We’re getting really good at deploying images. The new SmartCloud Provisioning product makes
image deployment faster and easier then ever.
While the speed and simplicity is cool, left unchecked, image sprawl
issues may catch up with you faster than ever.
Virtual image sprawl is a reasonably new phenomena derived
from the ease of capturing and creating new virtual images. Virtualization and cloud computing make it
very easy to create new virtual images.
As image catalogs grow, finding and locating the right images gets
harder. Existing images quickly become
out of date. Creating a new image is
often easier than figuring out what existing image might be reusable. This all leads to a sprawl of images, and
corresponding management issues.
To control, and proactively prevent image sprawl, we just added
two new capabilities, the Virtual Image Library and the Image Construction and
Composition Tool, into the SmartCloud Provisioning 1.2 beta program. The Virtual Image Library provides a central
view of all your images and instances – across any SmartCloud Provisioning
deployment as well as your existing VMware environments. With Virtual Image Library you can quickly understand
the content of your images, search, and run comparison reports for both
differences and similarities. This will help
you find images to reuse (instead of creating yet another image), and begins to
proactively identify consolidation candidates.
In addition, Virtual Image Library supports a central repository for
your master images, allowing you to perform version control, check-in and check-out
operations across your different environments.
While image library helps you control and manage your
images, the Image Construction and Composition Tool is a proactive step to prevent
image sprawl. With the tool, you
can construct images to share and reuse
across your cloud. The tool makes it
easy to create an image that is reconfigurable during the deployment
process. You can choose to expose
configuration parameters such as user names and ports, and even different
configuration choices. The SmartCloud Provisioning
1.2 instance creation dialog automatically displays these parameters and passes
them through to run your customization scripts.
For example, we use this technique to have one WebSphere Application
Server image that at deploy time is configured as a stand-alone node, or a
custom node, or a deployment manager node, or even an IBM HTTP Server node -
all from the same image. In addition to
building images for Smart Cloud Provisioning 1.2, the tool builds images on the
SmartCloud Enterprise public cloud, and builds image for combination in virtual
system patterns using IBM Workload Deployer.
I hope you’ll take a look at these new beta capabilities and
provide feedback on the SmartCloud Provisioning Open Beta Forum. Let's tame the image sprawl monster.
Most generally accepted definitions of Cloud Computing imply the notion of Pay per use. For a Service Provider this means defining how they intend to bill for Cloud Services, while for a Cloud enabled DataCentre in the enterprise this implies some form of showback/chargeback model. As for those consumers actually using the Cloud, they want to understand the financial implications (what will it cost?) before committing their workloads to it.
As a Cloud User
- Do you want to see what your project will cost before you provision it?
- See a price list for all the services you can provision - comparing prices for different options?
- Use a calculator to help you predict what a project will cost per month (or day or year)?
- See what the effect of changing the resources used by a project will do to the cost?
As a Cloud Provider
- Do you want to define different prices for a Service depending on the options that the user chooses?
- Set different prices for each service for different customer groups?
The following screenshots illustrate how the new cloud cost management
capability delivers solutions to these problems. The new TSAM Extension for Usage and Accounting is available to download now via the ISM Library
See the Prices for the different Cloud offerings and compare different options
first dropdown in the view shown below shows the Offerings that are available to the customer.
Offerings can be anything the Cloud provider chooses to make available, for example: Virtual Servers, Storage or even PaaS or Saas offerings. The consumer can see up front what the different rates are for each component, and compare these across different offering types..
See what it would cost per month to run a new project in the Cloud
In this example, we want to have one machine to run an Application Server and one machine to run a Database and we need additional Tier1 storage in order to store the database data. The calculator shows how much this will cost per month overall and in terms of the two Service Offerings that this particular Cloud provides..
.Different customers can be assigned to different subscriptions
A subscription is a means to segment your customers into different groups such as by geography or customer type (direct, business partners etc).
In this example, the RATIONAL and TIVOLI customers are assigned to the US (United States) subscription. Customers with this subscription share the same set of available offerings and pay the same price for those offerings..
Offerings are defined once and then added to Subscriptions
Once they are part of a subscription, the actual rate values (price per unit) can be defined for each element of the offering template.
If you wish to join the TUAM group
to get more involved in reviewing new features and testing beta capability, then let me know and I can send you an invite.
Exciting news!! We announced this week the upcoming availability of IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Environments v7.1 (formerly known as ITM for Virtual Servers). Why did we change the name? Previously, our focus was on ensuring the health of the virtual server environment - VMs & hosts and virtual storage and network elements like data store capacity, etc. With this release, we are now focused across the virtual environment to include physical network and storage performance, thus, providing a holistic view of all physical and virtual shared resources across the virtual environment. This offering will be generally available November, 23rd. Enhanced capabilities include:
- New capacity planning reports for recommendations on workload
placement, highlighting potential energy and server costs savings while
adhering to co-location policies. You can now use benchmarking data,
results simulation, and a policy framework to more intelligently assess
where workloads should be placed, instead of relying solely on resource
availability in the virtual host farm.
