A lot of information is available about IBM SmartCloud Enterprise capabilities, but it’s not always easy to find. So to say, this blog page contains an overview of the capabilities of, and how to use and configure IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. Especially, to fit your business needs and add the most value.
Agree to disagree, Cloud Computing is an on-demand service that has obtained mass appeal in corporate data centers. The cloud enables the data center to operate like the Internet and computing resources to be accessed and shared as virtual resources in a secure and scalable manner.
With this in mind, this blog post starts with generic information, and continues with more in-depth information about specific capabilities and use cases. Not forgetting, the three most important sources of information. In that case, also used for most of the links in this post are:
- IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Portal, the web portal where you can manage your cloud images and instances.
- DeveloperWorks Website, the IBM technical resource and professional network for the developer and IT professional.
- And the jmexclusives Thoughts on Cloud Computing blog, as well as the IBM cloud blog.
What is IBM?
IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), incorporated on June 16, 1911, as a technology company.
The Company operates through five segments. Including, Global Technology Services (GTS), Global Business Services (GBS), Software, Systems Hardware, and Global Financing.
IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics helps you make smarter, faster marketing and CX decisions based on insights into customers across touchpoints and channels. And, only Watson gives you clarity into end-to-end journeys.
Not forgetting their effectiveness while also giving you the ability to visualize the actual customer experience on your digital channels. Therefore, this macro to micro view gives you both the what and the why behind your performance.
The end result? The insight you need to optimize journeys, boost conversion, and maximize profitability. Learn more about the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) service solutions.
What is IBM SmartCloud Enterprise?
By definition, IBM SmartCloud Enterprise is an agile computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution. That provides you with rapid access to an enterprise-class shared-cloud environment.
But, Why call it shared-cloud, and not public-cloud? Simply, because it’s optimized for a business of any size and not intended for consumer use.
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise is well-suited for:
- A broad spectrum of born-on-the-web applications, production, and non-production
- Development and test activities
- Batch processing
- Web hosting
In short, this solution is developed for organizations that want a low-cost cloud environment. Suitable for running moderate-risk applications, it can also help dramatically reduce the client’s IT costs.
The IBM cloud environment delivers compute options with virtual IT infrastructure support. As well as, a standard level of security for sharing physical IT resources among many tenants. And dedicated computing environments for an extra level of protection.
How do you Get Started?
To simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing resources, everything from applications to data centers, over the internet. The various types of cloud computing deployment models include public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud.
After you have signed up for the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, as I am about to illustrate, there’re lots of products and service solutions support. Not to mention, some of the best sources of additional information are on the support tab of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise portal.
After you have logged in:
- The support community forum is the place to go for information about system status, answers to frequently asked questions, and tips on using the system.
- The video library contains demonstration videos of several topics such as how to create and manage images, set up a VPN connection, and use firewalls.
There’s also a helpful set of videos about popular uses, such as:
- Big Data
- Web workloads
- Batch workloads
- Development and Test workloads
- Collaboration workloads
- Performance Testing workloads
- The document library contains documents to help you use the tool.
- The asset catalog contains additional documentation and many technical support files.
How to Use the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise APIs
The API service of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise provides users with the ability to manage their instances from third-party applications.
Start with the command line tool and reference binaries (CLI) for using the command line utility to work with the cloud. Thereafter, find more in-depth documents for all the API options.
Use the following links:
- REST API Reference
- Java REST API Client
- Javadoc for REST API
A reference guide is also available for the object storage API.
What is PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)?
PaaS, or Platform-as-a-Service, is a cloud computing model that provides customers a complete platform—hardware, software, and infrastructure. Particularly, for developing, running, and managing applications without the cost, complexity, and inflexibility of building and maintaining that platform on-premises.
The PaaS provider hosts everything—servers, networks, storage, operating system software, databases—at their data center. The customer uses it all for a monthly fee based on usage and can purchase more resources on-demand as needed.
In this way, PaaS lets your development teams build, test, deploy, maintain, update, and scale applications. And also, to innovate in response to market opportunities and threats. Much more quickly and less expensively than they could if you had to build out and manage your own on-premises platform.
