- Technical tips and tricks
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If you have specific topics for which you would like to see blog entries, don't hesitate to provide feedback.
BredaMcColgan 270003EXB8 Tags:  tbsm service impact cloud provider tsam csp² isdm itm omnibus tivoli 6,723 Views
The IBM® Cloud Integration Lab has published a technical integration note titled CSP² Technical Integration Note: Managing the core system.
This technical integration note provides a general introduction to the IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform (CSP²) integrated solutions, and describes the Phase 1 solution in detail.
This technical integration note provides a Cloud Administrator with guidance on how to exploit the following capabilities in a cloud environment:
This technical integration note provides information about the following integration items for Phase 1:
To read this paper, click here.
To download the example files described in Appendix A, click here.
Here are a few basic steps to get the most out of the the VMware VI agent:
1) Install the latest vCenter from VMware.
The best release is the latest release, vCenter 4.1, and it has shown superior performance over earlier releases. If you are still using vCenter v2.5, be sure to install the latest level, Update 6 (build 227637). The early update levels of vCenter v2.5 will not work with the agent, and VMware currently supports only Update 6.2) Install the latest VMware VI agent.
If you haven't already, install the new v6.2.3, available since February, 2011. Details are here:3) Set Validate SSL Certificates to No.
When configuring the agent, most users want to communicate via SSL, but getting the right certificate can be a challenge. Most users set "Use SSL Connection to Data Source" to Yes, but set "Validate SSL Certificates" to No. The data still uses SSL, but certificates are ignored.4) Install Microsoft hotfix on Windows 2003 SP2.
If you run the agent on the same Windows 2003 SP2 machine as the vCenter, you may need a Microsoft hotfix to avoid TCP problems. Go here to find out more:5) Increase the heap size for large environments.
You might need to increase the java heap size for the agent's data provider if you have a large VMware environment, such as more than 100 ESX hosts and more than 1000 virtual machines. For details, see the User's Guide (the recommendation applies to v6.2.2 and v6.2.3):Still having a problem with the VMware VI agent? Look at this section on the support wiki on how to search the logs for information that might help:
VMware VI Agent Common Tracing
And you can always contact IBM Support - we'll be glad to help!
The Tivoli User Community (TUC) has a second quarter Community Focus on Cloud and Virtualization.
It's a great time to check out the TUC and collaborate with some of the other 27,000 Tivoli Users. There may even be a local User Group in your area; there are more than 160 local groups world wide as well as ten virtual user groups, grouped by product focus areas.
Each quarter the TUC reaches far and wide to bring together many different view points, presentations, and "experts on tap" to discuss a hot topic that the members have voted on.
This month's topic is right in line with YOUR area of interest, Cloud and Virtualization.
click here for a full portal of Resources about these topics including:
Since February, I have been speaking to many customers about our new capacity management and planning reports that are available in ITM for Virtual Servers v6.2.3 (click here for demos & whitepapers on the subject). One common theme that has been popping up is in the form of this question - How do I take this information and automate the change I need to make to optimize my system? For example, one customer said they loved the report that shows a list of LPARs that could be right sized (LPARs that have been over allocated CPU, Memory), but they have 3,500 LPARs in their environment - who is going to take the time to make that adjustment - even if it is just 10% of the workloads that need to be adjusted, that is 350 LPARs that need to be reconfigured. Good point I thought. Computers are supposed to do the work for us, aren't they?
Thank goodness our smart PhDs are actively working on that problem now - by taking information and transforming it into recommendations. Using the above example, this customer wants to right size their VMs to optimize their environment - i.e. the goal is to free up space to add additional workloads in the future, or to lengthen the time to purchase additional hardware. Taking this business policy into account, the software will provide recommendations for configuration changes and where to place workloads in the environment to optimize hardware utilization.
This approach to solving the problem will require different thinking on behalf of our IT personnel from "give me the data" to thinking in terms of compliance to business policies - is the goal to reduce hardware costs, energy costs or to ensure application A does not sit on the same server as Application B.
If this topic is interesting, I invite you to join in the conversation by adding to the list of what other kinds of business policies would you like actionable recommendations. If you are really, really interested in this topic, I invite you to join our beta program (contact our beta manager Gary @ firstname.lastname@example.org).
