IBM SmartCloud Cost Management
now provides usage metering and reporting for IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (SCP). This is now available for download on the ISM Library here: http://www.ibm.com/software/ismlibrary?NavCode=1TW10UM08
This new capability allows you to collect usage information from SCP environments using the SCP High scale low touch (HSLT) commands.
The new HSLT SCP Collector
gathers usage data every hour and processes it once a day. Usage
data is stored on a daily basis. The usage data is then billed, stored and can be reported on on a monthly basis.Overview
A sample job file is provided as part of this functionality to show how to bill each access-id for the high-water mark of allocated resources in the month. The sample job file, SampleHSLT_SCP.xml
is divided into three separate jobs.
The first job, SCP_collect_HSLT_hourly_data is recommended to be run every hour at XX:59. This job will run HSLT commands to collect all relevant resources for each access id that is using the SmartCloud Provisioning Service. Firstly, a list of all available access ids is collected using the command iaas-describe-accesses-by-user.
Then, for each access id, the command iaas-describe-resources-inuse-by-access
is run to collect the relevant resources for that access id. The resources gathered per access id include:Memory (MB) , Volume (GB), Number of Virtual Processors, Number of VM Instances, and Number of static IP Addresses.
The HSLT commands also provide context information that feeds into the Account Code Structure
. The Account Code Structure
includes the following identifiers:
- Service Region
- Group, Username
- Access Id
Resources can be reported or billed at any of the levels defined in the Account Code Structure.
The identifiers can also be used to map to departmental or other organizational structures using a process called Account Code Conversion. The hourly data is stored in a daily CSR file for SmartCloud Cost Management
to process at the end of the day.
The second job, SCP_Process_daily_data
is recommended to be run every day some time after midnight. This job will process the daily CSR file and extract the maximum value across the day for each resource for each access id. The resource values are then stored in the cimsresourceutilization table of the SmartCloud Cost Management database. Detail and Identifier data is stored in the cimsdetail and cimsident tables of the SmartCloud Cost Management database.SCP_Process_monthly_data
The third job, SCP_Process_monthly_data
is recommended to be run once a month at the start of the month. It will process the last months worth of data from the cimsresourceutilization table. It will do this by extracting the maximum value for each resource for each access id. Billing is applied to the data using the relevant SmartCloud Cost Management rate codes and the processed data is then stored in the cimssummary table of the SmartCloud Cost Management
database, allowing reports to be run on the data.
The sample jobs can be customized for other charging algorithms if desired. Examples include charging on a daily (or hourly) basis in addition to or instead of on a monthly basis. Tiered pricing logic can be applied to provide for having charging amnesty for users/departments that stay below a certain threshold.Managing Rates
Rates are defined for each resource. These rates are used for billing purposes. Other Improvements
Additions have also been made to the existing SmartCloud Cost Management KVM collector
to include new resources and a separate job file has been included to to add some SCP context data to the Account Code Structure, achieved by running HSLT commands.
For information about the existing TUAM KVM collector refer to the following link in the TUAM 7.3 Information Center:http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v3r1/topic/com.ibm.ituam.doc_7.3/admin_win_dc/c_kvm_collector.html
The new resources for the KVM Collector include Bytes Received, Packets Received, Receive Packets dropped, Receive Packet errors, Bytes Transferred, Packtes Transferred, Transfer Packets dropped, Transfer Packet errors, Log Size of VM Image, Size of VM Image on Disk
The new Account Code Structure
for the KVM Collector contains the following identifiers: Service Region, Group, Username, Access id, VM Name
The VM Name contains the Access id allowing the information collected from the Hypervisor to be related back to the SmartCloud Provisioning identifiers.
The following reports are sample reports run on a system that has collected data from one Service Region on a SmartCloud Provisioning System:
- Top 10 Pie Chart
- Invoice by Account level
- Run Total Invoice
Top 10 Pie Chart
Invoice By Account Level
Run Total Invoice
If you have any questions about this functionality, please contact John Buckley (John Buckley/Ireland/IBM) or Louise O'Halloran (Louise O'Halloran/Ireland/IBM).
