Where to begin with provisioning and cloud solutions on z Systems?
Getting started with provisioning and cloud solutions on z Systems can be a confusing task. Cloud solutions can be implemented as a standalone solution or they can be a subset of a larger solution. There are also now many different options available from both IBM and other vendors.
While deciding on which cloud solutions will work best, you will need to evaluate many factors.
These may include but are not limited to:
- Security requirements
- Middle-ware, applications and other software requirements
- Number of virtual servers required
- Development, Test, QA and Production requirements
- Management and type of physical resources
- Disaster recovery requirements
- Technical skills available to administer the environment(s)
- Projected growth over time
For more simple environments that are static and won’t grow rapidly over time, using basic features like disk copying to clone new virtual Linux servers from static base images that require just a few changes after deployment is one option. Also, using Red Hat’s Kickstart facility or S– USE’s AutoYaST facility to install new Linux virtual servers based on parameter files is another commonly used option. These options can have multiple base images or parameter files based on the type of Linux virtual server being deployed, for example an application server, web server or a database server etc. These options work very well in smaller environments and can be set up to allow both z/VM and Linux system administrators to share the deployment responsibilities.
As you move up in size and complexity you can now take a look at IBM Wave which can manage small to large environments. IBM Wave automates and adds to the capabilities of basic cloning, like basic z/VM and Linux monitoring and self provisioning to non IT personnel. It does all of this through a graphical interface eliminating the need to have deep z/VM or Linux administration skills, opening up the provisioning and monitoring tasks to end users and operations personnel. This allows your system’s administrators to focus on managing the overall environment.
A third option would be IBM’s Cloud Manager with OpenStack that provides a whole host of new capabilities that can build and manage large cloud environments. It allows you to manage not only Linux on z/VM environments but Linux virtual servers on Power and Intel platforms with a range of different hypervisors.
Still not sure where to begin?
Start by talking to your Mainline account executive about your requirements and questions regarding the various cloud solutions. We can help you build a plan and solution for moving to a user based provisioning and cloud environment on z Systems.