IBM has entered several papers to be presented at VMworld 2011. If you are attending VMworld and would like to hear what IBM has to offer to manage, automate and optimize VMware virtual and cloud environments, go to this link to vote for the IBM sessions (search IBM):
The Tivoli User Community presents a free webcast with the IBM Cloud team:
EXTENDING YOUR ACTUALIZATION INTO THE CLOUD - a Community Focus Webcast
Webcast time: June 9, 2011 -- 11:00AM Eastern USA
Sign up for this webcast >>
To learn more about the TUC Community Focus on Cloud and Virtualization click here
The Tivoli User Community offers FREE Webcasts to all members. Click here to join today
Webcast Description: The benefits from cloud computing seem clear: cost reduction, better flexibility, scale to meet business demands, etc. However, getting to cloud involves a lot of decisions. Learn how some of your colleagues are leveraging Tivoli solutions to automate virtualized environments and move to private clouds.
Speakers: Moe Abdula, IBM Director of Service Automation and Cloud Solutions and Bowman Hall, IBM Director, Cloud Computing Client Engagements
IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Servers collects a wealth of performance metrics for a virtual environment in the Tivoli Data Warehouse when historical collection is enabled on the agent. Data can be collected over long periods of time at hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly intervals. When mined, this data helps analyze the overall performance and capacity of the environment in the past, present and future.
Using our very popular Tivoli Common Reporting tool (which runs Cognos 8.4 Business Intelligence and Reporting suite underneath), we leverage the data in the Tivoli Data Warehouse to provide intelligent data models and reports that will help you understand your environment better and make basic estimates for capacity. The reports are not geared toward long-term capacity planning, but are more a quick analysis tool for understanding work-load characteristics, placement and optimization.
These reports answer various questions like
The TCR tool is completely web based and has a bunch of interesting features that will simplify your life:
These type of reports are available for the VMware VI agent (shipped with ITM for Virtual Servers v6.2.3), System P agent (on ISM Library), Citrix XenServer agent (on ISM Library) etc.
To learn more take a look at our video demos and white paper.
Payal Chakravarty, Technical Lead, Reporting Solutions, Tivoli Software
jhkeenan 270001K41A Tags:  chargeback cloud showback metering tuam cloud_cost_management 1 Comment 8,223 Views
As businesses adopt cloud environments to control IT complexity, pool resources, and improve cost efficiencies, the TUAM development team have been engaged in evolving the usage and accounting capability in IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM) beyond traditional Enterprise charge-back.
In such a shared cloud environment the ability to accurately assess which IT resources and services are being utilized, how much they are being utilized, and by whom is fundamental if service providers are to justify the cost of the IT resource and expense.
The latest release of IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, Version 7.3, provides Cloud Cost Management for those businesses needing to understand the new and dynamic usage of shared IT resources in Cloud and Virtualized environments, and seeking to bill or charge business units for their share of resource use including compute, storage, networks, energy, and personnel.
Read more about the new TUAM Cloud Cost Management Extension v1.0 for Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TSAM) in our blog update.
IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager allows businesses to:
Additionally the development team are working to supplement these core capabilities with new price tiering and invoice preview features for Cloud administrators and consumers. These features will be provided to TUAM users via the IBM Integrated Service Management Library from October 2011.
Webcast June 9, 11AM ET - Cloud - Extending your Virtualization Into the Cloud
Special Offer! - All webcast participants will receive a free Cloud Assessment test and 50% off the Cloud Certification test from IBM
Sign up for this webcast >>
Webcast Time: Thursday, June 9, 2011, 11:00AM Eastern USA
Description: The benefits from cloud computing seem clear: cost reduction, better flexibility, scale to meet business demands, etc. However, getting to cloud involves a lot of decisions Learn how some of your colleagues are leveraging Tivoli solutions to automate virtualized environments and move to private clouds.
Speakers: Moe Abdula, IBM Director, Service Automation and Cloud Solutions Product Management and Bowman Hall, IBM Director, Cloud Computing Client Engagements, IBM Software Group.
