medium, or large, instead of allowing the users to choose specific parameters. These types of modifications are commonly known as extensions.
With the self-service UI, users can request what they want, when they want it, and specify how long they need it. In the graphic to the right, a project, Regression_Test, containing 3 virtual servers, is scheduled to start on April 1,2013 and end on April 30,2013. This is a request for a 1 month test after the customer software has been updated. The resources for the project will be reserved now and can be modified from the self-service UI if the test dates change, for example.
Creating a virtualized environment more quickly, reducing errors leads to improved customer satisfaction.
Optionally, you can deploy IBM Tivoli Monitoring agents to monitor the provisioned virtual servers and additional software, such as WebSphere Application Server, DB2, customer applications, and more.
After you have provisioned a virtual server, you might need to modify the resources allocated to the virtual sever. For example, you might need to increase disk space to install a new software product. Users can increase or decrease the amount of CPU, memory, or disk for a virtual server, including those associated with a future reservation. The example below shows an increase to the CPU, adding 0.3 physical CPU, memory, adding 512MB, and disk, adding an additional 1GB disk. Click OK to submit the request.
Requests to modify the virtual server might cause the server to reboot one or more times. This might cause an interruption to the service being provided by the virtual server and should be planned for accordingly.
Suppose you provisioned a virtual server and installed software for a test. What do you do when the test ends? Will you need to use the virtual server to test fixes? If so, you might need to create a backup of the virtual server.
A backup of a virtual server is known as a saved image and is a full clone of the provisioned virtual server. Saved images can be created manually, by users from the self-service UI, or automatically, when a virtual server is de-provisioned. Later, when you need the virtual server, you can restore it from the saved image and begin regression testing of the fixes.
For more information about IBM Service Delivery Manager and Tivoli Service Automation Manager, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/service-delivery-manager/.
Paul Quigley is a Senior Technical Enablement Specialist with IBM Software Services for Tivoli with expertise in Tivoli Service Automation Manager, Tivoli Provisioning Manager and Smart Cloud Provisioning.