- Busy administrators can make rapid assessments of server, storage,
network components, showing physical and virtual performance, and
change history via default settings via a new Web 2.0 dashboard.
- Diversified virtualization investments can extend Tivoli virtual environment performance and
availability monitoring to Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop via newly
- If you have invested in the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)
platform, you can now monitor performance and availability attributes
of UCS systems, including chassis and blade health, network fabric
health, and storage management integration.
Check out the official announcement:
New extensions released
for TSAM 7.2.2 extend core capabilities and offer customers
secure customer networks
response, effectiveness and adaptation to Cloud users
storage costs managing shared virtual file systems
Extension for Juniper
- Extends TSAM Network device
support with Juniper firewall and F5 Big-IP Load balancer
- Increases security by creating
firewall configuration rules within TSAM
- Increases resource utilization
by setting Load balancer policies within TSAM
Virtual Disk Extension
- Enables customers to add/delete
additional virtual disks to the projects/VMs, within the Multi-customer
- Improves efficiency by cloning
- Provisions additional storage
- Provides additional flexibility
in service offering for storage in Compute-as-a-Service and
- Extends coverage beyond vmdk to
external storage systems such as SONAS and NetApp (NSeries)
Power is supported within Tivoli Service Automation Manager
Load Balancer Extension
Load balancing is one of the key values
of any cloud project. The load balancer extension enables the definition of
rules to automatically distribute the workload amongst VMs in the project whilst providing a single entry
point (Virtual-IP) to external users (i.e. it presents itself as a single
powerful machine to the user). Key Features include:
- Reserve/Release Virtual IPs –Virtual IPs (VIPs) can be reserved on a
project subnet so that load balancer policies can be created between
- Create/Modify/Delete a Load
- Policies can
be created, which are used to reach an application running on a pool of VMs
- VIPs and
ports are associated to the VMs that
will run the application
BIG-IP device parameters can be set (e.g. load balancing algorithm)
Two more TSAM extensions for Netapp Storage and Costing Preview will be available in December 2011.
The TSAM 7.2.2 extensions are available free of charge and can be
downloaded from the IBM Service Management Library using the links bellow.
Network Extension for Juniper – Download here
Additional Virtual Disk Extension – Download here
Load Balancer Extension – Download here
If you are interested in attending our daily demo sessions (see https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/9e696bfa-94af-4f5a-ab50-c955cca76fd0/entry/new_schedule_and_agenda_for_daily_demo_sessions_of_ibm_smartcloud_provisioning2?lang=en) but:
- you do not feel comfortable with our schedule
- you would like to discuss with us about functionalities that are not covered by the current agenda
- you would like to join an exclusive, fully dedicated to you usability session
Please post your request on the open beta forum
I recently found this article which discusses the rationale for cloud adoption: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/10/31/5893685.htm. One factor listed is capacity management - "Users are considering cloud for capacity
management issues including periodic demand peaks and better management
of data center growth, power, and cooling issues." This statement speaks to the maturity of clients surveyed who are considering cloud in that they have the visibility into their virtual environment to understand workload usage trends such as predicting peaks and projecting growth of data center resource consumption. In other words, before clients can leverage cloud for adding capacity for periodic demanding peaks, they first must have capabilities in place for visibility of existing infrastructure. I am curious to understand if any of those surveyed have optimized their virtual environment; meaning, have they rightsized their workloads and placed workloads in a way to maximize available capacity.
Would you like to show and charge
for usage of your IBM Power Systems server?
You may already be aware of the concept
of a virtualized system and virtual machines. This might be used by your organization as a means to share physical resources or form the basis for your cloud infrastructure. The usual goal of virtualization is to
centralize administrative tasks while improving scalability and work
loads. The question is how do you analyze the usage of such resources
and charge appropriately where required?
The Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager
(TUAM) team is pleased to announce that the TUAM IBM Hardware
Management Console (HMC) collector also supports collecting usage
information from IBM Systems Director Management Console (SDMC) and facilitates analyzing, reporting, and billing based on the
usage and costs of this metering data. This provides a
means for enterprises to migrate from HMC to SDMC and ensure
continuity of showback/chargeback solutions based on TUAM. Future versions of the HMC/SDMC
collector will exploit SDMC specific features.
Capabilities of the collector include
- Ability to capture allocation (entitlements) and usage information for each LPAR, Processor Pool, Memory Pool and the overall System
- Ability to capture capped and uncapped usage and charge different amounts for each
What is IBM Systems Director
Management Console (SDMC)?
The SDMC provides hardware, service,
and virtualization management for your Power Systems server.