The Software Product Compatibility Reports site is an innovative tool, designed to allow YOU, IBM clients, to easily generate custom reports about compatible IBM software combinations, product end-of-service dates and product translations.
This is a great tool for figuring out what products are compatible with others and how your particular implementations may need to be designed to ensure your success. To read more about these reports, then head on over to the Software Product Compatibility Reports site's home page and see what these reports can do for you! Here is a quick link to this tool, and to find it in the future, look under the support resources on the overview page of the IBM Support Portal.
Starting from August 10th 2012, SmartCloud Provisioning 2.1 is generally available.
Here is a synthesis of the new features added:
- Support for vCenter and VMControl hypervisor managers
- Support for Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor
- Capability to deploy patterns
- Capability to deploy images with more than one disk
- Capability to check image compatibility and automatically remediate it for HSLT cloud groups
- Capability to manage legacy virtual machines residing on vCenter via SmartCloud Provisioning self service UI
- Live migration for KVM hypervisor in an HSLT cloud group
- Capability to extend Windows images using Image Construction and Composition Tool
- Single sign on and launch out between SmartCloud Provisioning self-service UI, Virtual Image Library and High Scale Low Touch administrative console
If you would like to read more about that, see IBM SmartCloud Provisioning announcement letter
and IBM SmartCloud Provisioning information center
Being VMware one of most used hypervisor, it is a common scenario to have an already exiting cloud environment based on a vCenter hypervisor manager and a new cloud environment based on IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. In this scenario end user would usually starts to sue new environment but working with already existing images, containing known software as well as all required settings fulfilling company rules.
Manually running this task could not be so easy especially if new IBM SmartCloud Provisioning environment is only based on KVM hypervisor> image format conversion is required. Moreover IBM SmartCloud Provisioning requires some specific OS setting that could not be present on the already existing images.
IBM Virtual Image Library would help to overcome all these time consuming inconvenient. New 2.1 version has new feature helping end user to understand which already existing images are ready to be ported to new cloud environment, which are not ready but could be automatically modified and which are not compatible at all (i.e. because based on multiple disks).
The underlying idea is based on the concept exposed in one of my previous blog entry: “Image portability across hypervisors”. During cloud environment registration to IBM Virtual Image Library, an image analysis retrieves all needed information, so that after initial introspection end user will have a clear idea of which images can be used or not to work with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
Opening image properties a new tab will appear showing list of executed checks and their results with a brief explanation on what is required to be fully compatible with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
At this point end user knows which images can be directly used, which require some modification and which can not automatically changed to run into IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
Next step is to check in desired images into the IBM Virtual Image Library reference repository, so that images can be either just moved to new cloud environment, or modified o be High scale low touch ready or moved to IBM SmartCloud provisioning environment and automatically modified to be ready for deployment.
IBM Virtual Image Library also checks if CloudInit is present on the image. If not it is automatically installed and activated making the image compatible with High scale low touch. In this way the new imported image is ready to be deployed using package script and add-ons using workload deployer delivered with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning.
I consider this new feature very useful to start working with new IBM SmartCloud Provisioning allowing end user to easily and quickly populate new cloud environment. Key items saving user time are:
· Having a clear list of already compatible images
· Automatically configure image to be deployed through high scale low touch hypervisor manager
· Reuse already existent images with few clicks without migrating any data
· Automatically install CloudInit allowing to use images in more complex scenario using Workload Deployer
Additional information about previous topics can be found at IBM info center pages:
IBM SmartCloud Provisioning: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v48r1/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.scp.doc_2.1.0%2Fadministering%2Ft_create_images.html
Virtual Image Library: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v48r1/topic/com.ibm.scp.doc_2.1.0/VIL/topics/checkingportability.html
In this new post I would like to introduce a new function added in
Image Construction and Composition Tool (ICCT) 1.2, it is the capability to extend a Windows base image available in IBM Smart Cloud
Provisioning 2.1. In fact in ICCT 1.2 it's possible to:
- import a Windows base image available in IBM Smart Cloud
- extent it adding Windows bundles created using ICCT 1.2
- capture it in order to have in IBM Smart Cloud
Provisioning 2.1 a new extended Windows image
It is provided using the same User Interface and the same steps already available for Linux and AIX support.
