With the recent exploration of cloud computing technologies, organizations are using cloud service models like infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) along with cloud deployment models (public, private and hybrid) to deploy their applications.
There is a concept in the cloud world that is based on application characteristics: the concept of cloud-enabled and cloud-centric applications. In this blog post, Dan Boulia provides a concise explanation about the concept.
You can say that a cloud-enabled application is an application that was moved to cloud, but it was originally developed for deployment in a traditional data center. Some characteristics of the application had to be changed or customized for the cloud. On the other hand, a cloud-centric application (also known as cloud-native and cloud-ready) is an application that was developed with the cloud principles of multi-tenancy, elastic scaling and easy integration and administration in its design.
When developing an application that will be deployed in the cloud, you must keep the cloud principles in mind. They should be taken into account as part of the application. So we come to the first point: Is it better to work within an existing application or to completely redesign it? There is no exact answer because it depends. You have to evaluate the level of effort (labor, time and cost) to transform the application into cloud-enabled versus the effort to completely redesign it to a cloud-centric application.
The second point is: Will my cloud-enabled application work better than a new cloud-centric application? Here I would say no. It’s rare to find an existing traditional application that was developed with any of the cloud principles in mind. It may be possible to construct the same feel (for the user) as a cloud-centric application, but it will not function the same way internally.
Changing an existing application could be easier since you already have the skills and tools in the organization and you won’t need to learn any new technology. However, while it may be easier to change the application, in the long term it will be harder to maintain. New technologies (social media, mobile, sensors) continue to appear and it is becoming more important to integrate them. Doing this will require additional and continuous effort and may exponentially increase development and supporting costs.
Now comes the third point: What can you use to help expedite the move or redevelopment of an existing application to a cloud-centric model? Many cloud companies have development tools that can help an organization on this path. For instance, IBM has recently announced IBM Bluemix, a development platform to create cloud-centric applications. Shamim Hossain explains the capabilities in more detail in his blog post. Another option is to use IBM PureApplication System to expedite the development.
I discussed some points here that I hope can provide a better understand about an important concept in cloud computing and how to address it. Let me know your thoughts on it! Follow me at Twitter @varga_sergio to talk more about it
Cloud Computing Central
With the recent exploration of cloud computing technologies, organizations are using cloud service models like infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) along with cloud deployment models (public, private and hybrid) to deploy their applications.
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  cloud-monitoring virtualization cloud-provisioning cloud-cost-management vmware cloud-computing cloud 2,345 Views
The challenges of virtualized environments are driving the shift to greater integration of service management capabilities such as image and patch management, high-scale provisioning, monitoring, storage and security. Join us for this webcast to learn how organizations can realize the full benefits of virtualization to reduce management costs, decrease deployment time, increase visibility into performance and maximize utilization.If you're in North America, register here for the April 16th session: http://bit.ly/Y1X32g
If you're in Asia Pacific, register for the April 23rd session: http://bit.ly/1632q2Q
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  cloud virtualization cloud-cost-management cloud_computing cloud-computing 2,832 Views
Even though server proliferation can be partially addressed through virtualization, the usage of virtual and physical assets becomes complex to accurately assess or manage. Cost management is crucial to integrate into overall service management, especially with a move into cloud. This webcast discusses how to implement a financial management roadmap and the key requirements for cloud transparency-- the ability to allocate IT costs, usage, and value.
Register today: http://bit.ly/VXXxl3
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  cloud-computing agile cloud_computing cloud provisioning development devops 2,856 Views
DevOps has become something of a buzzword lately but the idea behind it can be truly powerful. Using a combination of technology and best practices to increase collaboration between development and operations teams can accelerate the application development lifecycle while improving software quality and reducing costs.
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  cloud management image virtualization cloud_computing cloud-computing 2,668 Views
The challenges of managing virtualized environments are mounting. The benefits of virtualization—from cost and labor savings to increased efficiency—are being threatened by its staggering growth and the resultant complexity. A critical piece to solving these challenges, as many organizations have already discovered, is image management. Read more: http://ibm.co/SpHTlV
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  virtualization provisioning cloud_computing cloud-computing 2,203 Views
Orchestration can be one of those ambiguous concepts in cloud computing, with varying definitions on when cloud capabilities truly advance into the orchestration realm. Frequently it’s defined simply as automation = orchestration.
But automation is just the starting point for cloud. And as organizations move from managing their virtualized environment, they need to aggregate capabilities for a private cloud to work effectively. The automation of storage, network, performance and provisioning are all aspects handled in most cases by various solutions that have been added on over time as needs increase. Even for organizations that take a transformational approach -- jumping to an advanced cloud to optimize their data centers -- the management of heterogeneous environments with disparate systems can be a challenge not simply addressed by automation alone. As the saying goes, “If you automate a mess, you get an automated mess.”
