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May 12, 2015

Citrix LifeCycle Management & Atlantis Computing – Managing the DataCenter through Software

Andrew Wood - Atlantis

The modern IT organization is the orchestrator and aggregator of IT services. To do this you need reliable, fast and efficient delivery of services in order to be responsive to change and minimise the risk to delivery of new projects. 

Automation and orchestration are core components of a modern IT infrastructure, these building blocks need to be part of your architecture In addition to functions that create VMs for the business, you need tooling to manage services throughout their lifetime. You need to:
  • Monitor service health during operation. Is demand high? Is demand low? Is demand being serviced as expected? Monitoring allows you to ensure that the right level of scale of services is available and meets expectations. 
  • Scale to increase, or reduce the service capacity as required so you’re using the right level of resource; minimising cost for the business and ensuring best service for the consumers/users.
  • Retire services to allow resources to be freed for new services. The ultimate scale down is removal:  so how can services be not only be expanded and contracted, but also removed to free resources for future projects? 
These requirements are consistent whether you are using your on-premise environment, a cloud based infrastructure or a hybrid approach. 

Automate or Be Automated

Automation is important in every modern datacenter. Automation allows for predictability and repeatability.  Yet, the difficulty with automation is that it has always been a lot of work up-front for largely unknowable returns.

So.. what if someone provided an always up to date framework to remove that complexity?
More importantly, what if that automation framework not only provided you with the capability to deploy, monitor, scale and retire – but had pre-defined blueprints for complete service delivery.  For core applications obviously, but for key service components such as storage that support that environment?
Atlantis Computing has been working with Citrix’s LifeCycle Management teams to help deliver on this.

Atlantis Computing USX Storage 

Atlantis USX is a software-defined storage solution that provides the ability to dynamically pool any SAN, NAS, RAM or DAS storage to provide storage for your environment that has enhanced capacity and performance. Atlantis USX can be deployed in public, private or hybrid cloud environments hosted on Citrix XenServer or VMware vSphere platforms. Indeed, Atlantis Computing in conjunction with our partners provide a hyperconverged infrastructure, Atlantis Hyperscale, that combines the hardware you want with Atlantis USX in a readily consumable, and fully supported appliance. 

Atlantis Computing understands automation of any platform is a key requirement in a cloud enabled world and critical for enabling the software-defined datacenter vision. The entire GUI for Atlantis USX is built on the Atlantis USX REST API which is open and public. 

The REST API can be used to deploy Atlantis USX components automatically, manage volumes, monitor and alert the system.

Defining the Goal - Through Software

Atlantis Computing see the high value in a lifecycle service that can be readily consumed by Citrix partners and customers to deliver to the business rapidly and consistently. Citrix LifeCycle Management provides out-of-the-box application blueprints to deliver complete Citrix Workspace Proof of Concept environments, through to extending or enhancing production environments. Atlantis Computing is proud to be one of the first blueprints for Citrix Lifecycle Management, part of Citrix Workspace Cloud. 
Atlantis Computing have worked with the Citrix LifeCycle Management product group to understand how the platform can be utilised for software defined storage delivery. We’ve built scripts and blueprints to allow Atlantis USX service provision – creating automated installs of USX on vSphere or XenServer using the blueprint and scripting functions to access Atlantis REST APIs, or using those same REST APIs, to allow dynamic configuration of an existing USX service. In doing so, we’re able to help partners and customers define the automatic creation of an Atlantis unified storage platform or automatically provision software defined storage as their service requires.

By extending blueprints to include as wide a range of services as possible Citrix Lifecycle Management allows you to:  
  • Reduce time to delivery with vendor defined best practice deployment from a single console regardless of environment on premise, in-cloud within or across datacenters.  
  • Reduce infrastructure complexity - with ability to deliver automation with minimal infrastructure requirements using secure cloud services. 
  • Reduce service costs – with provision of flexibility that automation of right-sizing resource requirement in-time for resource needs maximising your on/off premise investments by enabling configuration of services with a single interface.   
The real value of a cloud service is not only about saving money, but about adding agility.  It is inspiring to see Citrix Lifecycle Management as vital datacenter building block for today’s private, hybrid and public cloud.
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