The new extended image is now ready to be deployed showing the bundle configuration parameters from the IBM Smart Cloud
Provisioning 2.1 User interface.
In ICCT 1.2 a new specific Windows Enablement bundle has been provided to support the Windows images and it is described in the screenshot below:
It contains the Activation Framework needed by ICCT 1.2 to install and configure bundles based on the Windows IBM VSAE.
For the Windows bundles created using ICCT 1.2 it is also possible to provide in the tabs Installation/Configuration/Reset the scripts for the installation, configuration and reset steps invoked by ICCT when an image is extended.
The Windows support is provided for the following Operation Systems:
Please take a look at the IBM Smart Cloud
Provisioning 2.1 infocenter to get more details on this support.
Two new product forums are now available for key products in the IBM Cloud portfolio. The IBM Service Delivery Manager
and Tivoli Service Automation Manager
development teams recently launched product forums so that they can collaborate with clients. Service Management Connect
forums provide a good avenue for clients to ask their technical "How To" questions, interact with the development team and other users, and provide direct feedback on product direction. To get started, access the product forums below:
With the proliferation of cloud computing, many businesses are starting to adopt a service provider model—either as a deliberate strategy to establish new revenue streams or, in some cases, inadvertently to support the growing needs of their organizations. This is especially true for companies with diverse needs, whether they’re tech companies with dev teams churning out new apps and services, or business owners driving requirements for SaaS services and cloud capabilities to enhance their data center operations.
In any event, the distinction between managed service providers (MSP) or cloud service providers (CSP), and companies growing in-house capabilities may not be as important as the common need to respond quickly and scale to support customer needs. The challenges facing all of these companies include facilitating the creation of new applications and services while maintaining quality of service, and the need for automation to reduce human resources and error from manual tasks—all with an eye to drive revenue and acquire new customers.
And so, the challenge for service providers of any kind is to increase scalability, automation and uptime while constraining costs. Companies are increasingly solving the critical piece of this puzzle by embracing rapid, high-scale provisioning and key cloud management capabilities to allow them to grow as quickly as their customers’ needs. In particular, the benefits accrue in four key areas.
First, applications can be deployed rapidly across private and public cloud resources.
Second, rich image management tools simplify complex and time consuming processes for creating virtual images and constraining image sprawl.
Third, operational costs can be lowered by leveraging existing hardware to support an array of virtual servers and diverse hypervisors.
And fourth, high-scale provisioning enables rapid response to changing business needs with near-instant deployment of hundreds of virtual machines.
While the spectrum of virtualization to orchestration functionality helps to manage their environments, high-scale provisioning in particular offers a cost-effective way to leverage capacity as a business commodity—a way for service providers to offer seemingly limitless capacity to their customers while lowering the relative costs of providing it.
In the case of Dutch Cloud, a CSP based in the Netherlands, a growing client base allowed the company to expand but it was very conscious of the costs and issues related to scalability, performance and security. By adopting a lightweight, high-scale provisioning solution for core service delivery, Dutch Cloud added capacity easily and was able to scale up rapidly without interruption to customer service. The CSP also reduced its administrative workload by 70 percent by adopting automation best practices. Monthly revenue has tripled twice in the last six months without an increase in operational costs.
Other service providers such as SLTN, a systems integrator serving large and mid-sized businesses, have experienced similar cost savings by extending platform managed services to a cloud delivery model. By implementing a low-touch, highly scalable cloud as its core delivery platform across multiple compute and storage nodes, SLTN was able to deploy new services in seconds rather than hours. It was also able to utilize existing commodity skills without significant training, integrate the existing mixed environment and minimize operational administration and maintenance. The underlying IaaS cloud capabilities allowed SLTN to be more efficient and to provide the full spectrum of cloud services to their own customers in a pay-as-you-go model—with better service and at a lower price point.
