Lessons learned: IBM SmartCloud Provisioning

As part of making my cloud infrastructure more scalable, I have started to deploy IBM SmartCloud Provisioning to provide quick infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  I have found this environment is extremely valuable for performance testing environments where virtual machines need to be created and destroyed on a regular basis to support various projects.  The main advantage I have seen with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning is the speed at which it can deploy and destroy machines.  In this example, I deploy a base image, customize it for a test, capture that image for later use, and then create a test set with the new modified image.

Here, I have my virtual image catalog of the machines I can deploy.

For this example I enter a Deployed VM Tag so that my virtual machines for the project can be grouped easily. This way is extremely useful when trying to take action on a large group of virtual machines.

After my virtual machine is provisioned, I customize it based on my use case for my performance test.  In this example, the use case will be called PerfTest10.

After I customize the virtual machine for the use case, I capture the image so that it can be deployed in any quantity for my performance test scenario.

Finally, I deploy the image and run my performance test scenario.

I have found IBM SmartCloud Provisioning to be ideal for performance tests because many times a large number of resources need to be deployed to create enough load for each scenario.  In addition, because the performance test tends to need customization of the virtual machine. The quick capture mechanism and rapid deployment allows for performance test scenarios to be run much quicker because less time is spent provisioning resources.