Released in version 5.5 of AOS CALM adds the rich functionality of automation and orchestration to the software suite. This originated when Nutanix acquired CALM.IO in August 2016 but held off re-releasing until being re-coded and natively integrated into Prism Central. While CALM has been spoken of and presented at various .Next events the 18 month wait and development means it’s not ‘another’ eco-system bolt-on that quickly becomes out of sync in development cycles with other products. A common mistake made by many software vendors in a rush to ‘tick a box’ on feature lists.
How does Cloud Application Life-cycle Management work?
The high level is simply this:
- Define the target platform
- Create a workflow of tasks
- Package it up
- Publish to ‘app type’ store front to users for them to pick and deploy (think how easy it is to install an ‘App’ on your smartphone, it’s the same)
In Nutanix terms and with a few more details:
1. Target platform
- Initial CALM release permits the ‘target’ infrastructure to be a Nutanix AHV Cluster or and AWS EC2 environment, define one or both.
- Once these have been defined they won’t need doing again.
2. Create a Project
- Provide the project name and its purpose
- Define who in the organisation via LDAP this will be available to and administers
- Choose which infrastructure platform(s) can be used for the project
- (optional) Allocate resource of vCPU, RAM, disk and network
3. Create a Blueprint
- Using the virtual machine inventory choose one or template VMs
- Apply code from your custom scripts to complete network identity, software installations, pre-requisite and/or post task tests
- Where many VMs are contained in the blueprint they can be linked together, ordered, have dependency defined, custom actions/tasks
- Finalise with a description perhaps including package information, version numbers, dates, resource requirements
- Submit for review
4. Publish for Approval
- The blueprint won’t be immediately published until its been approved, this is one of the roles for the administrator
- Once published the storefront will show this ‘new’ application (from your blueprint) for users to click on (if they have permission to view it) and deploy
Resource consumption, deployment statistics and logging can be reviewed by the administrator(s) in CALM too.