The benefits that these companies experienced are evidence that high-scale provisioning and cloud management capabilities can dramatically increase service capacity. For service providers of all stripes—whether deliberate or not—these benefits are a critical part of the evolution of cloud services and offer a meaningful way to deliver more value to themselves and their users.
Learn more about provisioning and orchestration capabilities
that are helping service providers to meet their growing business needs.
The Internet is changing the face of product support. It is an
undeniable fact that the manner in which we attempt to resolve problems,
be they complex software applications or finding the closest Italian
restaurant, is entirely different than 10, 5, or even 2 years ago. In
all facets of our daily lives, how we search for answers to even the
simplest of problems have been forever changed through online technology
and capabilities. The Internet permeates all aspects of our lives; how
many readers of this blog post do not understand the phrase "Just Google
Nowhere is this more apparent than the emerging use of social
media in the business environment. Over the past few years, social
venues like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others have transformed from
purely social offerings to bona fide business tools. For additional
insight into IBM's approach and use of social business in the
enterprise, I highly recommend following Sandy Carter
, the IBM Vice President of Social Business. Sandy is an acclaimed author, expert, and evangelist in this business context.
one might argue social business is still maturing and that the social
media landscape is still quite dynamic and reminiscent of the Old West
(anyone still have a MySpace account?). the commitment to social
business has seen tremendous growth in the halls of IBM Software
Support. This acknowledgement of the import of social business is in no
small part due to the explosion and popularity of these mediums as a
viable means to resolve issues through a collection(s) of peer users.
Community based, or to use the cool kid's lingo, crowdsourcing, allows
you to move far beyond traditional support models. Prefer a concise and
direct notification system? There is a Tivoli Support Twitter
page. Want to engage in a dialogue with your peers? Check out the just released IBM Tivoli Support Facebook
page. If you want to do more than just "like" the FB page, join the Tivoli Support Facebook group
. Are you a visual learner? The IBM Electronic Support Channel on YouTube
have generated over 50,000 views! There are hundreds of online instructional videos also available at the IBM Education Assistant
Two of the most prominent IBM online offerings dedicated to problem resolution are the Support Portal
and Service Requests
systems. The Support Portal is the gateway into resolving your product
issues. You can configure the portal and add any and all IBM Software
products your organization utilizes. From the portal, you can search our
extensive knowledge base, download product documentation, review
deployment and configuration best practices, and obtain product updates
and maintenance. Service Requests (SR) is the system where you can
easily create new PMRs, view existing tickets. Two years ago, less than
20% of all new PMRs were created through the use of the SR system.
Today, almost 50% of all PMRs originate electronically from the SR
I could go on and on about our IBM eSupport initiatives and
will continue to focus and highlight online tooling in future posts. For
now, I hope you take the time to review some of these tools and
systems. I'm confident you will realize immediate value from these
offerings. I welcome all comments on any aspect of Tivoli product
support delivery. What works for you, and just as importantly, what's
not working or what's totally missing. Our constant and driving
objective is to continually improve the consistency and caliber of
support we provide and your feedback in these forums is crucial to these
TSAM 723 is now available. Passport Advantage Online Web site has complete images of the following
release of Tivoli Service Automation Manager offers a set of new features and
enhancements to the existing functions:
System p enhancements:
more advanced VIO configuration scenarios:
This feature allows you to exploit more advanced networking features for load
balancing , backup, and high availability. It allows you for more sophisticated
network VIO configurations.
Added support for volume groups based on multiple LUNs:
Support for large file systems that are based on multiple small LUNs, for
examlple SAN disks. Such small LUN are often imposed by customer policies. Two
main new scenarios are supported:
- You can create large volume groups based on multiple
- You can add new LUNs to the existing volume
Multithreading/Multitasking improvement during z/VM
For z/VM configurations in which the flashcopy was not enabled, you can now
run administrative commands while the image copy is in progress.
