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Overview of Amazon EC2 provider

The following sections discuss the benefits of using the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provider. A high-level implementation walkthrough is also provided.

What BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management supports

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management uses the Amazon SOAP API WSDL file with namespace http://ec2.amazonaws.com/doc/2011-02-28You can download the WSDL file from Amazon.

Using BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management version 3.1, you can perform the following :

  • Compute resources:
    • Provision EC2 workloads and also define security groups in which the workloads will be placed. You can also request EIP and keypair support.
    • Perform software deployment through BMC Server Automation.
    • Add Day 2 operations such as start/stop and software deployment.
  • Networking resources: You can onboard an existing VPC from AWS and also onboard an availability zone to target provisioning of EC2 workloads.

Benefits of using the Amazon EC2 external provider

Provisioning — Because upcoming projects might be tentative, you can save money by investing only in the servers that are required. If the project does proceed, BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can provision the servers — on demand and just in time — that are required in the Amazon cloud for project launch. Unlike traditional hardware purchases, you have no waiting period. Moreover, you are not locked into a minimum usage period. Therefore, you can save even more money by decommissioning the servers when they are longer being used.

Operational Control — You can reduce training costs because the Amazon cloud servers are managed from the same portal as your private cloud servers — the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management portal. You need to use the Amazon portal only to perform setup activities. All cloud monitoring and management actions occur in the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management portal. Consequently, you do not have the expense of training operators on new procedures for stopping or extending a server. They can continue to use the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management portal commands they already know.

Scale — With Amazon cloud, it is easy to provision thousands of additional servers to handle increased loads. If a sudden rise in demand for an application occurs, you do not need to worry about handling the extra business.

Security — The Amazon cloud does not equal the public cloud. BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can provision servers into either of the following structures:

  • Public Amazon EC2 cloud
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Using Amazon VPC, you can provision a delineated, private area of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. In this area, you can launch AWS resources in your customized virtual network. For example, when using Amazon VPC, you can specify a virtual network topology. This topology can mimic any traditional network that you might operate in your own data center. In your customized virtual network environment, the following capabilities are enabled:

  • Selecting your own IP address range
  • Creating subnets
  • Configuring route tables and network gateways

Multitenancy — To isolate the workloads of a particular department or customer, you can place its servers in distinct Amazon Regions or Availability Zones. Using Regions or Availability Zones produces enhanced redundancy and reduced latency. When processing multiple Amazon account credentials, BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can map tenants to different network containers, and, by extension, to different Availability Zones and VPCs.

Data Protection — BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can provision Amazon instances that use Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). Amazon EBS supplies available and reliable block level storage volumes. Amazon EBS volumes are a form of storage that exists and functions independently from the Amazon EC2 instances with which they are associated.

Software deployment — BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management uses the BMC Server Automation engine to deploy software on servers whether they are provisioned from an on-premise cluster or from the Amazon cloud. This differentiated engine provides the user with great flexibility in choosing software versions without the complexity of other template-only solutions. For example, other solutions require a different template for every minor difference: Oracle 11 software versus Oracle 10 software, Amazon small variant versus large variant, and so forth.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management does not require a different blueprint for each variation. As a result, software versions, compliance packages, and other cloud computing choices can be layered on top of a single blueprint. This flexibility greatly reduces the complexity that a cloud administrator faces. Unlike other cloud solutions, BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management does not require that the administrator manage many templates.

High-level tasks for setting up Amazon EC2 as an external provider

The following diagram depicts the main stages that are required to initiate an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instance.

The following table lists the tasks associated with the stages:

Key terminology

Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

A machine image that contains all the information needed to boot your software. You can use generic public AMIs or you can customize a public AMI.

Availability Zone

A distinct location within an AWS geographic Region. A Region can contain multiple Availability Zones. An Availability Zone is designed to be isolated so that a failure in another Availability Zone does not impact its instances. A subnet resides in only one Availability Zone.

The BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management pod is mapped to an Availability Zone. Consequently, Availability Zones are onboarded as pods. See Onboarding a pod for the Amazon EC2 provider type.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

A separate section of the AWS cloud with its own virtual network topology, which can support Amazon EC2 instances. You can create multiple VPCs in the AWS cloud.

A VPC is contained with an AWS geographic Region, and it can span multiple Availability Zones.

Security Group

A firewall policy that is applied to provisioned virtual machines. Security group consist of rules that control inbound and outbound network traffic. You can assign virtual machine instances to multiple security groups.

SSH key pair

A public/private key pair that enables remote access to your virtual machine instances. Use this key to gain SSH access to Linux instances and Remote Desktop access to Windows instances.

BMC Server Automation Agent

A software package that you can install on an AMI instance to enable the BMC Server Automation use cases on virtual machine instances.

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