The SDMC is the successor to the HMC and the Integrated
Virtualization Manager (IVM), and shows how IBM Systems Director is
going to take an increasingly important role for administrators. For
more information on SDMC, see this blog.
For more information about the IBM
PowerVM HMC data collector, see the TUAM
7.3 Information Center. The collector is available as part of
the TUAM 7.3.0 Enterprise Edition Base Collector Pack.
Unlock the Value of Virtualization with Integrated Service Management Whitepaper
As part of the transparent development initiative, IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (formerly known as IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud) launches a series of daily demos, starting from November 7th. Every session will take about one hour.
In this way you can have a look in almost real time at what is happening in IBM SmartCloud Provisioning development, learn about new and enhanced capabilities.
If you are interested in joining the sessions, here is the schedule in Central European Time (CET):
- Monday at 4:00 PM
- Tuesday at 11:00 AM
- Wednesday at 4:00 PM
- Thursday at 5:00 PM
- Friday at 11:00 AM
The sessions will be focused on image management.
If you would like to join, using your web browser, connect to
No password is required
New VMware Additional Disk Extension gives the customer the ability to:
* Map one or more VMware datastores to a TSAM Cloud Storage Pool for provisioning additional disks
* Associate those Storage Pools with one or more customers
* Apply a per customer quota at a Storage Pool level
* Control whether disks are thin provisioned at a Storage Pool level
* Create and automatically format/mount extra disks (Windows drives or Linux mount points) from a Cloud Storage Pool when provisioning a new virtual machine
* Backup and restore server images including any additional disks
The extension was released in October and is available free of charge for download in the IBM Service Management Library.
Download VMware Additional Disk Extension here - http://www.ibm.com/software/ismlibrary?NavCode=1TW10TS0B
Service Management Extensions for Hybrid Cloud is now available!
hybrid cloud offering is now enhanced with Service Management extensions from Tivoli to monitor and
secure the management of resources on both public and private clouds.
Service Management Extensions for Hybrid Cloud extend the
capabilities of Tivoli
service management and delivery solutions, including IBM Tivoli Service
Automation Manager, which enables users to request, deploy, monitor and manage
cloud computing services to create a more modern and dynamic data center.
IBM Tivoli Monitoring Software helps optimize IT infrastructure
performance and availability. The extensions can help increase control over
owned resources, better manage costs and data relocation processes, and help
ensure the security of critical data and other assets.
Leveraging Service Management Extensions on Tivoli Service
Automation Manager and Websphere Cast Iron Integration software, the Hybrid
Cloud solution provides key capabilities that:
Control and management: Define policies,
monitoring and performance rules for the public cloud in the same way as
on-premise resources. As a result, organizations can more easily control costs,
IT capacity and regulatory concerns.
Data Integration: Monitor, provision and
integrate to support “cloud bursting”--dynamic relocation of workloads from
private environments to public clouds during peak times.
Security: Enable better control of users’
access by synching the user directories of on-premise and cloud applications. The
automated synchronization means users can only gain entry to the information
they are authorized to access.
Service Management Extension are available free of charge
via the IBM Integrated Service Management Library.
Service Management Extensions for Hybrid Cloud
questions ready for the next Ask the Expert (ATE) event will be held on
November 8th, 2011 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time USA. Register for this event
Ask the Experts Online Jam"
(ATE) is a valuable opportunity for Global Tivoli User Community (TUC)
Members to connect with real-world experts on a range of Tivoli
products. These experts, many from IBM development, are recruited to
answer questions on an array of product topics for a concentrated period
of 12 hours
This upcoming ATE event will include experts on Tivoli and Maximo topics including: Cloud
- Tivoli Live (Software as a Service)
- IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud
This session will run from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time USA
To accommodate AP and EMEA members, questions may be submitted 9 hours prior to the event.
To find the time in your city check out the World Clock meeting planner website.
WHY SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE?
- It's free to attend.
- Your technical questions will be answered directly from the IBM experts themselves, no middleman!
- You may ask as many questions as you'd like.
- You can learn more about your products and gain a competitive edge for yourself and your company.
- Keep up with the next generation technology, and get the scoop on new product release dates and the improvements being made.
ABOUT THE TIVOLI USER COMMUNITYThe Tivoli User Community
(TUC) is the largest network of Tivoli professionals in the world.
With more than 30,000+ members in 138 countries and 160+ local and
special interest groups, the TUC links a global network of users,
developers, business partners, and IBM sales/technical staff. Members
share a common interest in increasing the knowledge of Tivoli and
Maximo software and solutions to solve business problems. Register
to become a member today.
We look forward to your participation.
