IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager - Extension for Network Attached Storage
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IBM® Tivoli® Service Automation Manager (TSAM) has delivered yet another cloud extension that provides service offerings for automating the provisioning of network attached storage (NAS) with an NFS export name. The file systems can then be mounted into virtual machines provisioned within TSAM Virtual Servers Projects. The extension introduces the concept of Storage-only Project, which allows managing the entire life-cycle of the file systems (create, expand, set access, and destroy), in a secure multi-tenant environment. It works in integration with IBM N series and NetApp FAS series storage systems as sketched in the picture below.
Once you download the installation package from the Integrated Service Management Library (htt
Selecting the Create Storage Project offerings brings a simple user interface for requesting file systems and assigning them to teams of users (see example pictures below).
The customer administrator has to enter a prefix for the NFS export name, a TSAM Storage Pool from which to carve the storage, and the size of the file system, that’s it. She can decide to create many file systems with same characteristics by increasing the value of the “Number” spin control. She can decide to make the file systems available to all the teams of the customer by checking the “Access to All Teams” box: by default the storage is only visible to the team of users that owns the storage project.
Note that once the storage project has been created, the file systems cannot be mounted yet into virtual servers because there is no ACL set on the IBM N series boxes for them. To do so, the customer administrator creates TSAM Projects with Virtual Servers, and associates file systems to the virtual machines belonging to the project: the extension automatically updates the access control list (ACL) of the NFS export name adding the IP address of the virtual machines. When the user logs in, she can mount the file systems and use them (she gets the information of the NFS export name with a notification e-mail).
In summary, the predefined functions that you get with the TSAM Extension for NAS storage are:
- Service offerings for managing the entire life-cycle (create, expand, destroy, set access) of shared file systems accessible with the NFS protocol;
- Service offering for authorizing virtual servers to mount storage;
- Administrative graphical user interface for discovering NetApp Datasets into TSAM Storage Pools and restricting usage by customer.
There are no predefined features to create and manage NetApp Datasets neither vFilers to create customers silos. For example, what if you want to automate the creation of a vFiler and of a couple of storage pools – gold and silver, upon on-boarding of a new customer?
There are no predefined features to authorize the shared file systems to anything but a virtual server within virtual servers’ project. What if you want to automatically attach a file system to a VMWare Cluster as backend data store for VM images upon creation in a storage project?
Well, the TSAM Extension for NAS storage provides low-level Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM) Workflows and Tivoli Platform Automation engine (TPAe) Runbooks that can be used to implement such automations in custom extensions that you can write based on best practices described in the TSAM platform extensibility guide.
 This article focuses on a public cloud solution, where the service provider sells services to his customers. So, the cloud administrator is the administrator of the entire cloud platform, end the customer administrator is the administrator of the customer segment of the cloud.