AnindyaNeogi 110000SA48 Tags:  vmware virtualization capacity_planning analytics cloud 7,711 Views
The new capacity planning tool, now available in Beta, will unlock the value of Tivoli Monitoring and Warehouse and enable a rich set of analytics on the existing data. This new capability will enable you to
The tool leverages Tivoli Integrated Portal (TIP) and Tivoli Common Reporting (TCR) with embedded Cognos reporting engine. It integrates with the ITM and TDW infrastructure to get configuration and usage data from your virtual infrastructure.
Here's a quick overview of the advanced planning scenarios you can now implement in your virtual environment using this tool.
Key Scenarios for a Capacity Analyst
There may be several other scenarios that one can come up with on this tool framework.
The planning tool also provides a workflow-driven UI with both fast-path and expert-mode options. The main workflow page is shown below with a 5-step approach to create optimized virtual environment plans with default options for several steps. One can iterate through these steps to reach the desired results.
An example recommendation output of the tool is shown below with interactive topology navigation capability, summary views, and risk scores assigned to the infrastructure elements. This is an actionable recommendation as one can take this structured output in an XML and write an adapter to trigger automation workflows that implement the recommendations. The example screen shows how we analyzed a cluster with 4 hosts and recommended a consolidation on 3 hosts.
The topology view is interactive as it allows the user to click on various nodes and visualize the summary of the infrastructure levels below the node. Risk levels of the nodes are shown as node colors.
Hope this will be an exciting set of functions to start with and we look forward to suggestions on feature improvements and scenarios. Please contact Gary Forghetti (email@example.com) to schedule a demo or sign up for the Beta version of the tool. We'll keep updating this forum with more and more details, such as demo videos, white papers etc.
Anindya Neogi, PhD | Senior Technical Staff Member | Tivoli Software | IBM Master Inventor
jzucker 100000BPGA Tags:  deployer cloudburst image cloud virtual upgrade appliance websphere 6,415 Views
Upgrading WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance environment service level using Secure Copy Protocol
Cloud technical consultant
IBM Innovation Centre Hursley
The purpose of the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance (WCA) is to allow application configurations -- which are customizable to the virtual infrastructure environments required for particular projects -- to be deployed and maintained, so as to be ready to run distributed applications on the project's available cloud. The environments typically contain all the elements of WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition: Operating System, HTTP Server, WAS ND application server nodes and intelligent management components for dynamic clusters.
Because the necessary components, aside from the project application code itself, are all contained within a predefined OVF package, the question arises: How do we keep the application configurations up to date with the current recommended fix level?
In this note, I illustrate in detail some typical practical steps to maintain virtual systems under WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance 2.0. I shall show some convenient steps to take the appliance from an earlier to a current fixpack level and apply the upgrade.
I shall assume that there is a single networked Linux workstation PC available on the same network as the WCA to be maintained. This is all that is needed to administer and make the upgrades available.
In this situation, the outline steps are:
Step 1) Download the WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition (WAS HV) recommended fixpack to your local Linux PC.
Step 2) Keeping each OVA file downloaded on the local Linux PC, use these to add a new virtual image into the WCA's catalog through secure copy (scp) to access the file from the appliance.
Step 3) At the appliance, select each out of date virtual system and upgrade to the fixpack level provided by the new virtual image.
Step 1 - Obtaining the WAS HV fixpack
The latest fixpacks may be obtained through the Software Access Catalog available to IBM Business Partners who have obtained the IBM Value Package or Software Access Option. Details are at https://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/servlet/ContentHandler/isv/sac.
A current snapshot of available WAS HV fixpacks for a variety of deployable Operating Systems is shown in Figure 1. A convenient search term to locate the packages which may be used with WCA 2.0 is 'WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition OVA'.
At the time of writing, an applicable download is shown in Figure 2. In this example we are using the 32-bit WAS HV option for SLES 5.4 to upgrade our virtual image catalog on the WCA. The OVF package is available in the form of a single archive of the directory structure based on OVF. This single archive is know as an OVA file.
The download shown in Figure 2 provides the file named WAS_HV_V18.104.22.168_SLES_X86.ova. Its size is 7.9 GB (or to be exact 8,490,311,680 bytes).
