" 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 available?"
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 "
IBM’s hybrid cloud offering now enhanced with Tivoli extensions to monitor, secure, manage resources on both public and private clouds
Service Management Extensions for Hybrid Cloud is now available!
IBM’s 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.
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
rossella 120000Q98F Tags:  provisioning demo cloud icon library image iaas virtualization smartcloud accelerator management 11,460 Views
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):
The sessions will be focused on image management.
No password is required
jbuckley 2700019NHW Tags:  usage utility_computing sdmc billing tuam showback powervm chargeback virtualization 6,030 Views
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
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.
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.
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:
Please post your request on the open beta forum
New extensions released for TSAM 7.2.2 extend core capabilities and offer customers
• More secure customer networks
• Faster response, effectiveness and adaptation to Cloud users
• Lower storage costs managing shared virtual file systems
Network Extension for Juniper
Additional Virtual Disk Extension
Power is supported within Tivoli Service Automation Manager 7.2.2
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:
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
jbuckley 2700019NHW Tags:  cloud_cost_management tsam price tuam charges cloud costs isdm preview 1 Comment 7,781 Views
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 Provider
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
The 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.
rewillen 060000NE9V Tags:  provisioning construction icon image sprawl smartcloud image-library 1 Comment 8,360 Views
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.
Improve server density and proactively address capacity bottlenecks across physical and virtual server, storage and network resources
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:
Check out the official announcement:
MicheleCrudele 060000UYRR Tags:  storage volume cloud filesystem netapp nseries tsam isdm 8,473 Views
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 (http://www.ibm.com/software/ismlibrary?NavCode=1TW10TS0F) and install it on top of TSAM 7.2.2 platform, your cloud administrator can easily configure the Extension for Network Attached Storage to provision NFS-mountable file systems. In fact, the extension provides a plug-in to the Cloud Storage Pool Administration TSAM application where she can enter the hostname of the workstation running the OnCommand NetApp management software, and the credentials to access it. Then the extension automatically discovers all the storage resources (NetApp Datasets) from the underlying storage systems and makes them visible as TSAM Storage Pools. At that point the cloud administrator can regulate access to the storage resources using the TSAM way of associating storage pools and quotas to customers, and that’s it, the extension is configured. Now you can delegate to your customers the management of storage up to the assigned quota: the customer administrators can start requesting storage for their virtual servers by creating storage projects and add, expand, and delete file systems. The entry point for this is the Tivoli Self Service Station – Storage Management folder (showed in the picture below).
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.
A very interesting Cloud Computing case study of the Capgemini Infrastructure as a Service delivery platform project has been recently published on the Web:
The case study shows how one of the world’s leading infrastructure outsourcing providers has seen the business opportunity of offering to its clients a cloud-based solution that combines the benefits of a high-value infrastructure service provider with the cost advantages of Cloud computing. Capgemini focused the new cloud based services on delivering to their clients Infrastructure as a Service capabilities with much higher flexibility and substantial cost-efficiency.
In partnership with IBM, Capgemini built a fully integrated cloud delivery platform for clients in the UK and USA leveraging the Tivoli Service Delivery Manager solution that includes the IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager, Tivoli Monitoring and Tivoli Usage Accounting Manager products. On top of the IBM hardware BladeCenter HS22V and XIV Storage System technologies.
The key aspects of the solution built by Capgemini has been:
The DBMS placement in Cloud Solutions based on Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM) / Service Automation Manager (TSAM) / Service Delivery Manager (ISDM), plays a significant role into overall product function, performance, and how this relates to the evolving workload.
A typical setup approach is to install TPM/TSAM with the DBMS co-located.
This is the default setup option in the TSAM installation and TSAM-VM-image which is included in the ISDM solution.
Over time, based on increasing workload, capacity planning, or production requirements, it may be desirable to move the local database to a remote node, with the goal to achieve greater scale and to exploit additional resources.
A white paper is available for this purpose in the Integrated Service Management Library.
The referenced paper, has been recently updated to version 2.4, and describes how to relocate the DBMS in existing TPM / TSAM / ISDM solutions.
I've recorded a couple demo movies to show the capabilities of the new IBM Virtual Image Library v1.1 that comes with the SmartCloud Provisioning v1.2 product. You can use the links below to go directly to the movies:
3H4K_Joe_Loewengruber 0600003H4K Tags:  image icct activation bundle cloud virtualization 7,325 Views
The IBM® Image Construction and Composition Tool is a web application that simplifies and automates virtual image creation for public and private cloud environments, shielding the differences in cloud implementations from its users. This white paper provides Software Specialists and other product experts with helpful tips and techniques to plan, design, and create software bundles in the Image Construction and CompositionTool.