Time to Value improvements
complexity and duration for a new Tivoli Service Automation Manager installation
by about 35%:
This time reduction can be achieved by including Tivoli Provisioning Manager
7.2.1 base installation in Tivoli Service Automation Manager 7.2.3 and by
removing Tivoli Provisioning Manager for Images from the standard Tivoli Service
Automation Manager installation.
Support for new management
server operating systems:
- System x: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1
- System p: AIX 7.1
- System z: Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Support for new administrative workstation operating
- System x: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.3
- System p: AIX 7.1
KVM on System x:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.2
- Windows 2008
- Windows 2008 R2
Performance, Configuration, and RAS
and more robust reservation:
Depending on the complexity of the environment, the reservation algorithm
performance is improved and uses less system resources. The overall throughput
is increased considerably by having lower end to end service times. The new
algorithm is up to 15 times faster compared to Tivoli Service Automation Manager
7.2.2 and the system load on the management server is reduced up to 10%.
Consumability improvements in cloud configuration applications:
Configuration time and complexity are reduced thanks to the following new
- Displaying of current resource consumption
- New capabilities related to network configuration
and cloud pool revisions and auditing
- Improved VMware discovery performance by
introducing cluster scoped discovery
Improved RAS and
- Continuous improvement of the general system
- Improved error handling of failed Tivoli
Provisioning Manager workflows to avoid unexpected rerunning of workflows in
- Improved messaging for partially resolved service
requests, for example in a situation when provisioning of a virtual machine
succeeds but installation of additional software fails
The solution Endpoint security for SmartCloud Provisioning v2.1
has been published on IBM Integrated Service Management Library (ISML).
The purpose of Endpoint security for SmartCloud Provisioning v2.1 is to demonstrate how IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager can be integrated with the IBM SmartCloud Provisioning Infrastructure.
Endpoint security for SmartCloud Provisioning will generate the components required by IBM SmartCloud Provisioning 2.1 to automatically install IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager agents when deploying virtual systems. This will allow cloud administrators to easily maintain compliance over their virtualized network. IBM SmartCloud Provisioning v2.1
as well as IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager v8.2
need to be available. If you are participating in the IBM SmartCloud Provisioning v2.1 beta and have IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager, consider using Endpoint security as well.
Please join the Tivoli User Community for a live Webcast and opportunity for questions, Thursday, July 19th 2012, 11:00
Your Webcast Seat Now
Cloud computing has been driving increased innovation and flexibility,
but this shift has also introduced new complexities in the world of IT and
process automation. Now multiple topics emerge on the radar of a cloud manager
which all point in the direction of easier management of the entire life cycle.
The all new IBM
SmartCloud Workload Automation provides you with a perfect entry point to the
theme of Unattended Workloads as a critical topic to make clouds more
With the new
Per-Job-Pricing, the solution is even more attractive and affordable. After
setting best practices in your organizations it’s now time to explore and learn
the “next practices” in the historic world of batch and beyond with the new IBM
SmartCloud Workload Automation. Learn More
About the Speaker:
IBM Tivoli Workload
Automation – Product Manager
Giannakopoulosis the product manager for Tivoli Workload Automation where he
has world-wide responsibility, primarily on the distributed side. He has the
working knowledge of the Development Process, technical support, HR management
and client handling. Click Here to visit
his TUC Profile
The Official Tivoli User Community is the largest online
and offline organization of Tivoli professionals in the world – home to over
160 local User Communities and dozens of virtual/global groups from 29
countries – with more than 26,000 members. The TUC community offers Users
blogs and forums for discussion and collaboration, access to the latest
whitepapers, webinars, presentations and research for Users, by Users and the
latest information on Tivoli products. The Tivoli User Community offers
the opportunity to learn and collaborate on the latest topics and issues that
matter most. Membership is complimentary. Join NOW!
