With success in the SmartCloud Application Services (SCAS) beta and pilot programs, IBM has opened up the offering in pre-release to all new and existing SmartCloud Enterprise customers. Use to SmartCloud Application Services is free until the offering becomes generally available later in 2012. The only cost comes from usage of the underlying SmartCloud Enterprise resources used by SCAS.
What is IBM SmartCloud Application Services?
IBM SmartCloud Application Services is a Platform as a Service offering that covers the full application lifecycle from development all the way to production. It includes the IBM SmartCloud Application Collaborative Lifecycle Management Service (CLMS) and the IBM SmartCloud Application Workload Service (SCAWS). With CLMS, you will manage the application requirements, development and quality of service. SCAWS will provide you an environment where you can design the topology of your application needs based on patterns and provision this topology on the SmartCloud Enterprise platform.
In this video presentation, you have an introduction to SmartCloud Application Services.
These two services fit perfectly in the DevOps scenario, just look at this video:
You can integrate the Collaborative Lifecycle Management Service with your IDE (Rational Application Developer, Eclipse or VisualStudio) by installing a plugin which will help the developer to version his code and track the work items assigned to him.
The SmartCloud Application Workload Service is really something I’ve been waiting for since the launch of SmartCloud Enterprise. It provides the capability to design a topology, save this topology as a pattern and deploy it multiple times. It is not a simple deployment engine, but it helps you to also manage the running pattern. For example, in the pattern you can setup policies to elastically scale-out/in your environment depending on the current workload. You no longer need to size your environment for peak load. Instead you consume what your application needs.
IBM provides a number of pattern-types — a pattern-type is a tool box in which you will pick components to design your pattern. For example, with the WebApp pattern-type, you will have components such as an ‘Enterprise Application,’ a ‘database,’ a ‘LDAP,’ and many others; each represents a part of your application environment. Now, it’s just a question of drag and drop, and link the components together to finally design the pattern that will suit your needs.
Available pattern-types for the pre-release of SmartCloud Application Services are:
Because IBM provides a Plugin Development Kit which you can download straight from the platform, you can develop your own pattern-types, so you are not tied to the pattern-types provided by IBM. You can create your own that match your needs, or you can extend existing patterns.
The platform also provides monitoring information and the option to take action on running patterns.
One great advantage of the SmartCloud Application Workload Service is that it uses the same technology found in the IBM PureApplication system, in the IBM Workload Deployer and now in the SmartCloud Provisioning software. This translates into portability of virtual applications between these diverse environments. For example, you can develop and test on SmartCloud Application Services and run your production workload on the IBM PureApplication System. This has the potential to dramatically reduce time to market and costs, while improving productivity and quality.
If you already have images, you can use the virtual system pattern feature instead of the virtual application pattern feature to create your own pattern assembly images and scripts:
If you are a Rational Application Developer user, you can install the IBM Workload Deployer plugin and start/stop the pattern on SmartCloud Application Workload Service from the Rational Application Developer.
You can find more information on the IBM SmartCloud Application Services at http://www.ibm.com/services/be/en/cloud-computing/paas.html