It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest release of the Agility Platform, version 10.2.1. The release has many changes and improvements, and for this blog, I would like to highlight a few of the improvements.
The first enhancement is around Actions that can be performed against a Blueprint or even an Instance. While our Cloud Adapters allow for Actions, such as starting and stopping an Instance, our customers require other Actions. Typically, these are implementation specific. Think about how organizations have other tools and processes they must follow when starting an Instance, or troubleshooting issues with a production application.
The next feature is targeted to the end users of the Agility Platform. It provides an easy way for them to see more status details around background processes and tasks that are running. In the past, when a Blueprint was provisioned, users could see status information such as when the instances started, but they were limited to seeing status information related to the other background processes running to support the whole process. They typically would have to cross their fingers or reach out to an administrator for more information.
With the new feature, end users are being provided an Activity Log feed where they can quickly look at high-level information such as status indicators. If required, they can expand it and view for more detailed information. This makes more details available to the end users and gives them more view into status.
The next enhancement is around custom properties that are applied to a Blueprint, or even down to a specific instance. Our customers need the ability to add additional properties on Instances so they can track and/or provide information to the end users, even lock down deployment options/configuration. Some of the most basic custom properties an administrator may add to an Instance would be fields like Service Owner, Service Owner Email, Price per VM per hour, configuration settings, etc. Sometimes the Administrator wants to provide a pre-set list of choices that an end user can select via a drop down box such as number of CPUs or an environment to deploy to.
The new feature allows the Administrator to provide multiple drop down lists that are tied together. Based on a selection in the first drop down, the second drop down list updates with appropriate options. Think about buying car parts from an online store: You pick the year and the make (Ford, Chevy, etc). After you select a make such as Ford, the next drop down shows models, Ford Explorer, Mustang, Expedition. Drop down lists provide specific options to the end users and reduce risks of typos in manually edited fields. This feature now allows for a much more granular set of pre-set properties.
The last enhancement I’d like to bring to your attention deals with Agility Platform implementation in general. There are a few moving parts to the overall Architecture, such as metric collectors, the backend database, worker nodes, etc. Our customers are already using different types of monitoring tools to ensure that systems are up and performing well. As with any other enterprise application being used by our customer, our recommendation is to leverage these existing tools and processes to monitor the Agility Platform implementation.
With this release of the Agility Platform, we are providing a health Dashboard for administrators that will allow them to see the status of underlying areas of Agility with easy-to-understand indicators. This does not replace “monitoring”, but it does provide quick and easy visibility to the health of the deployment of the Agility Platform.
A few other notable features that are being provided within the 10.2.1 release are:
Ability to create a hostname comprised of a suffix, identifier and prefix, so a user can identify VM deployments and ensure that the VM deployments have a unique hostname.
Support for AWS-provisioned IOPS and additional hard-drive types. Agility Platform customers who work with AWS can use the additional storage options when they use hard drives and deploy required instances through Agility Platform instead of manually creating these instances or hard drives.
With any release, there are smaller enhancements and fixes. Please read through the Release Notes for additional details.
For our customers that run the Agility Platform within their own Data Center, if you would like to download version 10.2.1, please reach out to support for details. For customers who leverage the Agility Platform within other CSC offerings such as CSC BizCloud, Hyper Converge, etc., please work with your regular CSC team members to discuss plans.