This white paper provides Software Specialists and other product experts with helpful tips and techniques to plan, design, and create software bundles in the Image Construction and CompositionTool.
Starting from December 9th 2011 IBM SmartCloud Provisioning 1.2 is available for download.
The key features introduced in this release are:
IBM SmartCloud Provisioning can now be installed using a graphical wizard. Two flavours of the installer minimal and custom. The custom installation allows to specify the number of instances of HBASE and Zookeeper to be deployed. Moreover it allows to automatically configure ESXi servers as compute node. The creation of the management virtual image on VMware is automated.
you can now deploy images with more than one NIC. Different users can deploy images in segregated networks.
The Image Construction and Composition Tool helps building and customizing master images. It is designed to facilitate a separation of concern and tasks, where experts build software bundles for reuse by others. This design approach greatly simplifies the complexity of virtual image creation and reduces errors.
OVF metadata can be displayed and modified in the Self Service UI
The Virtual Image Library helps managing the life cycle of virtual images:
-Search images for specific software products
-Compare two images and determine the differences in files and products
-Find similar images
-Track image versions and provenance
The cloud administrator can use a brand new UI to perform tasks like registering images, registering networks, managing quotas, assigning roles, managing elastic IPs
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  cloud-computing computing cloud provisioning automation virtualization 5,544 Views
With the barrage of cloud news constantly hitting the market, it can be challenging for organizations to differentiate between all of the solutions and capabilities out there.
But with the latest cloud offering from IBM, the value proposition is quite simple—you get a low-cost, low-risk entry to cloud computing with compelling features. This is especially important for organizations who are still trying to leverage the cost savings of virtualization.
Our customers have told us they’re looking to cloud computing to increase agility—the ability of IT to evolve and meet business needs—and they’re looking for ways to control expenses related to IT investments. They also want to reduce IT complexity while at the same time increase utilization, reliability and scalability of IT resources. And they are looking for the ability to expand capabilities gradually, as their needs change and grow.
In designing a solution to meet all of these needs, we developed IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. Using industry best practices for cloud deployment and management, this new solution allows organizations to quickly deploy cloud resources with automated provisioning, parallel scalability and integrated fault tolerance to increase operational efficiency and respond to user needs.
The name doesn’t tell the whole story though. IBM SmartCloud Provisioning is a full-featured solution wrapped up in an easy-to-implement package. That means you get:
- Rapidly scalable deployment designed to meet business growth
- Reliable, non-stop cloud capable of automatically tolerating and recovering from software and hardware failures
- Reduced complexity through ease of use and improve time to value
- Reduced IT labor resources with self-service requesting and highly automated operations
- Control over image sprawl and reduced business risk through rich analytics, image versioning and federated image library features
Using this technology, we’ve seen customers get a cloud up and running in just hours—realizing immediate time to value. It’s fast—administrators have been able to go from bare metal to ready-for-work in under five minutes, or start a single VM and load OS in under 10 seconds, or scale up to 50,000 VMs in an hour (50 nodes).
But ultimately, these IT benefits have translated to business benefits—customers have been able to see how cloud computing can impact their business, and how they can accelerate the delivery of new services to drive revenue.
N9HT_Keith_Biegert 060000N9HT Tags:  monitoring ucs netapp cisco vmware xenserver itm dashboard xendesktop 6,620 Views
IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Environments V7.1 is now available.
At a glance:
IBM® Tivoli® Monitoring for Virtual Environments V7.1 extends the benefits of end-to-end performance monitoring in a virtualized environment by providing additional hypervisor support and new capacity planning reports.• New Web 2.0 dashboard
• New Cisco UCS monitoring agent
• New Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp performance and availability monitoring
• New capacity analytics and workload placement guidance for VMware
IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Environments V7.1 extends the benefits of end-toendperformance monitoring in a virtualized environment by providing sophisticated capacity analytics and workload placement guidance that allow you to safely maximize the density of virtual hosts. By using this insight and guidance, you are more likely to realize the promised cost savings of virtualization by eliminating the uncertainty that often accompanies a migration from physical application servers to virtual ones. Policy-driven analytics for VMware environments do not simply place virtual machines on the "least busy" hosts, but rather place them where those workloads will function best across a range of performance and compliance conditions. New dashboards will then allow operators to conveniently assess the overall health of the newly tuned virtual infrastructure.
Read more here!