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Advanced System Pool Management

Virtualization and Systems Management


Virtualization is becoming the foundation on which next generation data centers (DCs) and compute clouds are being built. The decoupling of hardware and software provided by virtualization enables truly dynamic management of full software stacks on top of hardware platforms. This allows administrators to smoothly add and remove hardware to accommodate the resource requirements of their organization's applications. However, scalability remains a key bottleneck in managing the rapidly-growing virtualized DCs or clouds.

The 'System Pool' abstraction was introduced to facilitate scalable automated management of DCs by regarding each DC as a collection of autonomous partitions. A server System Pool is a self-managed collection of server machines. From a global management perspective, it is viewed as a single entity capable of hosting large sets of virtual servers. Internally, System Pool management requires advanced capabilities of automated planning and orchestration that consider aspects of security, performance, availability, network, energy, and more. Also, being autonomous, an System Pool is capable of monitoring its dynamic indicators such as resource utilization, server health and power consumption, and regulating and adapting the placement of its hosted workloads accordingly.

At the heart of the system pool is its management software, called the System Pool Manager (SPM). The SPM enables users to perceive the system as a single entity, and provides scalability while the management complexity remains constant. The SPM is designed using a hierarchical infrastructure, where a Global System Pool Manager (GSPM) controls multiple ensembles, each of which is controlled by a Local System Pool Manager(LSPM). The IBM Haifa team is providing major contributions to the LSPM component, which includes advanced optimization and automation features.

Main Contributions

  • Open architecture for integration of multiple domains in placement optimization and orchestration, where each domain has its placement constraints, and configuration actions during plan orchestration.
  • Advanced System Pool management, integrating performance, security, and network domains
  • High-availability aware placement with performance optimization
  • Development and integration of compatibility domain (providing host compatibility constraints for placement and relocations)
  • Implementation of the technology in IBM Director / VMControl 2.2, providing the System Pools support. A System Pool (System Pool) encapsulates a group of servers with virtualization capability, providing autonomic management aspects and scalability as a base for cloud infrastructure
  • Contribution to future versions of IBM Director product