Chapter 14 - Management Platform & Managed Environments
To design a good cloud management platform we need to understand the managed environment. As we know that the workloads would include not only stuff running on virtual infrastructure but also traditional infrastructure. So we need to design a management platform that can support delivery of traditional services as well as cloud services.
The advantage of using IBM reference architecture (refer previous chapter) is that we the service management cost to a minimum and be able to manage multiple services (IAAS, PAAS, SAAS, Traditional Services) through a single management platform (Common Cloud Management Platform).
The design of the management platform is mainly driven by what platforms we need to manage as well as the services we have to deliver. The core components of the management platform are determined by the amount of service automation expected to be provided by the platform.
The cloud management platform can be thought of like a Service Delivery Platform as applied to Telecommunication industries. The term Service Delivery Platform (SDP) usually refers to a set of components that provides a services delivery architecture (such as service creation, session control & protocols) supporting multiple delivery models of service.
The core components can be again classified into the business support (BSS) components and the operational support (OSS) components. The business components include ways to manage the customer, subscription, offering & catalog, contract, order, billing, and financial aspects of the platform. The OSS deals with the backend aspects of fulfilling the service request. So it includes components like service automation, provisioning, monitoring and management.
The IBM Tivoli suite of products supports addressing almost all of the OSS requirements as well as some of the key components in the BSS components. As an architect, the key decisions to take are to look at the capabilities required based on the client needs and create a platform that is extensible. This needs to be done keeping flexibility in mind which means you have the capability to add and remove components to support different capabilities. In an established and mature Data Center, it is highly unlikely that all these components are delivered by a single vendor. That’s why an architecture build on open standards is critical to the success of building a good management platform.
IBM is leading the efforts for adoption of standards by different cloud providers, consumers and tools vendors. The work being done by IBM with Open Group and Cloud Standards Customers Council are some examples for the same.
Once we have determined the functional components of our solution we need to worry about the non-functional requirements. These include aspects like security, availability, resiliency, performance, scalability, capacity planning and sizing. We will need to determine these aspects for the management platform based on the size and heterogeneity of the managed environment. We will discuss these aspects in the next chapter.