Read more about how cloud orchestration can simplify and accelerate service delivery.
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  virtualization cloud cloud-computing provisioning cloud_computing 1 Comment 3,934 Views
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.
Read more about provisioning and orchestration capabilities to meet growing business needs.
Glad to let the cloud computing central members know that I've also started writing on ThoughtsonCloud - the IBM cloud experts blog. Please read my first post on ThoughtsonCloud -about Maximizing the value of cloud for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). and let me know your comments and feedback. Thanks
Securing the Virtual Infrastructure
Cloud computing tests the limit of security operations and infrastructure from various perspectives. Let us examine what is different about Cloud Security and identify what are existing threats and what are the new areas that we should be concerned about.
Figure 2 Cloud Security - Existing & New Threats
I think what make cloud security complex is the number of layers involved in the cloud service stack and the number of components in each layers. So it means
· Increased infrastructure layers to manage and protect
· Multiple operating systems and applications per server
More Components = More Exposure
As we can see we already do perimeter protection at the network and operating systems as well as do physical and personnel security for the traditional infrastructure. All of them holds good for cloud as well to combat the existing threats at these layers.
us examine what are the new points of exposure with cloud. Security and resiliency complexities are raised
by virtualization and automation which are essentials to cloud. The new risks
· Cloud Service Management Vulnerabilities
· Secure storage of VMs and the management data
· Managing identities on the increasing number of virtual assets
· Stealth rootkits in hardware now possible
· Virtual NICs & Virtual Hardware are targets
· Virtual sprawl, VM stealing
· Dynamic relocation of VMs
· Elimination of physical boundaries between systems
· Manually tracking software and configurations of VMs
For managing these additional complexities, you need a reference model that is comprehensive and covers security controls that can combat not only the existing challenges but also the new challenges that cloud brings in.
IBM Foundational Security controls for IBM cloud reference model (see below) provides the different elements and controls required to build a secure cloud.
Figure 1 Foundation Security Controls for IBM Cloud Reference Model
Managing datacenter identities (Identity and access Management) is one of the top-most security concerns and we discussed how to handle the same in my previous post. I’ll discuss how to handle the virtualization related threats in my next post.
Meanwhile let me know your comments on this reference model. Do you think these set of controls are comprehensive. Do you see any areas not covered from a cloud security perspective? If so, just add it as comment to this post and let us discuss.
SreekIyer 2000001K7N Tags:  cloud-computing security cloud chapter26 cloudsecurity stepbystep ibmcloud 1 Comment 5,530 Views
Infrastructure Security Design (Public Clouds)
As we discussed in my previous post, transparency or more control is need of the hour with regards to security on the cloud. Let examine how this is done by the popular cloud providers and understand the method and the technologies. We need to secure the infrastructure, network, endpoints, applications, processes, data, and information and overall have a governance to mitigate the risk and meet the compliance. Let us take the infrastructure to begin with.
The key areas for a security team to design for with regards to infrastructure security are
Let us start looking at the public cloud implementations to understand how they are managing these aspects.
Almost all the vendors – IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce provide a means to do SSH with keys to the Guest OS. The protocol runs over SSL and is authenticated with a certificate and private key which could be generated by the customer.
IBM LotusLive employs a security approach based on three three-pillars that includes ensuring security rich infrastructure.
We will see how the infrastructure security aspects are dealt with for private clouds in my next post. Stay tuned and keep those comments coming. I’d some of my readers tell me that the blog entries are not showing up fine on Internet explorer. While I will make the effort to fix the issue, please use Firefox or any other browser in the meantime.
And if you these posts interesting dont forget to rate the post (click on the stars) and if you got an extra minute do put in a comment on what apsects you find interesting or need discussion.
SreekIyer 2000001K7N Tags:  stepbystep chapter25 cloud-computing ibm cloud security 1 Comment 4,767 Views
Securing the Cloud – What are the top concerns?
IT Security is well researched and matured area. The reason why we have enterprises doing commerce over the web today is because IT Security practices, tools and technologies have matured to establish the trust and have overcome the concerns. As with most new technology paradigms, security concerns surrounding cloud computing have become the most widely talked about inhibitor of widespread usage as discussed in my previous post.
To gain the trust of organizations, cloud services must deliver security and privacy expectations that meet or exceed what is available in traditional IT environments. Let us discuss what’s are the Top Security Concerns when it comes to cloud.