The next release of SmartCloud Monitoring, which includes new releases of IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) and IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Virtual Environments (ITM for VE), is currently in development, and we would like to invite customers old and new to participate in our Early Adopter Program, our fancy name for a beta program (because we HAVE to have an acronym here at IBM, and how do you make an acronym out of "beta?")
This open program will allow you to download our Beta code and provide feedback and guidance on the new functionality, product improvements, and code quality of IBM Tivoli Monitoring "vNext." As the SmartCloud brand continues to expand, this beta will help long-time customers see that the ITM foundation is strong, and being continually enhanced to help us all adapt to the disruptive influence of "Cloud" on our IT management responsibilities. Both ITM and ITM for VE are still separately available (and are the products where the code enhancements you'll see reside), while the SmartCloud Monitoring bundle makes it convenient for customers to purchase the two products together.
This ITM Community site will enable you to download Beta drivers, see important announcements, interact directly with product developers and planners, and provide the ITM development team your valuable opinions about our planned product enhancements. As we develop this release, however, we're already doing long-range planning for the "N+1" release that will follow this one, so long-range enhancement requests are a good topic of discussion as well.
Interim Fix 2 for the ITM VMware VI agent version 7.1.0 is available. This interim fix is cumulative so customers will not need to install Interim Fix 1. For a list of APARs fixed in IF 1 see this list.
Interim fix 2 includes fixes for problems described by APARs
- IV19978 Abstract: EFFECTIVE SERVERS AND TOTAL SERVERS HAVE A WRONG VALUES.
- IV22056 Abstract: VM AGENT SHOWING NAA.ID AS LARGE NUMBER.
In addition to APAR fixes this interim fix includes new
attributes that were requested by customers. These attributes provide further insight into the memory demands of executing virtual machines and the CPU utilization on the host server. Added for virtual machines are usage, active, shared
memory attributes. For the host, CPU core utilization (vSphere 5.0 or higher is needed) has been added.
Interim Fix 2 may be downloaded from IBM Support Fix Central. More information may be found here
Need a fix or update? Trying to troubleshoot problems? Consider adding this URL to your bookmarks:
There is a wealth of information which will help make your interactions with IBM support more efficient.
Troubleshooting section includes documentation for known problems, how to use IBM Support Assistant and support for tools for IBM Systems. Work with Support covers all you need to know to log a problem as well as work interactively with a support engineer.
From Overview check out the IBM Electronic Support Community blog to read about the latest ways IBM is improving your support experience. Better yet follow the blog and receive the latest entries automatically.
So take a few minutes... it will be time well spent.
Gain Visibility, Control and Automation across your organization and infrastructure boundaries.
Are you looking to increase your personal skills in the Service Management arena?
Are a responsible for a team of Tivoli professionals who need to delve deeper into the products?
Would you or your team benefit from learning deep technical skills from real experts in their fields?
Then the EMEA Tivoli & Security Technical Conference 2012 is just what you need!
One of the many business benefits of honing your skills at this conference is the enhanced return
on investment in Tivoli & Security products. Whether you learn best by listening, watching or by doing,
we have it covered with our expert presentations, demos and hands on labs.
Take this opportunity to attend the only IBM Tivoli & Security Technical conference in Europe this year,
but be quick, as places are limited and early booking is highly recommended! Book before July 31st and
receive a 10% discount and 2 free certification exams worth $400! Tivoli solutions are at the heart
of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. In addition to our deep technical sessions we will focus on some
actual projects, and related technologies. We are excited to demonstrate our best practices based on
comprehensive Tivoli implementation projects. Whether your role in managing a dynamic infrastructure
is executive leadership, security, operations, storage, production, delivery, facilities or communications
service, the most valuable opportunity to gain the necessary service management skills is at the EMEA Tivoli
& Security Technical Conference. This year, the event offers:
“How to” technical classes taught by product experts
Hands-on demos, labs and workshops
Panel discussion about challenges, best practices and lessons learned
The latest solutions and demos from IBM partners
There is a new white paper available on the IBM Integrated Service Management Library ( ISML ) that explains how to use Tivoli Storage Manager to back up a VMware virtual machine that was deployed by the Workload Deployer in IBM SmartCloud Provisioning version 2.1.
