IT management software provider BMC, which also builds and manages clouds for service providers, said July 24 that it has upgraded its cloud system management package to include new and more granular administrative controls and capabilities.
BMC has updated its Cloud Lifecycle Management to v3.0 and BMC Cloud Operations Management to v9.0. The company says the products give cloud service providers greater latitude in planning, building and running a cloud system.
Cloud Lifecycle Management 3.0 is a cloud-building tool that enables service providers to offer a broader set of services through the cloud, Lilac Schoenbeck, senior manager of Solutions Marketing in BMC's Cloud Computing group, told eWEEK. This also includes legacy applications.
Remember LPARs? Those Can Work Here
"We're now enabling SaaS (software-as-a-service) provisioning through this interface, as well as legacy services, including IBM LPARs," Schoenbeck said. An LPAR is IBM's early-stage virtualization platform that pre-dates Intel x86-based servers, Schoenbeck said.
LPAR is the forerunner of a virtual machine. It is an acronym for logical partitioning, a system of taking a computer's total resources -- processors, memory and storage -- and splitting them into smaller units that each can be run with its own instance of the operating system and applications.
Logical partitioning, which requires specialized hardware circuits, is typically used to separate different functions of a system, such as Web serving, database functions, client/server actions or systems that serve multiple time zones and/or languages. Since the partitions in effect act as separate physical machines, they can communicate with each other. IBM was the first to use logical partitioning in 1976.
"Enterprises often don't decommission a lot of these older platforms, even though we may think of them as historical," Schoenbeck said. "What they (users) want to do is to offer services consistently through the same management platform. What they don't want are new silos to deal with, and the cloud very much has the potential to create a new silo in the data center."
Broad Set of Use Cases
BMC is doing this by "extending the cloud management platform across the broadest set of services, and architecting it to meet the broadest set of user needs," Schoenbeck said.
Cloud Lifecycle Management provides the following, according to Schoenbeck:
- configurable cloud services from a service catalog and self-service portal;
- provisioning of fully configured services, not just individual VMs;
- tight, efficient administrative control;
- intelligent, policy-driven placement and optimization;
- broad resource support for physical and virtual, private and public cloud.
BMC Cloud Operations Management 9.0 provides improved self-service provisioning of cloud services to service providers, Schoenbeck said.
A unique feature of BMC's approach is its network container functionality, which creates isolated and secure virtualized network zones within the cloud -- not unlike what the old LPARs provided. Network containers separate cloud services from each other to enable co-mingled, multi-tenant environments.
BMC said Cloud Operations Management 9.0 provides:
- better prediction of capacity needs, identification of potential issues resulting from change, and faster resolution if and when issues do arise;
- identification, prioritization, and isolation of issues across the full spectrum of cloud services and shared local and remote resources;
- analytics-based workflows to increase operational efficiency, minimize human error, and reduce cost per cloud service.
The Houston-based company also announced July 25 that it has created a "chart and compass" feature that helps users map and navigate the end user experience when working inside a cloud system.
BMC End User Experience Management diagnoses and improves online customer satisfaction rates, BMC said. In the latest release of this tool, BMC has augmented it to include applications running in the cloud, with administrative visibility from the end user all the way down to the code, the company said.