Transparency or Less Control
If we look at the security and privacy domains in cloud, they are no different from the traditional domains. We need to secure the infrastructure, network, endpoints, applications, processes, data, and information and overall have a governance to mitigate the risk and meet the compliance. But in a cloud environment, access expands, responsibilities change, control shifts, and the speed of provisioning resources and applications increases - greatly affecting all these aspects of IT security. The different cloud deployment models like the public, private and hybrid clouds also change the way we think need to about security. The responsibilities are spread across Consumer, Service Resellers and Providers. The immediate risks of these shared responsibility is that nobody gets a holistic view of the security and so less customization of any security controls. Consumers need visibility into day-to-day operations as well as need access to logs and policies. The aspect of less visibility or transparency is mostly the top most concern shared universally.
Data and Information Security
The next primary concern that customers mention related to security on the cloud is related to data and information security. The specific concerns include
§ Protection of intellectual property and data
§ Ability to enforce regulatory or contractual obligations
§ Unauthorized use of data
§ Confidentiality of data
§ Availability of data
§ Integrity of data
A shared, multi-tenant infrastructure increases potential for unauthorized exposure especially in the case of public-facing clouds. Security Administrators need to worry about designing security for applications and data that are publically exposed which can be potentially accessed by anybody on the internet.
Different industries and geographies have different regulations and rules that they need to comply to depending on the workloads and data they put on the cloud. Complying with SOX, HIPAA and other regulations are one risk or issue because of which customers are not ready to put their applications on the cloud. Cloud or no cloud for these sort of workloads comprehensive auditing capabilities are essential.
Security Management - Methods and Tools
Finally customers would need to know how today’s enterprise security controls are represented in the cloud. They need to understand how the security events are monitored correlated and actions taken when needed to keep their infrastructure, workload and data safe. Security coming on the way of high availability is another key concern. IT departments worry about a loss of service should outages occur because of security reasons. If so, when running mission critical applications how soon you can get the environment back at the same level of security is the priority.
Until all of these concerns are addressed and without strong availability guarantees, customers may not be ready to run their apps in the cloud. But things are not that bad as we might think. We will discuss how these aspects can be addressed and what tools and technologies to put to use in the subsequent posts.
Meanwhile I recommend that you read this very interesting whitepaper on “Cloud Security Who do you trust?” which discusses all of these aspects in detail as well as the different security challenges that security introduces.
Cloud Security – The top most concern and Opportunity
First of all, wishing all my readers a
very happy and prosperous year 2012 ahead.
Few things happened towards the end
of the year which was significant to me. IBM acquired Q1 Labs to Drive Greater Security Intelligence and created a New Security Division. I also joined this
newly formed IBM Security Systems team last quarter as a solution architect for cloud security. This is a great time to be looking at cloud security. Happy to be on this new role where I can provide solution to customers to handle their cloud security concerns and make it easy for them to adopt cloud and innovate at a faster rate than before.
In my previous
post, we discussed security as the top most concern why customers and
enterprises are not adopting cloud. As
part of year’s posts, I plan to discuss the various security issues and aspects
of cloud computing.
We will explore to understand what are the unique challenges with Cloud Security and discuss what aspects is important for each customer adoption pattern that we have seen.
We will also learn how the IBM Security Framework can be used to address the various security challenges namely
· Security governance, risk management and compliance
· People and Identity
· Data and information
· Application and process
· Network, server and endpoint
· Physical infrastructure
Looking forward to your comments and inputs in this journey of understanding the security requirements for cloud and how we can overcome this major challenge to cloud adoption using the World’s Most Comprehensive Security Portfolio – IBM Security Systems. I’ll try and elaborate the IBM Point of View on cloud security and discuss the architectural model to address the security requirements for cloud. Stay tuned and keep those comments and inputs coming.
cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  automation image provisioning computing management cloud-computing cloud 2,841 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.
SreekIyer 2000001K7N Tags:  water cloud cloud-computing mullaperiayar water-management 5,303 Views
Possible Solution for Mullaperiyar Dam Issue ?
While I’m writing this blog, the Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are having a meeting with Prime Minister to discuss the contentious issue of Mullaperiayar at length. For those who don’t know about this issue, this is about the Mullaperiayar Dam in south India. Mullaperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam over River Periyar and operated by the Government of Tamil Nadu based on a 999-year lease agreement. The catchment areas and river basin of River Periyar downstream include five Districts of Central Kerala, namely Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Trissur with a total population of around 3.5 million.
This dam is at the centre stage again in the wake of reports that the dam is weakening due to increase in incidents of tremor in Idduki district in Kerala. Ministers from Kerala are seeking Central Government intervention in ensuring the safety of the dam. At the same time, Tamil Nadu is insisting on increasing the water level in the reservoir for enhancing water supply to the state. While Tamil Nadu wants to increase the water-level in the reservoir, Kerala has been insisting that it be reduced from the current 136 feet to 120 feet.
