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z/OS Cloud Provisioning and Management Ecosystem

Today’s focus on cloud and DevOps provides a new opportunity for z/OS.

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Cloud and DevOps trends are sweeping across IT enterprises because they allow for automation that developers need to optimize the build and test of code functions in an efficient manner. Simply said: early to build, early to market. Likewise, developers have long selected run-time platforms that are most efficient for application development, and the emergence of agile, modern development processes and techniques have contributed to these development patterns.

However, it’s perceived that mainframe processes have lagged behind these current development trends and thus don’t provide the speed needed to drive new business paradigms. Not anymore: Today’s focus on cloud and DevOps provides a new opportunity for z/OS that hasn’t existed for decades. Developers now have the opportunity to interact with the platform, thereby facilitating ways for developers to consume z/OS resources and increase development on z/OS. 

IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS (CP&M) plays a vital role in cloud and DevOps automation. Underpinned by z/OSMF, CP&M enables simple and flexible service provisioning models that use templates to manage the provisioning of middleware resources that can be accompanied using REST APIs. With this agility in automation, CP&M stretches beyond automated and repeatable provisioning to enabling infrastructure for a number of IBM cloud and DevOps solutions. This helps facilitate an application developer’s interaction with z/OS services and resources. 

A number of solutions leverage CP&M to facilitate cloud and DevOps initiatives. We are calling the sum of these solutions the z/OS Cloud Provisioning and Management Ecosystem. To see how IBM CP&M fits into the DevOps pipeline, see Figure 1, below.

Figure 1: How IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS fits into the DevOps pipeline

Leveraging CP&M z/OS Provisioning Toolkit 

The IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit delivers a simple command line utility from within the system for the rapid provisioning of development environments. It builds on the value of CP&M by giving developers flexibility to build, run and share application images, while the operations team retains command and control over what can be provisioned and by whom. Application images consist of cloud provisioning template customization and application binary. Application developers can use a command line interface and use specific application images to provision and deprovision z/OS development environments quickly and independently, without needing mainframe administration skills or authority.

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit has three main elements:

  1. Command line utility. The z/OS Provisition Toolkit provides commands for an application developer to build an application image, run that image, provision the underlying middleware environment, and, later, deprovision that environment. Commands provided include: zospt build (to build an application image); zospt run (to run an application image and automatically provision and start the associated z/OS middleware); zospt ps (to list environments that are provisioned); zospt rm (to deprovision an environment).
  2. zosptfiles and associated images. These zosptfile text files define the environments that can be provisioned. The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit provides sample files and images to make it quicker to set up the foundation of commonly used environments such as CICS or IBM z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition.
  3. Cloud provisioning templates. The toolkit includes middleware templates for cloud provisioning. The templates can be customized to local naming standards and operating procedures. The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit drives these templates to provision application development environments.

For a list of templates that are supplied with the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, see z/OS Provisioning Toolkit supplied templates.

Leveraging CP&M for Zowe CLI 

The Zowe CLI component provides a command-line interface that lets you interact with the mainframe remotely and use common tools such as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), shell commands, bash scripts and build tools for mainframe development. It provides a set of utilities and services for application developers who want to become efficient in supporting and building z/OS applications quickly. The Zowe CLI provides a core set of commands for provisioning middleware resources.

With the provisioning command group, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Provision middleware resources required for application deployment using cloud provisioning templates
  • List information about the available cloud provisioning templates published in the CP&M Software Services Catalog
  • List summary information about the templates that you used to provision middleware resources. You can filter the information by application (for example, Db2 and CICS) and by the external name of the provisioned middleware instances.
  • List detailed information about provisioned middleware instances. This information can be consumed by application logic.

Leveraging CP&M from IBM Cloud Private 

IBM Cloud Private (ICP) is a reliable and scalable cloud platform that runs on your infrastructure. It’s built on open-source frameworks, like containers, Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. In addition, it offers common services for self-service deployment, monitoring, logging and security, and a portfolio of middleware, data, and analytics.

IBM z/OS Cloud Broker integrates z/OS-based services and resources into ICP and

provides access to z/OS services within the ICP ecosystem for consumption by the broader development community. z/OS Cloud Broker automatically discovers the z/OS services published in the CP&M Software Services Catalog, and populates these services in the ICP catalog. This makes it simple to provision middleware resources via an ICP environment as well as facilitate a flexible self-service model that enables application developers to create and use z/OS resources in a cloud-native way. z/OS resources are managed and controlled by z/OS system programmers through CP&M infrastructure on z/OS, but it can be now accessed from ICP control plane.

Leveraging CP&M for UrbanCode Deploy 

IBM UrbanCode Deploy orchestrates and automates the deployment of applications, middleware configurations and database changes into development, test and production environments. This software enables your team to deploy as often as needed—on demand or on a schedule, and with self-service. UrbanCode Deploy can help your team to accelerate their time to market, drive down costs and reduce risk.

The zOS Management Facility plug-in allows you to provision a z/OS middleware resource using CP&M templates and have the resources automatically created in UrbanCode Deploy to represent the provisioned middleware resource. You can use the resource, or you can further enhance the automation. For example, you can map a component to the resource, create environment and start initial deployments.

CP&M is a critical cloud infrastructure that enables all of the solutions outlined above for an efficient hybrid cloud and DevOps process. There are resources available to help get started on CP&M set up in order for clients to be prepared to take advantage of the solutions outlined above. For more details on getting started with CP&M visit our Content Solutions page.

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