The white paper explains how to locate, and back up the virtual machine in VMware using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, and how to restore the virtual machine to the Workload Deployer environment.
In this new post I would like to describe how you can script the building of virtual images using the Image Construction and Composition Tool provided by IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning.
The upcoming release of IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning 2.1 embeds, among other things, a new version of the Image Construction and Composition Tool. Image Construction and Composition Tool allows to build virtual images that are self-descriptive, customizable and manageable; at the end it produces Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) images that can be deployed into a cloud environment.
the new features of this tool is the capability of performing image
management operations directly through a command-line interface. This
capability enables a set of new use cases through a scripting
command-line interface of Image Construction and Composition Tool
provides a scripting environment based on Jython (i.e. the Java-based
implementation of Python) and in addition to issuing commands
specific to the Image Construction and Composition Tool, you can also
issue Python commands at the command prompt.
such interface, you can manage the Image Construction and Composition
Tool remotely since you can download it to any machine and then point
to the system where the tool is running: it communicates with the
server using the HTTPS protocol so that all the communications are
encrypted. The command-line interface can be installed on both Linux
and Windows operating systems and can run in both interactive and
that can be managed in the Image Construction and Composition Tool is
modelled by a resource object on the command-line interface that
exposes a set of methods for performing the related management
actions. The following objects are available: software bundles
references (for defining software configurations to be deployed on a
virtual machine), cloud providers references (for defining the
hypervisors used by Image Construction and Composition Tool to build
and capture images), images references (for handling virtual machine
images to be used for import, extend, capture and export operations)
and users references (for administering the user of Image
Construction and Composition Tool ).
you have downloaded and configured the command-line to start a new
session in interactive mode you can issue the following command from
a shell prompt:
-h <icct server> -u username -p password
you get the interactive shell you can start issuing commands.
are a few examples.
get a list of all the images for a cloud provider, you can use a
command like the following:
import a software bundle and wait for the import to complete, you can
use a set of commands like the following:
if importingBundle.currentState == 'import_failed':
... print 'Bundle import failed!'
get a list of all the images, you can use a command like the
allImages = icct.images
can also use the Image Construction and Composition Tool command-line
interface in batch mode, by creating your own script and then
launching it. For example, to run a script called myScript.py
you can issue the following command:
-h <icct server> -u username -p password -f myScript.py arg1
samples come directly with Image Construction and Composition Tool.
They are located under the following directory:
cover some of the Image Construction and Composition Tool basic
flows, such as creating a new cloud provider configuration, importing
an image, extending an image, etc..
can use them as a starting point for creating your own workflows.
all for now.
have just provided a quick introduction of all the capabilities of
the Image Construction and Composition Tool command-line interface.
If you are interested in discovering more about Image Construction
and Composition Tool, its command-line interface and SCP 2.1, you
can have a look at what is included in IBM Smart Cloud Provisioning
If you ever observed babies playing, you'll notice that at a certain point in their development, the idea of property comes into the game: "this is my toy, I'll not let you play with that". Usually parents needs to invest some time to make the baby understanding the value of sharing things: "the toy remains yours, but you can enjoy sharing it with other babies... If you are kind and polite the other babies may share in their turn their toys with you". Usually this trick work. The next step will be that they will start adding "special conditions": "you can use my blocks but only the blue ones" or " you can play with this doll but I'll not borrow you the pink dress". A different stories comes when sharing can make you save a lot of money: you do not need to buy the same toy your baby saw another baby is using if they can share it...
Did you ever try to apply this model to cloud computing?
I know it may sound strange at a first glance, but there are some similarities...
Let's start from the last example, kids sharing the same toys: doesn't it look like familiar to the idea of sharing the same master image? In a lot of cases I do not need my own master image, I can use the same one another user is using.