Currently I don’t think we have clear metrics on the exact usage of water by each state, what is right level of water to be retained by the dam, what are the risks etc. We have been relying on data that we have from the past.
However you look at it -- whether too much or not enough, the world needs a smarter way to think about water. We need to look at the subject holistically with all the other considerations as well. We use water for more than drinking. We need to make an inventory of how much water we get and how is it used – of industries, irrigation, etc. This is where I think we need smarter ways to manage the water in the best possible way that addresses both states requirements adequately.
IBM Smarter Water Management can help us think in a smarter way about water. For instance IBM is helping the Beacon Institute to do source-to-sea real-time monitoring network for New York’s Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers as well as report on conditions and threats in real time. There are many other case studies across the globe on IBM Smarter Water Management.
Those interested in the problem and the possible solutions should
definitely read IBM’s broader outlook on Water Management as covered in the Global Innovation Outlook.
Rivers for Tomorrow is another interesting partnership between IBM and The Nature Conservancy. IBM is providing a state-of-the-art support system for a free, online application that will provide easy access to data and computer models to help watershed managers assess how land use affects water quality.
Though it's a worldwide entity, water is treated as a regional issue. I think we should try putting technology to use to solve our water problems. The solution should be more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent system that can not only take into consideration the realtime monitoring of the river but also include early warning systems to notify risks related to earth quakes etc. IBM’s Strategic Water Management Solutions include offerings to help governments, water utilities, and companies monitor and manage water more effectively. The IBM Strategic Water Information Management (SWIM) solutions platform is both an information architecture and an intelligent infrastructure that enables continuous automated sensing, monitoring, and decision support for water management operations.
And you might be wondering what has this to do with Cloud and why is this post on cloud computing Central. For these solutions and platforms to be successful it is highly important that we have energy efficient high-performance computing platforms and complex sensor, metering, and actuator networks. Such platform needs and flexible choices of having the solution on-premise as well as leverage different delivery models can only be supported through a cloud.
I think we should just leverage these solutions on the cloud to solve this issue and keep all the states and its people happy :-).
SreekIyer 2000001K7N Tags:  cloud challenges cloud-computing stepbystep 1 Comment 15,010 Views
Top 5 Challenges to Cloud Computing
In my previous post, we looked at understanding the different adoption patterns – i.e. how customers are turning towards cloud. Some of the key reasons of the “why” are listed below
While all of these are good, there are still many yet to get on to this cloud computing train. Let’s explore what are their key concerns or challenges why they are reluctant to jump in. The following are inputs that I’ve got from various analyst studies and resources on the internet.
I plan to discuss more on what are the perceived and real threats related to Security and Privacy in my subsequent posts. In my new role, as an Architect for IBM Security Solutions, I’ll like to discuss the details on what IBM tools and technologies you could use to overcome the issues.
Meanwhile keep those comments coming and I look forward to them to understand what other areas you think are key concerns to be addressed to accelerate adoption of cloud.
IBM Tech Trends Report says during the next 2 years 75% of organizations will engage in cloud computing
RHyman 06000032P4 Tags:  it it-pros #ibmcloud clouds tech-trends developerworks cloud social cloud-computing mobile #techtrends professionals tech trends techtrends developers analytics survey cloudcomputing 7,282 Views
The IBM Tech Trends report is out! We asked, you answered. Check out the results of IBM developerWorks' 2011 Tech Trends survey and find out what more than 4,000 IT professionals -- your peers -- have to say about the future of technology, including their opinions on cloud computing, business analytics, mobile computing, and social business.
The report provides insight from the worldwide IT development community into the adoption, preferences and challenges of key enterprise technology trends including cloud, business analytics, mobile computing, and social business. The results also provide guidance on areas where IT professionals like you say they need help with skills to develop new technologies and platforms that will be in demand in the coming years.
As we focus in on cloud, there is absolutely a growing trend in cloud computing to view it as more than just cheap infrastructure. Companies are now exploring the possibility of developing applications in the cloud (you guys are already doing that) many of them related to mobile development.
Currently the biggest challenge is integrating the cloud into application development as the reduction of operating expenses is the driver of this move. We still have a way to go however with 40% of the survey responders saying their company is not yet involved in cloud currently. Hmm, interesting right.
The cool news is that the expectation from those same responders is that over the next two years 75% of the IT professionals responded that they expect that this will change and that theirs and other enterprises will take to building cloud infrastructure.
