This edition discusses the improved Red Hat Linux update service and elaborates some of the cloud ecosystem partner images. I also list new innovation center events, discuss the book “Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud” written by some of the SmartCloud Enterprise developers and experts and detail the SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group. Lastly, I focus on big data workloads and elaborate how everyone can now create platform services using the Cloud Services Framework.

This is the fourth edition of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Unleashed series, find the previous posts here:

  • Unleashed I takes you through all the basics of SmartCloud Enterprise and details all valuable information resources.
  • Unleashed II is a deep dive into functional and technical use cases, utilizing the capabilities that SmartCloud Enterprise offers.
  • Unleashed III goes into detail on how security is arranged within and around IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

What’s new

Enhanced Red Hat Linux update service

As detailed in an earlier notification email, IBM is excited to announce an enhanced Red Hat Linux update service for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. This new service utilizes new content distribution servers at each SmartCloud site around the world, providing greater redundancy and reduced latency as compared to the previous Red Hat update system. The update service utilizes the “fastest mirror” plugin for YUM which will meter the latency to all the update servers and select the one with the shortest response time.

New images and software products

In the May newsletter the cloud ecoystem partner images were already mentioned, here are some interesting examples of ecosystem images that offer very useful functionality and are ready to be provisioned right from the portal.

Asigra backup solution

Asigra Cloud Backup™ the first enterprise-class cloud backup platform to protect the entire digital footprint (storage, servers, desktops, and laptops on the enterprise LAN as well as remote tablets, smart phones, and laptops), provide data Recovery and Restore Assurance (R2A) for consumers, and establish new performance benchmarks.

AppZero application migration

The fastest and most flexible way to move server applications to and across any clouds or datacenter servers, without re-engineering, re-installation, or lock-in. AppZero makes complex Windows® and Linux® server applications moveable with the ease of an enterprise app store. See free training in the IBM Innovation Center events paragraph below.

A wealth of SmartCloud Enterprise knowledge

IBM Innovation Center events

In the July newsletter the IBM Innovation Center was already mentioned, offering a wide range of no-charge workshops, seminars, and briefings. Here’s an update of the coming events that can help you build technical skills, learn how to market and sell more effectively with IBM, and connect with other Business Partners:

The Fastest PaaS to Cloud – SmartGuide® and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
Developing web and mobile applications is easy with the availability of new tools and platforms for Cloud.  This session introduces Alphinat, a leader in Rapid Application Development PaaS tools that accelerate the development, deployment and maintenance of web and mobile applications in the Cloud.

The enterprise answer for managing unstructured data
Details the possibilities and value of SmartCloud Enterprise – object storage: 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years and 80% of that data is unstructured – data in the form of presentation files, email, audio and video files. Because of these trends, enterprises are looking for a public object storage offering that meets their unique requirements of security, visibility and control.

Automate the migration of enterprise server applications to SmartCloud Enterprise
Moving existing server applications to any cloud takes heavy lifting. Appzero’s new zapp migration technology reduces that work significantly with automation for fast migration and redeployment of enterprise server applications to the cloud. Zapp extracts server applications that were “born in the datacenter” – without reengineering or reinstalling them. Join appzero CEO Greg O’Connor and CTO Giovanni Boschi as they demonstrate how to extract a server application to run on SmartCloud.

Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud

Interested in even more in-depth SmartCloud Enterprise knowledge, all bundled in one? Than the book Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud is a great source! This complete, practical guide to build and host cloud services that deliver exceptional business value. In this unique title, key developers of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise share indispensable insights for developing and operating cloud-based solutions on any cloud platform. Drawing on their unsurpassed in-the-trenches experience, the authors help you develop the new mindset and skills needed to succeed in cloud environments, where development, business, and system operations are linked more tightly than ever.

Stay updated on everything SmartCloud

Apart from this SmartCloud Enterprise SmartCloud newsletter there is a wealth of information available in newsletters from IBM. Specifically interesting in relation to SmartCloud Enterprise the newsletters “Services Newsletter” and “developerWorks Weekly Edition” newsletters might be of interest to you. You can subscribe to these, and more, newsletters via the IBM eNewsletter Subscription Services webpage.

SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group

The SmartCloud Enterprise Developers Group is a technical community composed of individuals interested in the application programming interfaces (API’s) of the SmartCloud Enterprise offering. The group includes customers, business partners, independent software vendors, and IBM employees that share a common interest in understanding the API’s. The developers group covers how these API’s can be used to automate processes and build solutions that integrate with SmartCloud Enterprise.

The developers group meets via virtual meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. During these meetings, subject matter experts will present information related to the SmartCloud Enterprise APIs. Past topics have included: accessing the REST API from a browser, using the RAM API’s, and uploading files to virtual machines during provisioning. Please contact Alex Amies to receive an official calendar invite for the developers group meetings, get the latest schedule and conference call details. News about the group can be found on Alex’s blog.

Workloads on the cloud

Big Data, continued.

Mentioned already in the May newsletter, big data is one of the major IT trends, so why not build part of your big data environment in the cloud? Hear why big data and the convergence with cloud computing is such an important IT trend in the web cast Big Data on the Cloud; A better path to deeper business insight which is freely available for replay until December 5, 2012.

If you want to take it one step further, you can find developer and DBA resources, tutorials, and articles to help you grow your knowledge on big data technology and IBM’s integrated big data platform on the developerWorks big data web page. I would like to specifically mention:

Starting your education in big data
Learn about current free, online courses that are available at BigDataUniversity. Follow the suggested path to get started and grow your knowledge on big data, and get ready to implement it to meet your own business needs.

Agile predictive analyses on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
In this article, the author introduces the concepts of agile predictive analytics on the cloud, provides some information on PMML, and offers a real-world example of a tool that integrates these elements under a single control.

Get started with Hadoop-based data analytics on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
The combination of cloud and Hadoop make it possible to handle large amounts of structured and unstructured data. In this article, the author explains how to get started using Hadoop (in the form of InfoSphere® BigInsights Basic) on SmartCloud Enterprise.

The Cloud Services Framework (CSF)

Platform as a service (PaaS) services, like developer and operation (DevOps) tools and design patterns that implement ready-to-run workloads like web-, application- and database server are emerging and are expected to have strategic growth for the coming years Gartner says. This type of services go beyond the infrastructure services (IaaS) by offering greater functionality off the shelf, which allows for easy configuration of for automated scaling (elasticity) and re-usable topologies.

SmartCloud Enterprise also offers users the possibilities to design and create their own PaaS services, next to use the ones that IBM has designed and mad available in the SmartCloud Enterprise portal. To create your own PaaS services, The Cloud Services Framework (CSF) provides an ecosystem on SmartCloud that enables enterprise customers, IBM, and independent software vendors to deliver predefined and pre-integrated services with reduced development and management costs.

In this first of a four-part series of articles, learn how to create and register a mashup service in the Cloud Services Framework in SmartCloud Enterprise. The authors show how to: Display the details of a service offering, dynamically update the displayed information, present data from third-party sources, and how to manage the service instance. Watch for follow-on articles in the series — they’ll show how to provision the service with multiple components and will illustrate a proxy VM with a load balancer and monitoring service.

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