Monday, September 23, 2013

z/VM and the future of Unified Resource Manager

Before you think this is a z/VM post only : I think it also concerns z/OS but therefore I first have some explaining to do.

We start with the announcement of z/VM 6.2 in October 2011 (ZP11-0499). Here's the role that is attributed to the System z Unified Resource Manager or zManager. 
z/VM has "been enhanced to enable the Unified Resource Manager to manage the z/VM hypervisor and the virtual servers it supports. The SMAPI enhancements provide new and updated APIs and function in the following functional areas:
  • System configuration file management
  • User directory management
  • Disk management
  • Network management
  • Discontiguous saved segment (DCSS) management
  • Guest facilities management
  • Directory parsing
  • API function level interrogation
  • Performance and events management
  • Image management"
z/VM installation has been enhanced to create a system configuration which would allow management by the Unified Resource Manager or some other SMAPI client.

In short with zManager you can apparently manage z/VM and virtual servers running on z/VM.

On to the announcement of z/VM 6.3 (ZP13-0376) in July of this year. Here we get quite a different story. And keep my previous post in mind where I explained what the word 'stabilization' means in IBM terminology. Here we go.
z/VM V6.3, OpenStack and zManager
IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager (zManager) is designed to provide systems management capabilities across the multi-architecture environment of zEnterprise. Many of you are planning to exploit these system management capabilities to deploy a framework for a heterogeneous cloud environment (...). To accelerate the delivery of its cloud offerings, IBM recently announced plans to base all of its cloud services and software on open architecture and standards, including OpenStack.
OpenStack is an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing open source project. IBM joined the project in 2012 and in support of System z is making contributions to the OpenStack project that are designed to enable z/VM V6.3 to be the first System z operating environment that can be managed with these open cloud architecture-based interfaces.
The management of z/VM environments in zManager is now stabilized as part of the evolution of the IBM cloud strategy and adoption of OpenStack. Accordingly, zManager does not provide systems management support for z/VM V6.3. However, zManager will continue to play a distinct and significant role in the management of virtualized environments created by zEnterprise integrated firmware hypervisors - PR/SM™ , PowerVM™ , and x hypervisor based on Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM).
Italics and bold indications are mine. But apparantly zManager turns from a real management tool for z/VM 6.2 into, well actually nothing, for z/VM 6.3. I'm not saying it's a bad choice, I'm just trying to get the message.

And here I also come to the z/OS part of this, I think. z/VM is "the first System z operating environment" that will be managed by OpenStack. So, which environments will follow in the future ?

If you're a bit puzzled and confused about this post, don't worry, that's just the same way as I'm feeling now. If anyone can shed some more light on this, be my guest !


Anonymous said...

It leaves a gap for CSL Wave to manage z/VM 6.3 and upwards

Anonymous said...

It seems IBM and z/VM development has done a poor job of providing systems management solutions that work. The list of those that don't work is long (Tivoli TPM+TSAM+Txx, IBM Director, URM to name a few). xCAT came first as an open source tool and now seems to be built in as a black box. But how can it be a black box with so many moving parts. The jury is still out on OpenStack, but we don't see a good track record.