For this exercise, I chose to use a Linux PC, known on the network as linux-local. I prepared a directory, as a subdirectory of the root filesytem, to hold each OVA file at the path /WCA-Updates as shown at Figure 3 (before downloading) and at Figure 4 with some of the available fixpack 17 packages. firefox is a suitable browser for accessing the WCA administrative user interface, as is also Internet Explorer on Windows.
OVF is a standardized representation of virtual machine metadata. Its purpose is to allow virtual machine hypervisor vendors to be able to describe and create virtual machines across different platforms in an agreed, open format. See http://www.dmtf.org/standards/ovf for a definition of OVF and OVA.
Step 2 - Adding the OVA files to WCA's catalog
Figure 5 shows a WCA at release level 22.214.171.124-26833 at a network address we shall refer to as my-wca-address. I have logged into the appliance as the Administrator. At this appliance, I selected Catalog -> Virtual Images, in the pulldown as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 6 illustrates that the existing level of WAS HV in the catalog is 126.96.36.199. So the upgrade to 188.8.131.52 is likely to be opportune.
In order to make the OVA file available for adding to the WCA's catalog, WCA 2.0 following the OVF specification provides for three main options:
i) To allow the OVA file to be accessed over the network from an HTTP Server using unsecured http
ii) To allow the OVA file to be accessed over the network from an HTTP Server secured using SSL via https
iii) To allow the OVA file to be accessed using secure file copy (the scp protocol).
Notice that other options, especially to locate the ova file at an NFS mount point are not supported by the specification at the time of writing and are not accepted as valid URLs. In my scenario, option (iii) using scp to serve OVA files from my local Linux workstation is perfectly convenient. I decided that this was my preferred means of accomplishing the download to the WCA.
Preconditions of the scp transfer are:
i) the hostname is resolvable using DNS supplied by the local network.
ii) the username and password of a scp authorized account (such as root by default) is known.
iii) the WCA appliance is at 2.0 or greater.
To commence the update, using my /WCA-Updates/WAS_HV_V184.108.40.206_SLES_X86.ova saved download package, I selected the green + sign, alongside the title Virtual Images in the top left of the user interface. I provided the scp path linux-local:/WCA-Updates/WAS_HV_V220.127.116.11_SLES_X86.ova as the location for adding a new virtual image as shown in Figure 7. The user name and password must be for an account which has the right to run scp. Having completed these fields, I simply pressed OK so as to initiate the process of importing the OVA as a new virtual image.
N.B. - Remember to check that linux-local (substitute your workstation hostname) is DNS resolvable and that you have the correct administrative credentials for SCP. An error with either of these conditions results in a red warning triangle and the message 'Invalid URL provided for OVA'.
In my scenario, the process began to create a new virtual image 1309103352782. The image download continues as shown in Figure 8.
Using my WCA over the network to linux-local the download took approximately 2 hours to complete. During this period, the task flow is as shown in Figure 9. Upon completion of the import, the result is shown in Figure 10.
In order to make the new image available, it is necessary first to accept the licences provided with the image. I accepted all licences by clicking each of the entries (for Novell, for Vmware, for WAS HV and for WAS HV intelligent management in this scenario) in Figure 11 then clicking the acceptance button. Once all constituent licences had been accepted, as in Figure 12, I finally clicked the OK button.
The effect of all the preceding steps is to create a new visual image in the catalog, whose description is WebSphere Application Server 18.104.22.168 and whose details are for Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11. This is as shown in Figure 13.
The new image is now available in the catalog, with accepted licences,for use in new patterns or apply to existing ones.
Step 3 – Effecting the virtual system upgrade
Where there is a virtual system running the out of date WAS HV level it may be updated from the WCA console. Let us take the simple example of a Single Server pattern deployment available under the Virtual Servers tab, as shown in Figure 14.
To update to the current WAS HV fixpack I clicked the wrench symbol on the top right of the WebSphereSingleServerDeployment virtual server page, next to the red cross. The result of this action is to provide a set of options which include 'Move to service level'. The pulldown for this option includes the newly created WebSphere Application Server 22.214.171.124 option, as shown in Figure 15.
