IBM i Workloads Now Supported On IBM Private Cloud Software
October 15, 2012 Alex Woodie
IBM last week unveiled SmartCloud Entry for Power version 2.4, a new release of its software for helping organizations deploy and run a private cloud environment on Power Systems servers. With version 2.4, the company has followed through on its pledge to support the management of IBM i workloads with the software, which continues to require AIX.
SmartCloud Entry for Power builds upon the capabilities in PowerVM and Systems Director VMControl to deliver a Web portal interface where administrators can create, modify, and delete virtualized slices of their server. The software delivers self-service provisioning for end users; provides security, auditing, and authentication capabilities; and includes basic activity monitoring and basic billing functions. Basically, it includes everything you need to convert your Power Systems server into an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud.
When it was first released a year ago under the name IBM Starter Kit for Cloud on Power, IBM included a statement of direction in the announcement letter that said IBM would eventually support IBM i workloads with the software. With the Live Partition Mobility (LPM) functionality firmly in place with the early 2012 release of IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 4 (TR4), and last week’s delivery of IBM 7.1 TR5 (which brought new Elastic Capacity on Demand for Power System Pools functions), IBM apparently thought it was the right time to support its proprietary midrange server environment with this software.
The other enhancements delivered with SmartCloud Entry 2.4 focus on delivering more sophisticated management and expanded platform support. IBM sells versions of the SmartCloud Entry for Power and X86 (as well as for the new Flex System), and with this release IBM has widened the support of the products. Now, users of either package can manage the full array of supported environments of the other product. This means that users of SmartCloud Entry for Power (which only runs on AIX, but manages AIX, IBM i, and Power Linux workloads) can manage the client environments running on a System x server, including Windows and Linux on top of VMware ESXi or Red Hat KVM hypervisors.
This release also gives the administrator more fine-grained management capabilities. For example, admins can create custom network settings for each virtualized workload under their management, or create policies that dictate whether the admin needs to approve of changes the user requests of their cloud environment. Admins can also now export approval requests from the SmartCloud Entry database to a file for logging historical information related to the cloud. It also supports automatic deletion of events from the database and the capability to generate custom expiration policies for individual cloud environments.
The announcement of SmartCloud Entry last week coincides not only with the unveiling of IBM i 7.1 TR5, but with the unveiling of new Power Systems cloud bundles, which IBM calls Power Systems Solution Edition for Cloud. IBM says this Power Systems bundle is pre-built to run cloud workloads.