Hi Folks,

I’m excited to say that BMC Software’s Cloud Lifecycle Management 3.1 release is out.  This is an exciting release, in my opinion, because it further solidifies and broadens the capability of BMC’s flagship cloud platform.  Here’s a quick snip of what’s new:

Provisioning virtual machines using Quick Start

Using Quick Start, you provide a limited number of configuration settings. All other configuration is automated, including configuration of underlying BMC products such as BMC Server Automation and BMC Network Automation.

When the Quick Start wizards are complete, BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management is ready to fulfill end user requests for automated provisioning of virtual machines (VMs). The BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management Administration Console reflects the configuration settings made in Quick Start.

Quick Start is designed to address straightforward provisioning needs. If you require more complex configurations, you may need to use the full set of tools that BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management offers. Alternatively, you can perform some simple provisioning with Quick Start and then modify the configuration using the full capabilities of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management.

CLM Quick Start


Networking enhancements

The reprovisioning operation allows you to update a network container structure by adding new components to the container or updating existing entities in the container using a new revision of the network container blueprint. This reprovisioning capability enables you to scale the container by adding new components, such as NICs, load balancers, and firewalls.  This is huge, because previously you had to off-board resources from a Network Container, remove the container, and re-provision it with updated blueprint details.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management supports the management of distributed firewalls (such as the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) appliance) from the Manager Firewall Rules dialog box. Distributed firewalls, also called transparent hypervisor firewalls or layer 2 firewalls, protect traffic flowing between VMs.

This version of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management adds the capability to update a pod after it has been onboarded. This capability enables you to scale a pod when necessary.

For example, a pod might be running out of virtual ports for virtual machine (VM) provisioning, because the pod was originally configured with one vswitch and a maximum of 120 virtual ports. You can update the pod with an additional access switch, which will provide more virtual ports for any new network containers that are created for the pod.

A new placement algorithm for Logical Network selection is available in this release. This feature is optional. If enabled, the algorithm calculates available capacity for all selected networks and selects the one with the highest capacity.

The algorithm is executed only if both of the following are true:

  • You have enabled the AccessAttributeValue option in the Platform Manager Configuration file (providers.json)
  • More than one network gets selected based on either Tags or Network Label provided in the Service Blueprint for the network

If both of the above true, then the algorithm looks at total capacity and used capacity, and calculates the available capacity for each matching network. The network with the highest available capacity is selected for the SOI.

Support for Microsoft Hyper-V environments

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management version 3.1 provides support for Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization environments. This support includes the following capabilities:

  • Provisioning service offering instances (SOIs) on Hyper-v systems
  • Decommissioning Hyper-V-based SOIs
  • Starting or stopping SOIs
  • Extending expiration dates
  • Installing software

Deployment enhancements

BMC Lifecycle Management 3.1 now lets you specify the sequence in which applications and other blueprint elements are deployed.

When you use the Blueprint Editor to define a service deployment definition, a new tab called Deployment Sequence lets you express the sequence of applications and other blueprint elements in numerical form.

Deployment Sequence

In addition, you can now specify a sequence for post-deploy actions when defining the following aspects of a blueprint:

  • Resource set details
  • Service deployment definitions
  • Compute resources
When creating service blueprints, you can leverage deployment data such as hostnames and IP addresses in your software packages and post deployment actions using tokens. This capability enables you to easily deploy complex, high value services with parameters that are dynamically evaluated at runtime.

You can use parameter tokens that are defined or assigned in another resource set in the same blueprint. These tokens are applicable for software deployment, BMC Atrium Orchestrator workflows, or any deployment scripts (such as BMC Server Automation NSH scripts).

You set the token using the new Token field on the Parameter dialog box. VVL Systems uses this capability in our CLM integration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support defining Security Groups and Key Pair association of a provisioned AWS Instance.  In addition, we leverage this to pass the appropriate User-Selected username and password to BSA, so that the user account is automatically created in the AWS Instance.

Tokens and Parameters

Beginning in version 3.1:

  • A component can only be added to one resource set within a single deployment model. A component can be added to multiple resource sets if each of those resource sets belongs to a different deployment model. In earlier versions of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management, a component could be added to more than one resource set in the same deployment model.
  • Resource set names must be unique within a deployment model. In earlier versions of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management, multiple resource sets with the same name were allowed for a single deployment model.

If you attempt to edit a service blueprint that was defined in an earlier release but does not conform to the new requirements, you will not be able to save the service blueprint. If you do not need to edit the service blueprint, you can continue to use it for provisioning purposes.

Removing a NIC from a VM

The remove NIC feature allows you to remove a data network interface card (NIC) from a VM. You can remove a NIC from a VM from the My Services tab using the following consoles:

  • BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management — My Cloud Services Console
  • BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management — Tenant Administration Console
  • BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management — Administration Console (Service Instances workspace)

New Providers and 3rd party cloud integrations

This release includes the following features for Terremark Provider:

  • Terremark installer
  • Onboarding and offboarding a Logical Data Center
  • Registering a Terremark resource provider instance
  • Provisioning of new virtual machines based on Terremark templates or a customized template
  • Starting and stopping the provisioned virtual machines
  • Modifying the memory and CPUs of a provisioned virtual machine
  • Decommissioning provisioned virtual machines
  • Extending the commission length of provisioned virtual machines
  • Installing software while provisioning virtual machines
  • User provisioning on provisioned virtual machines. User credentials for accessing the virtual machine can be provided when user requests a service offering. These credentials can be used to access the virtual machine after provisioning is completed.
  • Supporting multiple Terremark accounts

This release contains the following enhancements for the Savvis Provider:

  • Savvis installer
  • Onboarding and offboarding a Network Container (using Premier and Balanced service offering)
  • Specifying additional disks in blueprints
  • Fencing and unfencing of provisioned virtual machines
  • Installing software on provisioned virtual machines
  • User provisioning on provisioned virtual machines. Credentials for accessing the virtual machine can be provided when user requests a Service Offering.
  • Supporting multiple Savvis accounts

And here is the best capability so far, in my opinion – new OpenStack integration provider!!! We plan to cover this one extensively, specially in relation to the IC GovCloud efforts. I’ve seen this first hand thanks to BMC team, and it is slick slick slick!

This release contains the following features for the OpenStack Provider:

  • OpenStack installer
  • Onboarding and offboarding a Logical Data Center
  • Registering an OpenStack Provider instance
  • Provisioning new virtual machines (VMs) that are based on OpenStack templates or a customized template
  • Starting, stopping, suspending, and resuming provisioned VMs
  • Modifying memory and CPU values of provisioned VMs
  • Decommissioning provisioned machines
  • Extending the commission length of provisioned VMs
  • Installing software on provisioned VMs
  • User provisioning on provisioned VMs
    Credentials for accessing the VM can be provided when a user requests a service offering.
  • Supporting multiple OpenStack accounts

As you can see, the summary of changes is significant especially if you have used CLM from earlier 2.0 days.  We plan to cover more detailed capabilities in the coming weeks, so keep tuned!

CLM is a BMC Software trademark and respective license/copyright holder. More information here.

About the author:

Vinnie Lima

Vinnie Lima is the Managing Director for VVL Systems & Consulting, a small business focusing on IT Optimization for Cloud, Infrastructure, and End Users. Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Vinnie Lima has over 21 years in IT Automation, Orchestration, and Cloud. Mr. Lima’s career has been focusing on helping customers drive value from their IT investments through the use of leading edge technologies and approaches, driving innovation in a wide spectrum of industries such as DoD, Federal, Health Care, and Financial.

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