Understanding the Cloud Adoption Patterns
I did discuss the - The Next Big thing – Cloud enabled business model Innovation in my previous post. But you may be asking where do I start. That’s where I guess Cloud Adoption Patterns work that IBM has pioneered is going to help. This is some great analysis - Cloud Adoption Patterns that IBM have done based on thousands of cloud engagements that we have done so far. This analysis is a good abstraction of the ways organizations are consuming cloud -- a good starting /entry point discussions on cloud.
The four most common entry points to cloud solutions are discussed in the picture above. I love these videos on youtube - Cloud Adoption Patterns that tells you the essence of these patterns in less than 2 minutes.
· Cloud-Enabled Data Center – to achieve better return on investment and manage complexity by extending virtualization well beyond just hardware consolidation.
· Cloud Platform Services – to accelerate time-to-market by creating, deploying and managing cloud applications.
· Business Solutions on Cloud – to access enterprise-level capabilities through a provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure; to improve innovation and flexibility while minimizing risk and capital expense.
· Cloud Service Provider – to innovate with new business models by building, extending, enabling and marketing cloud services.
For each of these patterns of cloud adoption, we have defined a set of proven projects that it supports with software, services and solutions to help businesses streamline the implementation of their chosen cloud capabilities.
While the Cloud Enabled Data Center pattern is the case for most of the private cloud implementation. Most customers start with providing infrastructure as a service on the cloud. This pattern also discusses how we can share infrastructure across multiple projects and drive benefits. This also discusses a lot of automation in the operation and business process that’s possible to have a responsive IT department that can help the business to be agile.
The next level of gain or reuse would be run your workloads on a shared stack of middleware. Platform as a Service Pattern is an integrated stack of middleware that is optimized to execute and manage different workloads, for example, batch, business process management and analytics. This middleware stack standardizes and automates a common set of topologies and workloads, providing businesses with elasticity, efficiency and automated workload management. A cloud platform dynamically adjusts workload and infrastructure characteristics to meet business priorities and service level agreements. All the layers below understanding what workloads are running on top of it and optimizing self is going to help run these workloads more efficiently and at a lower cost. The Cloud Platform Services adoption pattern can improve developer productivity by eliminating the need to work at the image level so that developers can instead concentrate on application development.
Business solutions pattern maps to the SAAS model where you leverage cloud to innovate with speed and efficiency to drive sales and profitability. In these we look at creating and consuming business solutions on the cloud. Some of the key offerings in this space are things like business process design, social and collaboration tools, supply chain and inventory, digital marketing optimization, B2B integration Services etc. These generic services consumed from the cloud relieves you of the pain of setting up things from scratch as well as enable you to scale based on your demands.
The Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Pattern is the one that most of the Telcos adopt when they have to service multiple consumers with a single cloud solution. We provide tools and technologies to design and deploy highly secure, multi-tenant cloud services infrastructure that can integrate nicely with plenty of 3rd party applications.
As we understand it is easy to do the IaaS pattern and more work to do when we implement SaaS or CSP patterns. But the gain is more when we do sharing at the software or application level. Depending on where you are in your current IT Environment, you can pick up and implement any of these patterns that suit you. The work that we have done to analyse these patterns and provide a consistent set of technologies and tools to build out these patterns should make life easy for you. Leverage it –less pain and more to gain.
The Next Big thing – Cloud enabled business model Innovation
I remember the day when one of our Executives - Nick Donofrio visited us in India. He is like the chief mentor for all the members of the IBM technical community and he has seen IBM and the IT industry for many years. He was addressing a Technical Exchange event few years ago and then someone in the audience asked him this question – “Sir , you have seen technology for so many years now – can you tell us what’s going to be the next big thing in terms of invention/innovation”. Everyone was all ears waiting for the answer - is it the next version of the internet, the search, a web2.0 application or may be an intelligent mobile app. But his answer was that he believes that there is not going to be any next big thing in technology. The next big thing for all of us is going to be Business model innovation. Even today his statements holds very true. Businesses that are able to reinvent their business model are succeeding and managing to stay on top and others vanish from the scene.
There are lots of innovative and technical things happening all around us like
I believe the next big thing is going to be how well you can use all these elements for business seamlessly and cost effectively. The key to succeed is to use technology to do this business model innovation and do it faster.
How do you do it faster ?-- The answer is cloud. This is something that I’m saying based on the data that IBM has got analyzing over 2000 customers cloud adoption patterns. All of them have seen the below advantages with Cloud.