What are the Features of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise?
The Big Blue cloud branding has taken quite a few twists and turns in recent years. Whereby, it started marketing IBM SmartCloud in 2012. But, after it acquired Softlayer in 2013 pushed the second brand as its lead IaaS entity.
See the major Benefits of Platform-as-a-Service and thereafter, the advanced capabilities of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise below;
1. Image Management
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise has many IBM software images ready to be provisioned and used in a pay as you go (PAYG) or bring your own license (BYOL), license model. There is also a list of cloud ecosystem partner images that extend the value of the IBM SmartCloud.
But, the options don’t stop here; there are also multiple ways to create your own images and solutions using IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. To get started with this, read the developerWorks article to gain a broad understanding of the image and software bundle capabilities. Use the instructions of the IBM Image Construction and Composition Tool to create your own private image.
CohesiveFT, an IBM Business Partner solution, also offers a great way to create your own custom images. Read about ways to create images, written by one of our experts, to find out about four options, each with unique benefits.
You can also import an existing image (Linux only for now) into IBM SmartCloud Enterprise to save time and effort, or import appliance images.
2. Storage options
Introduced in release 2.0 is a second storage tier, named object storage.
With IBM SmartCloud Enterprise – object storage, you can manage your unstructured and object data. Such as documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, audio and visual files, and email and text messages.
Upload a file of any size once, from anywhere in the world and access it anywhere – as opposed to uploading the same file multiple times in multiple geographic regions.
Find out what it is (IBM SmartCloud Enterprise credentials needed) and how to use it with a CloudNAS image. May it be inside or outside IBM SmartCloud Enterprise or directly through the Object Storage API.
3. Network security
By default, the way to connect to your IBM SmartCloud Enterprise instances is through the Internet.
As an additional service, instances can also be connected to a secure connection using one or multiple virtual private network (VPN) tunnels into an IBM SmartCloud Enterprise data center. And multiple virtual local area networks (VLANs) in each data center to separate instances from each other.
This developerWorks article about setting-up VPN connections describes these two features in detail and explains how they can be used in multiple ways to meet your security requirements.
4. High availability and redundancy
Single-server SLAs are not all there is to availability and redundancy — as is the case in traditional IT environments, you still have to define a valid architecture.
Read the developerWorks article (“High availability apps in the IBM Cloud”) about how to protect a cloud-enabled, production-grade application against a failure on any node.
Advanced use cases include;
5. Big Data
Big Data is one of the major IT trends. So, why not build part of your big data environment in the cloud?
Education about which techniques are used and how to implement them can be found on the Big Data University at BD006EN – Hadoop & IBM Cloud (registration is necessary).
6. Backup and monitoring your instances
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise offers you a great variety of capabilities and possibilities. For instance, customer-managed above the hypervisor to increase your time to market.
The downside to this is that you, the customer, do need to think of basic IT necessities. Such as any other IT environment would need, such as backup and monitoring.
Although some customers prefer to use their existing backup and monitoring solutions for their cloud images, others prefer to configure an IBM SmartCloud Enterprise instance. With either a pre-built image for a task such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring or install their choice of backup or monitoring software.
Alternatively, you can also use a software as a service (SaaS) solution such as Tivoli Live – monitoring services, ready to use right from the cloud.
New to cloud computing?
Read this resource, which provides a rapid and thorough grounding in cloud computing with a focus on the basic concepts. As well as terminology definitions; types of cloud platforms, services, and products.
In addition of how to start developing applications for the cloud and connections to resources that can further expand your knowledge of the cloud. Again, if you’re interested in information on navigating cloud implementation successfully, please feel free to contact us.
Also check out the IBM SmartCloud page, which shows you the overview of all IBM cloud solutions. Ranging from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) to software as a service (SaaS), and from private cloud to shared cloud.
Until then, wish to see you next time!
By all means, I hope you have gathered enough information in regards to the above-revised profile guide.
But, if you have additional information, contributions or even suggestions, please Contact Us. And finally, you can also share some or more of your thoughts in the comments box below this post.
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