When the virtual server gets upgraded to the later service level, a VMware snapshot of the earlier version gets taken. Under 'Product administrator user name and password', I supplied the root user and password, before clicking the OK button to apply the change.
Figure 16 and Figure 17 show the progress of selecting the update option to apply the move to the later fixpack level.
A Linux workstation on the same network as WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance 2.0 is all that is needed to configure new virtual images which represent updated fix levels for providing new patterns or upgrading existing virtual servers. The requirement is that the workstation is capable of running Secure Copy Protocol (scp). On this assumption no additional tooling for the Linux PC is needed.
This note has documented all the steps needed to get this function to work correctly.
IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Servers has reached the Beta stage for the next major release and we are seeking interested Beta participants.
Among the features currently under development, to be highlighted in the beta program, are proposed new dashboards highlighting advancements in analytics as well as policy-driven capacity planning.
ITM for Virtual Servers Beta drop 3 that includes capacity planner was successfully released to WW customers.
This beta drop includes simple 5 step process on PlanningCenter for capacity planning, resource demand generation based on time shift & percentile utilization, topology reports.
The previous beta drop was evaluated by key business partner Orb Data. The product received positive feedback. "We recently participated in the Beta program for Tivoli's upcoming ITM for Virtual Servers release. We liked what we saw with their new dashboard capabilities and particularly the new capacity analytics features. During the Beta program we analyzed the reports that came from the VMware agent, and realized that we had a memory bottleneck. As a consequence we have now upgraded and fixed the issue.", Orb Data.
This Beta program is open to any IBMers and existing IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Servers customers, or Business Partners.
The Value for You: This program is a great channel for you to connect with development and to affect the future releases of the product.
If you are interested please fill out and submit the online beta program nomination form: https://www-304.ibm.com/software/support/trial/cst/forms/nomination.wss?id=3243
ValoryBatchellor 0600012GU5 Tags:  virtual cloud iaas vde deployment provisioning tivoli hslt 6,407 Views
We are happy to announce that a Beta program is underway for the Tivoli Virtual Deployment Engine (VDE), also known as High Scale Low Touch (HSLT).
VDE will provide a low-cost, easy to implement cloud solution to fulfil demand for rapid deployment of virtual machines and storage in high or low volume environments with massive scalability, high resiliency and low management costs. It's been in development for a number of months and is now ready for wider trials with our customers. Those who have witnessed it first hand are highly impressed with the speed of deployment and the fast time-to-value.
The main features of this exciting new capability are:
- Quick deployment times of VM and storage - even for thousands of virtual images, eg:
- Low overhead approaches to image instantiation, recovery and management
- Self-service feature to give end users easy and fast access to the virtual components they require
- Distributed design avoids single point of failure. Recovery from failures is automatic and immediate, not manual and time-consuming
- Reduced administration and maintenance effort
You can now download and deploy the Beta code in your own test environment, and see for yourself.
Design presentations, demonstrations and documentation are all available on our Discussion Forum, which all participants will be given access to. As well as giving you direct contact with the Development team, the Forum also gives you the opportunity to connect with our other participating customers and business partners.
Beta Programs give you an unrivalled opportunity to influence the direction of products so that they suit the way you do business, and to try new or updated solutions in your own environment free of charge.
If you would like to join the Beta program or simply want more information, please contact the Beta Manager, Valory Batchellor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We're pleased to announce that the IBM Champion program, hosted by developerWorks, has expanded to recognize and reward clients and partners who evangelize and advocate Tivoli Software, share their expertise, and help grow the community.
The IBM Champion program recognizes exceptional contributors to the technical community -- clients and partners who work alongside IBM to build solutions for a smarter planet. An IBM Champion is an individual who leads and mentors his or her peers and motivates them toward IBM solutions and services. Champions can be found running user groups, managing websites, speaking at conferences, answering questions in online forums, and writing blogs, submitting wiki articles, sharing how-to videos, and writing technical books.
The IBM Champion program recognizes and thanks these innovative thought leaders, amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence in the technical community.