Considering all these factors, I think the next big thing is Cloud Enabled Business Model Innovation. I was able to relate with some of the latest announcements that we have made in the cloud easily because they are just restating my same belief. As discussed in this interesting video by IBM's Saul Berman (Innovation & Growth Leader), 60% of the customers that IBM interviewed is saying they would consider cloud immediately and 70% of the them intend to use cloud to enable business model innovation. Based on the rate at which they adopt the new technologies they may be an Optimizer (looking at improving existing model), Innovator (looking at new model) or a Disruptor (who is ready to bring in game changing ideas).
So as today’s IT leaders, let us broaden our focus from merely delivering technology to solving larger business issues. One great opportunity for that is to tune in or be present for the SWG Universe India 2011. You will get a chance to listen to some great speakers who will talk about how to use cloud for business model innovation.
Cloud enabled Business Model Innovation I feel is the next big thing that could change IT and Businesses. – So come let’s Rethink IT & Reinvent Business
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cynthyap 110000GC4C Tags:  management virtualization service managing cloud monitoring cloud-computing 2,657 Views
Join us for the Managing the Cloud Webcast series to learn more about best practices, technical approaches and capabilities to help solve your business and technical challenges in the cloud. Sign up for these free 1 hour webcasts today.
Best practices for cloud service management - Nov 8, 12-1EST
Organizations today are looking to cloud computing to deliver cost savings and faster service delivery. However, most organizations are still struggling to have the basic IT infrastructure that is necessary to take the leap to a robust cloud. This session will explain how service management can help provide the essentials to maintain service levels in the cloud and best practices based on IBM's work with customers. This information will provide the foundation for building and managing a cloud to meet your business objectives and transform IT.https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-tivoli-nov8managingcloud Performance management in the cloud - Nov 15, 12-1EST Cloud services can leverage everything from databases to mainframe transactions to SOA services, so the ability to see how all these different touch points are performing is critical. See how integrated service management can provide the capabilities you need to monitor and manage today's cloud based services and help you meet your service level goals.https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-tivoli-nov15managingcloud
Performance management in the cloud - Nov 15, 12-1EST
Cloud services can leverage everything from databases to mainframe transactions to SOA services, so the ability to see how all these different touch points are performing is critical. See how integrated service management can provide the capabilities you need to monitor and manage today's cloud based services and help you meet your service level goals.https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-tivoli-nov15managingcloud
Chapter 19 – Tivoli Process Automation Engine
As we discussed in the previous post, it is important that the all the processes work together to bring successful automation in the cloud management platform. A process workflow automation engine is what makes this possible. In this chapter we will discuss more about Tivoli process automation engine that’s form the base for IBM process automation in the cloud space.
process automation engine provides a user interface, configuration services, workflows and the common data system needed
for IBM Service Management products and other services. As we already know IBM
Service Management (ISM) is a comprehensive and integrated approach for
Service Management, integrating technology, information, processes, and people
to deliver service excellence and operational efficiency and effectiveness for
traditional enterprises, service providers, and mid-size companies. Tivoli process automation engine, previously known as Tivoli base services, provides
the base infrastructure for applications like Tivoli Maximo Asset Management,
Change and Configuration Manager Database (CCMDB), Tivoli Service Request
Manager (SRM), Tivoli Asset Management for IT (TAMIT), Tivoli Proivisioning
Manager as well as Tivoli Service Automation Manager. Any product that has the Tivoli process automation engine as its foundation can be
installed with any other product that has the Tivoli process automation engine.
IBM Service Management (ISM) comprises of
Through having a common process automation engine, the we can successfully link Operational and Business services with Infrastructure through a single (J2EE) platform. We can also leverage current investments through linking this engine with existing process automation technologies and products. So by building a unified platform to automate processes, we have taken data integration to the next level where sharing data between applications has never been easier. This integrated process automation platform can support the repeatable IT functions like Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Configuration Management all the way through to Release Management. All of these processes tie into the CMDB where they share consistent data via bidirectional integration. The platform supports best practices such as ITIL and other Industry best practices. This facilitates an automated approach across the IT management lifecycle. It's also forms the basis for automating repetitive tasks that can be handled by the system instead of requiring human (costly) intervention. TPAE through the adapters provide data federation from multiple sources that you already have and translating the information into usable data that can be leveraged by internal process and workflow.
Figure 1 Tivoli process automation integrated portfolio
The Tivoli Process Automation Engine Wiki provides details on each of the components and capabilities that make up this integrated portfolio.
The Certification Study Guide Series : Foundations of Tivoli Process Automation Engine is a IBM® Redbooks publication that can guide you to get an IBM Professional Certification on Tivoli Process Automation Engine.