But the "conditions" apply: "you can use my same master image, but I do not want you to stay on my own network!" or "you can use my same master image, but you cannot use my package scripts!" ... Not a lot of differences from"you can play with my doll but I'll not give you the pink dress" or " you can play with my blocks but you can use only the blue ones"
There will be situations is which you even do not want to share the master image at all: "this is mine, it's my treasure, I have my own information there and I do not want you to see that"...I'm pretty sure you've seen babies doing that with their favorite teddy bear ;-)
I hope these few examples made you look at objects authorizations in a cloud with different eyes...
Anyway, the problem is there, a cloud is typically a shared environment and we do not want to have everybody to have access to everything. Privacy is important.
Let's see one of the ways to resolve this issue. We could give to every individual/user the right to determine who can access his own objects. "who" of course can be a single user or a group of users. Depending on the role of the user he can have access to different objects.
The cloud administrator for example can decide who can access a specific network, who can see a specific cloud group; the cloud catalog editor can decide who can access to which master image, or to which package scripts (package scripts are the building blocks for patterns); the image deployer can decide if somebody else can see the details of his images. In some cases he may also be interested in letting other users accessing his own volumes.
With the same ease a user can decide either to give full access, read-only access or no access at all to each of its own resources/objects.
Using such fine grained access policy makes the cloud software really flexible to fit various adoption models like a classical private cloud or a more complex environment like the ones a cloud service provider may have.
In case of enterprises and cloud service providers, authorization and network segregation are critical prerequisites for building and managing a secure cloud environment.
For this SmartCloud Provisioning is the right choice.
You can also rely on a robust auditing mechanism that allows you to track what is happening in the cloud: who logged in/out, user creation/deletion/update, data access attempts either if they are successful/unsuccessful, virtual machine instance creation/deletion update and far more...
If you are interested in walking through this model, you can have a look at what is included in IBM SmartCloud Provisioning beta code:
We know that cloud computing offers a myriad of benefits like rapid service delivery and lower operating costs. But it can also lead to challenges in data governance, access control, activity monitoring and visibility of dynamic resources—in essence, all aspects of IT security.
The IT organization must have the capabilities to both deliver services more quickly to meet the demands of the business and be able to provide high levels of security and compliance. In the past the delivery of the services was typically the bottleneck in providing new services, but now with automated cloud and self service delivery models the teams responsible for change management and security can quickly become the bottleneck due to manual processes and siloed tools.
For example, organizations need the ability to patch all of their systems, both physical and virtual, whether distributed or part of a cloud. Operations teams need better insight into and control of deployed virtual systems, including OS patch levels, installed middleware applications and related security configurations. And there can be too many security exposures with offline and suspended VM’s that haven’t been patched in weeks or months.
A holistic approach is needed that addresses rapid provisioning of services and automation of key security and compliance requirements. Together these capabilities can keep you in control of rapidly changing cloud environments. First let’s look at the capabilities needed in a cloud provisioning solution.
Cloud provisioning should combine application and image provisioning for workload optimized clouds and deliver:
· Reduced costs with automated high-scale provisioning; multiple hypervisor options and HW of choice
· Accelerated time-to-market with standardized pattern-based deployment for workload optimized cloud
· Image sprawl prevention with in-built advanced image lifecycle management capabilities
· Ease of adoption and clear roadmap to move to advanced cloud capabilities
Second, a unified endpoint management approach is required to provide visibility and control of your systems, regardless of context, location or connectivity, and needs to deliver:
· Heterogeneous platform support with seamless patch management for multiple operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac OS, as well as hypervisor platforms
· Automatic assessment and “single click” remediation, which shortens time to compliance by automatically identifying necessary patches and enabling users to target and remediate endpoints quickly
· Enterprise-class scalability and security to provide proven scalability, including fine-grained authorization and access control capabilities
Explore these capabilities with the new IBM SmartCloud Patch Management.
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