Benefits for an IBM Champion
In addition to merchandise customized with the IBM Champion logo, IBM Champions will receive special visibility, recognition and networking opportunities at IBM events and conferences. They will receive special access to product development teams, and invitations and discounts to events and conferences. IBM Champions will receive online recognition via their Tivoli Community profiles (on Service Management Connect and the Tivoli User Community), with a special designation of "IBM Champion" and a listing of notable achievements. IBM Champions retain their title for one year, after which they can apply for renewal.
Nomination process and eligibility
Self nominations and nominations by proxy will be accepted online through August 13th, 2011. A panel of IBMers will evaluate each nominee's contributions over the past 12 months, considering community impact, expertise, and overall community contributions, both in terms of quality and level of participation across a wide variety of activities. Nominees will be notified by IBM if they are selected. Although IBM employees are not eligible for the program, they are encouraged to nominate deserving partners and clients.
For more information To learn more about the IBM Champion program and to submit a nomination, visit:
This week IBM is delivering enhanced capabilities to optimize IT service delivery through a new release of IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager--providing even greater value to customers. TSAM enables a more modern and dynamic data center, allowing users to request, deploy, monitor and manage cloud computing services. Key differentiators include solution transparency, ease of use and cost savings.The new release allows IT service providers to onboard multiple customers, deploy IT services very quickly across multiple platforms and hypervisors, maximize resource utilization and drive cloud operations effectiveness and efficiency by adding storage support and expanding on network integration. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/service-auto-mgr/
jbuckley 2700019NHW Tags:  tsam cloud_cost_management cognos billing tuam isdm reports chargeback tcr costs cloud 2 Comments 11,016 Views
Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM) development are pleased to announce the release of the IBM® Tivoli® Service Automation Manager (TSAM) - Extension for Usage and Accounting v1.0.
This TSAM extension delivers cloud cost management capability by enhancing the integration, reporting and services between TUAM and TSAM. The extension allows cloud users to view historical invoice reports that show the charges associated with each project.
The Usage and Accounting v1.0 extension provides the following features:
The following table shows the evolution in the TSAM/TUAM integration.
The diagram below show how the Usage and Accounting v1.0 extension facilitates the integration between TSAM and TUAM.
For more information about the Usage and Accounting v1.0 extension, log on to the Information Center.
A hotfix for Tivoli Service Automation Manager 7.2.2 that contains a fix to a small but important installation issue as well as some enhancements for migrating from the previous version is now available on the IBM Support Portal.
Would you like to expand your TUAM Cognos reporting experience?
The TUAM team are pleased to announce the delivery of 10 new Cognos reports, that enhance TUAM Cognos reporting in the following ways:
Graphical reports are now available providing an immediate view of usage and cost recovery.
The screenshot below shows the Top 10 Pie Chart. For more information about the graphical reports, log on to the IBM Integrated Service Management library.
Trending ReportsTrending reports allow users to get an insight into the trends in cost accrual and usage in order to monitor how the cost recovery process is progressing.
The screenshot below shows the Cost Trend Graph (Click to enlarge). For more information about the trending reports, log on to the IBM Integrated Service Management library.
Additional Crosstab reports are now available that allow you to monitor costs and usage. You can now better understand charges over time using the Monthly Crosstab report and gain a better understanding at a high level of the usage and costs being accrued using the Summary Crosstab reports.
Use these new reports to create your own reports. Use the Top 10 Pie Chart as a template for other graphical reports to show the highest and lowest consumers of resources and costs. Use the Trend Graph reports as templates for reports showing lower level details of the trend in costs and usage
Log on to the IBM Integrated Service Management library to download this latest report offering package (including the detailed report document) from the TUAM team.
Registration is now open for Pulse 2012 which will be held March 4-7, 2012 and will feature hundreds of industry-focused sessions that demonstrate how IBM provides Visbility, Control and Automation across the business infrastructure to help you react with agility in today’s competitive landscapes, reduce risk, and receive the most value from your technology investment.
One of the key topics is Cloud Computing as a profound evolution of IT with revolutionary implications for business and society, creating new possibilities and enabling more efficient, flexible and collaborative computing models and Tivoli Service Automation Manager is one of the featured solutions and services.