In a cloud service provider environment, there are various business processes and compliance that needs to be addressed before the environment can go live / operational. The following are the areas that need to be designed are the following:
IBM's strategy differentiates from other vendors in that it is focused on bridging business and IT processes using a common software framework with common services, including process automation and security services. IBM Service Management is built on the Tivoli Service Management Platform and wrapped with best practices, methodologies and services, to help you deliver services to your customers effectively and efficiently.
We provide an Integrated Solution that represents the full management of data, processes, tooling and people. The key differentiator is a common data model that all the core solutions can share for simple data sharing. It is important that the all the processes work together. A process workflow automation engine is what makes this possible. We will discuss more about this common workflow process automation engine in the next post.
Cloud Service Provider Platform (CSP2)
Till now we have seen through the earlier posts – what are
the essentials to go about creating a cloud environment – that consists of the management
platform as well as the managed environment. We have seen the critical
roles and organizations involved as well as the importance of Cloud
Service Strategy and Cloud
Service Design. We also saw the criticality of the need for a Cloud
Computing Reference Architecture (CCRA) to tie all the solution elements
together. We also saw how IBM
Service Delivery Manager (ISDM) which is an enterprise cloud solution based
Service Automation Manager (TSAM) can be deployed as a set of virtual
images that automate IT service deployment and provide resource monitoring,
cost management, and provisioning of services in the cloud.
The IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform is specifically tailored to the needs of CSPs and is designed to help them successfully:
Figure 1 IBM Integrated Service Management Solution for Cloud Service Providers
IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform is an integrated Service Management for Cloud Service Providers is built upon around a core Service Automation and Management component provided by ISDM. Beyond the core, IBM’s Integrated Service Management for Cloud Service Providers makes available four extensions—network management, security management, storage management, and advanced monitoring and service level management—that enables a comprehensive management offering.
Communications service providers (CSPs) around the world are looking for smarter ways of doing business. They are being challenged to transform the way services are created, managed, and delivered. CSP2 neatly integrates and extends the SPDE (Service Provider Delivery Environment) for Communication Service Providers to build the ecosystem to become a cloud service provider. For a cloud based business strategy - check out the video from Scott on the value of CSP2 for CSPs.
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Capacity Planning for the Management Platform
The management platform sizing means sizing for the following components that provides the functional capabilities
Further the sizing will be affected based on the non-functional consideration that needs to be addressed by each of these components of the management platform. One should review the performance reports and workload pattern/handling capabilities of each of the products selected to validate the sizing considered can meet the non-functional requested by the solution.
The size of the management platform depends on the size of the managed environment. It is
preferred to keep a centralized management environment and scale it as needed
when the managed environment grows. This is often not an easy calculation or simple process. Need to apply pure engineering to plan the capacity for each capabilities. Apart from the capabilities discussed above, the following key areas also needs to be covered
Tivoli Service Automation Manager Version 7: Capacity Planning Cookbook is an excellent document covering the various aspects in detail as well as provide some samples.
This book also gives links to some of the other whitepapers that provides for interesting further reading material on the subject.
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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.
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Today IBM announced new cloud computing initiatives for Business Partners. One called the IBM Cloud Computing Specialty - a single program to develop the IT industry's broadest ecosystem of companies working together to provide a wide range of cloud computing services and technologies for clients of all sizes and industries. The second, the IBM Software Value Plus Cloud Computing Authorization for software resellers.
Both these initiatives are complementary. IBM Business Partners with an SVP Cloud
Authorization will have completed the IBM Software skills required for the Cloud Specialty. While the IBM Cloud Specialty focuses on the
development and promotion of top cloud Business Partners, the new authorization is an
extension of the IBM Software Value Plus program, specifically for IBM software Business Partners that have built and demonstrated specialty skills, and then
receive financial incentives as resellers of IBM's software portfolio.
You may recall the recent IBM developerWorks survey of more than 2,000 IT professionals worldwide showed 91 percent believe cloud computing will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire by 2015. Industry analysts have also said that the cloud opportunity is expected to more than double in the next few years.
And IBM developerWorks continues to be committed to being your source for the technical resources to build your cloud skills to ensure you can participate in the coming opportunities. The Cloud zone on IBM developerWorks offers the ability to collaborate with peers to solve your development issues and excel with cloud computing so that you can be in lock step with the new opportunities that are expected to arise with the growing cloud computing opportunity.
It's a exciting space, grow your knowledge to participate in the smarter planet.
Chapter 11 – Self Service Portal & Service Catalog
One of the key aspects of cloud service management is the automation to ensure that you can manage huge and growing infrastructures while controlling cost and quality. To attain this goal, we need a Self Service Portal and a Service Catalog. Results show that with these components in place the wait time for services have decreased by an average 98%.
