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Taking Your HMC to the Cloud

August 15, 2017

Have you heard about the new Cloud Management Console (CMC)? It provides a new way of managing our environments from a single pane of glass. The data from your HMC flows to a central location, and you manage it there. If you have multiple HMCs in a large environment, that's a great convenience.

Enterprises with one of the newer Power Systems C server models are eligible to receive three years of "free" access to the product. Otherwise, check with IBM or your business partner for specific pricing details.

Rather than install (and manage and patch) software, your HMC is set up to connect to IBM's cloud, allowing the device to send data about your environment. This being a cloud-based model, you can access the CMC from a mobile device or any browser.

Alternatively, you can give it a spin with IBM’s hosted trial:

Scroll to the bottom and click on the sponsor agreement. Select “I agree” and click on “I confirm.” You'll then get an email with instructions on gaining access to the platform so you can try it out.

To run it in your own environment, your HMC must be at V8R8.6 SP1 PTF MH01698. Once you've ordered the product, you'll be able to register with an existing IBM ID. From there, you can select the unique subdomain you'll be using for your enterprise. IBM will provide you with an API key. Copy and paste the key into the CLI on your HMC, and then start Cloud Connector using the chsvc command.

Once your HMC data is loaded into the CMC, you can filter and search the information that has been collected. In the performance app you can see utilization trends, gather data about performance and capacity, check your servers' allocation levels, view performance data, and more.

You can manage users, permissions, and access to the tool, and any apps that aren't needed can be shut off. Blacklists can also be enabled, so if you have a managed system from which you don't wish to forward information, it will not be sent. In addition, it's possible to connect your HMC to IBM through a proxy if need be.

Support can be obtained by opening a ticket in Zendesk. As this is a subscription and you're buying a service, traditional avenues of IBM support aren't available.

Incidentally, if you're wondering, IBM is well aware of the concerns regarding cloud technology. During a recent training webinar I attended, it was mentioned that some think of cloud as a dirty word and don't want anything to leave their data center. The counter to this argument was a simple question: Have you set up Call Home to IBM? Do you trust that? That's another example where information flows from your data center to IBM. Why have a problem with one when you rely upon the other? It was also noted that all apps are read-only, and that nothing comes into your data center from the outside.

The final point made at the webinar is that IBM isn't gathering information for the sake of doing so; they want to aggregate data and use their expertise to help their customers. They want to find the connections and insights that are buried within your data that can help your business.

Going forward, additional capabilities and applications will be brought to the CMC. Eventually, Project Monocle will be incorporated.

For details, see the data sheet:

The IBM Cloud Management Console for Power Systems provides a consolidated view of the Power Systems cloud landscape including inventory of systems and virtual components, performance information and logging. The Cloud Management Console is hosted in the IBM cloud and can be accessed securely at any time enabling system administrators to easily run reports and gain insight into their Power cloud deployments. This solution has been built for mobile devices, tablets and desktop browsers enabling cloud operators to enjoy convenient access to this application.

And here's the announcement letter:

IBM Cloud Management Console for Power Systems is a software as a service (SaaS) offering that provides enterprise-wide performance, inventory, and logging insight for IBM Power Systems servers. This SaaS offering gives clients a central enterprise-wide view of their Power Systems servers without having to install or maintain software at their data center.

Posted August 15, 2017 | Permalink

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