Ok, I admit, I was among the early adopters of the late nineties to
get hooked on VMWare. In fact, as an open source advocate I remember
playing with "
freemware", qemu, bochs, openVZ, and several
other x86 virtualization technologies. Likewise, I was among the first
to start using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). I've been hooked
by x86 commodity hardware virtualization for a long time, and I thank
VMWare and Ed Bugnion in particular for that. But why choose VMWare
Ten years ago when the
CPUs made it hard to virtualize efficiently, VMWare was great. After
2003 if you were mostly interested in linux (king of the cloud) Xen was
an excellent open source alternative to virtualize x86 commodity
servers. In 2006 Amazon launched their EC2 service which would become
the defacto cloud standard. EC2 is built on Xen and is probably the
single biggest x86 virtualization environment in the world. Several
hundred thousand of my closest friends have found EC2 to be a fantastic
compute platform that goes beyond server virtualization, all without a
trace of VMWare. So why choose VMWare now?
modern CPUs include specific support for virtualization making it
easier to deliver efficient virtulaization without Xen's paravirt trick
or VMWare's innovative code patching. Current linux kernels include
support for KVM and I believe upstream kernels will again support Xen
natively. I remember when RedHat bought Qumranet,
developer of KVM, SPICE, and SolidICE (a desktop virtualization
technology) in 2008. Back then KVM didn't compare to VMWare. It
certainly was not "
back then. Three years later, KVM has matured extremely well. I think it really is "
for commodity OS virtualization. In my cloud development efforts I've
run hundreds of thousands of VMs on Xen and KVM during the past 2 1/2
years. While I really respect Xen, I've come to like and appreciate KVM
on modern CPUs since it's just so simple and easy to use. Today there
are so many "
choices for x86 virtualization from
Xen, KVM, and VirtualBox to Hyper-V, which Microsoft is practically
giving away just to keep Windows relevant in the datacenter. So why
choose VMWare now?
Is low end disruption
a threat for VMWare? Linux and Apache are certainly well established
in the datacenter preventing Microsoft's dominance over the desktop to
spill into the datacenter. Ten years ago when Windows had 90-something
percent market share of desktop computers, I myself considered Microsoft
an untouchable giant. Today, however, I think they're doomed because
Apple is cooler, all the kids have 'em along with iphones and and
ipads. By analogy, VMWare should be very concerned. IMHO, they can and
will lose their dominance and I think they'll do so by the classic Innovator's Dilemma
VMWare continues to cater to their traditional high end customers.
Meanwhile, nearly three quarters of a million developers are using
Amazon's cloud as their platform for new software applications and
services. And the best part is Amazon's cloud doesn't even need or use
VMWare. In fact, neither does Google's AppEngine or Microsoft's Azure.
Sense a pattern? If you believe, as I do, that we're on the cusp of a
new platform war to deliver the next generation of applications and
services, then the key to success is the application development
community. VMWare may have operations teams sold, but developers love
the cloud. Interestingly, they may not even have the ops guys sold
after all. Here's a forum thread titled "VMWare, a falling giant
"According to Ars Technica, 'A new survey seems to show that VMware's iron grip on the enterprise virtualization market is loosening,
with 38 percent of businesses planning to switch vendors within the
next year due to licensing models and the robustness of competing
hypervisors.' What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving
away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures
survey found that VMware is the primary hypervisor for server
virtualization in 67.6 percent of shops, followed by Microsoft's Hyper-V
with 16.4 percent and Citrix with 14.4 percent. Wow, this doesn't even
compare to Microsoft's former dominance for which I recall seeing
numbers as high as 98% market share!
So why choose VMWare now? Maybe the question should be, "
Have you tried an open source hypervisor lately?"
Or better yet, "
have you tried a public cloud yet"
Frankly, I don't even like using hypervisors directly anymore as I find
clouds much more powerful and easier to use. Why don't you give ISAAC a try
? You can see what a real cloud is like while also trying out open source hypervisors.
There's still time to sign up for the IBM webcast: Managing the Cloud – Best practices for cloud service management
Organizations today are looking to cloud computing to deliver cost savings and faster service delivery. However, most organizations are still struggling to have the basic IT infrastructure that is necessary to take the leap to a robust cloud. This session will explain how service management can help provide the essentials to maintain service levels in the cloud and best practices based on IBM's work with customers. This information will provide the foundation for building and managing a cloud to meet your business objectives and transform IT.
Interim fix 1 for IBM Service Agility Accelerator for Cloud 1.1 (
1.1.0-TIV-ISAAC-IF0001) has been published.
It addresses three defects related to the deployment of windows images.
More in details, if fixes the following issues:
- Launch windows persistent instance failed: after launching windows persistent instance, the instance will be in stopped status and not able to run.
- Not able to run persistent instance on VMware hyper node
- Lack of support for windows 7 and 2008 sysprep-ed images: not able to change the administrator's password if it is prepared by sysprep.
For further details read the readme file associated with the interim fix