Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Sematext Blog

Blog Feed Post

Using the Skytap Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy

Skytap recently announced the availability of the Skytap Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy. This plugin adds functionality into the IBM UrbanCode Deploy Application Process web UI to create and manipulate templates and configurations in Skytap Cloud. While the functionality is focused at enabling continuous delivery activities, the functionality is not solely limited to use in continuous delivery applications.

Specifically, the Skytap Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy adds the following Skytap actions to IBM UrbanCode Deploy for use IBM UrbanCode Deploy process definitions:

  • Skytap Cloud Authentication
  • Add Configuration to Project
  • Add Template to Project
  • Change Configuration State
  • Connect to Network in another Configuration (ICNR)
  • Connect to VPN Tunnel
  • Create Configuration from Template
  • Create Published Service
  • Create Published URL
  • Create Template from Configuration
  • Delete Configuration
  • Get VM ID
  • List Published URL for Configuration
  • List VM Published Service
  • Merge Template into Configuration
  • Set VM User Data

We will discuss some of these Skytap Cloud Actions below, but you can read more detailed information about all of the actions in the user documentation available on the Skytap website.

Accessing the Skytap Actions for IBM UrbanCode Deploy

The Skytap Cloud actions that are available for use in IBM UrbanCode Deploy are exposed in the “Cloud->Skytap Cloud” entry in the IBM UrbanCode Deploy “Available Plugin Steps” window in the IBM UrbanCode Deploy Component Process Editor:

Depending on which action you select, you will be presented with a set of input properties to specify in order to enable execution of the Skytap Action. The specific input and output parameters that are required differ depending on which Skytap Cloud Action you select.

Let’s examine a very simple process flow where we do the following:

1. Establish Skytap Cloud Authentication properties

2. Create a Skytap configurations from a pre-configured Skytap template

3. Run the Configuration

Constructing the IBM UrbanCode Deploy Component Process

For purposes of this exercise, we’ll assume an already-created application named “Deploy UCD Environment in Skytap” and an associated component named “Skytap UCD Deployment Component.” We will be creating a process in the “Skytap UCD Deployment Component” named “Deploy-Environment Process” as illustrated below:

Authentication with Skytap Cloud

To use the Skytap Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy, you must first be able to authenticate with Skytap Cloud. This authentication requires a Skytap Cloud user ID and an API Security Token.  Assuming you already have a Skytap Cloud User ID, you can retrieve your API Security Token in your Skytap Account Settings:

If you don’t have a Skytap Cloud account, you can sign up for one here: http://www.skytap.com/

The first Skytap Cloud Action in our application process is “Skytap Cloud Authentication,” which will also likely be your first Skytap Cloud Action in your application process. This action allows you to specify the Skytap Cloud authentication information that will be used by subsequent Skytap Cloud Actions.  

Below is a screenshot of the Skytap Cloud Authentication step dialog:

Note that the Username and Authentication Key properties are required.

Once we fill in the required properties and click the “Save” button, we can see the step in our application process:

Create the Skytap Configuration

Since we first want to create a Skytap configuration from a template, select “Create Configuration from Template” from the “Available Plugin Steps” window and drag it onto your application process diagram:

The dialog associated with the “Create Configuration from Template” Skytap Cloud Action will then be displayed and we can fill out the specific properties required for this Skytap action:

In this case, we will specify a Template ID of 331965, which corresponds to a template in the Skytap Public Template Library that contains a CentOS 6.4 x32 VM. Additionally, we have specified a name of “Skytap UCD Configuration” that will be assigned to the newly created configuration.  If we didn’t specify a name, the name of the template, “CentOS 6.4 x32 Desktop,” would be assigned as the configuration name.

Also note that the Skytap Authentication properties that we specified in the first process step are being “inherited” by this step. If we wanted to override the authentication we could simply fill in the desired authentication property values in the corresponding property fields in this process step.

When we click the “Save” button we will see our process step in our application process:

Run the Skytap Configuration

Now that the Skytap Configuration has been created, we can run it by selecting “Change Configuration State” as the Skytap Cloud Action and dragging it onto our process diagram:

The dialog associated with the “Change Configuration State” Skytap Cloud Action will then be displayed and we can fill out the specific properties required for this Skytap action:

Because we just created the Skytap Configuration as part of this component process, we don’t know the configuration ID. The configuration ID of the created process, though, is an output property of the “Create Configuration from Template” Skytap Cloud Action, so we are able to use the “configID” output property from that Skytap Cloud Action as an input property to this process step to specify the Skytap Configuration that we just created.

We also set the desired configuration state to “Running”. Other possible values are “Suspended” and “Shutdown”.

This Skytap Cloud Action will inherit the Skytap Cloud Authentication properties entered earlier in the process definition. 

If we now scroll down and click the “Save” button, we will see our new process step:

Complete and Run the IBM UrbanCode Deploy Process

We’ve now created the desired Skytap Cloud Actions so we can create the process arrow from the “Change Configuration State” step to “Finish” and click on the disk icon to save our process:

When the process definition has been saved, we will see a dialog:

Running our Process

Once the component process has been defined and saved, we can run the process by navigating to the IBM UrbanCode Deploy Application tap and click on the application that is associated with the component in which our process is defined:

Click on the “Request Process” button on the associated Environment:

Click the “Submit” button in the “Run Process…” dialog:

Once the process has started, we can review it’s progress by clicking the “Details” link associated with the process:

Here we see that each step in the process has executed successfully:

And we can review the Skytap Cloud Action log by clicking on the “Console” icon associated with the specific action that we want to review, in this case the “Change Configuration State” Skytap Action:

The “Output Log” for the “Change Configuration State” Skytap Action provides detailed and verbose logging of the action execution:

Verify the Configuration is Running

Now we can log into Skytap Cloud and use the Skytap Web GUI to verify that the proper execution of the IBM UrbanCode Deploy process by confirming that the desired configuration was indeed created and is running:

 

Here we see that a Skytap Configuration has been created and assigned a name of “Skytap UCD Configuration,” exactly as specified in our IBM UrbanCode Deploy Component process, and we can verify that the configuration is running, again exactly as specified.

Summary

We’ve used the Skytap Cloud Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy to create a simple IBM UrbanCode Deploy Component Process that interacts with Skytap Cloud to establish authentication and create and run a Skytap Cloud Configuration. The principles demonstrated in this simple exercise and the additional Skytap actions provided by the Skytap Cloud Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy can easily be expanded further into more complex scenarios based on your deployment requirements.

Please contact Skytap at 1-888-759-8278  or http://www.skytap.com if you want more information about Skytap or the Skytap Cloud Automation Pack for IBM UrbanCode Deploy.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.