Traditional processes would require you to fill out a paper and put it through the approval processes. Finally the capex is approved and the order is placed for the hardware and software. Also you will be required to constantly followup with the IT Provider teams to know the status of the hardware/software availability, their installation and provisioning, etc. Most often even if all the details are provided correctly upfront, there are chances of errors in the hardware and software provisioning as the process is manual.
With the Self-Service Portal these requests and their tracking are automated. You can track the status of the workflow Online. Ask for services when you need them and most of it is provisioned automatically through workflows implemented. There is less chance for error and faster provisioning with Self-Service Portal and the automation.
Thus the Self-Service GUI allows end users to request IT Resources and optionally automatically fulfill that request.
Tivoli Service Automation Manager provides a set of pre-defined services for Virtual Server Management. These are available as part of a service catalog that is accessible to end user through the Self-Service UI. The Self-Service Virtual Server Management functionality addresses a long-standing need by data centers to efficiently manage the self-service deployment of virtual servers and associated software. Using a set of simple, point-and-click tools, an end user can select a software stack and have the software automatically installed or uninstalled in a virtual host that is automatically provisioned.
These tools integrate with IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager to provide a self-service portal for reserving, provisioning, recycling, and modifying virtual servers, and working with server images, in the following platform environments in a virtualized non-production lab (VNPL). This functionality ensures the integrity of fulfillment operations that involve a wide range of resource actions.
These capabilities enable you to achieve incremental value by adopting a self-service virtual server provisioning process, growing and adapting the process at your own pace, and adding task automation to further reduce labor costs around defined provisioning needs.
Before users in the data center can create and provision virtual servers, administrators perform a set of setup tasks, including configuring the integration; setting up the virtualization environments managed by the various hypervisors and running a Tivoli Provisioning Manager discovery to discover servers and images across the data center.
After this initial setup has been completed, the administrator associates the virtual server offerings with Tivoli Provisioning Manager virtual server templates. In addition, the Image Library is used as the source for software images to be used in provisioning the virtual servers.
Data center users who have Cloud Admin rights can use the Service Automation Manager Offering Catalog application to create and provision virtual server deployments.
The Offering Catalog application contains all the offerings that are available to the end user. There are steps that you need to perform on the catalog that will make specific offerings visible to specific end user groups. The end user interface is a Web 2.0 interface which can be edited to expose it via a Service Catalog. The Web 2.0 UI is designed in an extensible, modular way that allows for programmatically extending it.
Tivoli Service Automation Manager defines security groups that are used to provide role-based functions that can be performed via the administrative user interface or the self-service user interface. We will discuss the User access management for the Self-Service Virtual Server Provisioning component in the next chapter.
Cloud developers: Register for a can't-miss virtual event in October to learn indispensible techniques to prepare for the smarter planet
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If you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to check out the October cloud computing for developers virtual event. Participants in this two-day event will learn how to leverage the power of the cloud to tackle the toughest business and technical challenges! This two-day event will be packed with real-world examples and live demos of techniques and products – and you’ll see it all without leaving your desk. It's going to be exciting to have you all there with us getting smarter learning new technical skills to prepare us all for a smarter planet.
Here's some of what's in plan for the event. Remember that you can ask as many questions as you wish to our team of experts about any of our sessions.
That's not all folks, remember we have a full set of sessions on the 2nd day to. Remember, you'll have to register separately for day 2.
We are giving you a choice. Choose the 2-day event best suited to you depending on where you are in the world. Both events will have very similar sessions. Register for the event that is best timed for North American (October 12-13) or European (October 26-27) time zones.
Visit the IBM Cloud for developers group to view the agenda and session descriptions, or register here.
We are looking forward to learning with you so join us this month to get a little smarter.
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Have you checked out the features in the new release of the IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud? Well you should. Version 1.1 provides support for Virtual Private Networks and Virtual Local Area Networks plus new premium support services are now available. I've heard from my tweeps on Twitter that the new release rocks so had to share the news with all of you in our very cool developer community.
Okay so if you want to realize faster application deployment with reduced costs, you have to check out the IBM Cloud. You virtually have no infrastructure to maintain and benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing. And, you can set up more accurate test environments in minutes versus weeks using standardized configurations. Sound irresistible?
So you ask, what does this new release really mean for me as a developer? Well here's a quick summary of what Version 1.1 has to offer:
Then you'll want to check out the web site for IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud to see how you can get started - you can request a contract right from the web page.
And once you get signed up, take advantage of the IBM developerWorks cloud computing resource center to keep up with technical knowledge on cloud application and services development and deployment and tools you can use to make your life easier.
Follow me on Twitter to get the latest on technical cloud resources, events and more.