“What are major elements to organize my services, apps and devices in IBM Cloud?”

Hello,

I just started in the Developer Advocate role and now I want to start blogging about my experience in Cloud development, mostly related to the IBM Cloud usage. If you want follow this journey,  you can subscribe to my blog.

The first topic I want to address is:  “What are major elements to organize my services, apps and devices in IBM Cloud?”, when you access the IBM Cloud with your account ID.

 

Introduction

I would say, if you got a basic understanding of these following topics, you will avoid some common pitfalls you maybe step in, when you don’t know this simple background.
Keep in mind Cloud Foundry, IAM and IaaS.

I will concentrate in this blog on the organization elements for services/apps/devices  and not on the user access rights or user access management. This blog does not provide a suggestions of naming conventions or organizational guides.

At the moment IBM Cloud uses cloud technologies like Cloud Foundry, IAM, IaaS and more, with a single entry under one umbrella. That means, you can access all these, just with a single logon.

Note: The following two images were created in cowork with Tillmann Kretschmer

In the first image you can see the three different major IBM Cloud organizational areas and some of the associated services to these areas.

cloud-org-20-new

These different areas are mostly directly reflected in the IBM Cloud dashboard, in the menu or in a service/resource creation dialog. It is useful to understand these dependencies and the different areas, because this is related to IBM Cloud account structure and user access management and the possibilities to organize your IBM Cloud assets.

In the following picture you can see the areas and the main organizational elements.

cloud-org-19-new

Cloud Foundry

Let me start with Cloud Foundry. The Cloud Foundry instances of services or applications will be managed by capabilities, which are provided by Cloud Foundry.

Basically, to manage instances inside the Cloud Foundry area, you use as the root a Cloud Foundry Organization. This Cloud Foundry Organization can have one or more Spaces and a Space must be related to a Region (data center locations). Inside an Organization you can use Spaces to organize your Cloud Foundry service/apps.

Here is a simple picture of the dependencies of Organization, Space, Region and App/Service. Your Account can have one or more Organizations and for this organizations you can define one or more Spaces. Each Space has one defined Region.

When you create a Cloud Foundry service or App, you can (for example) first choose your target Organization, then you can verify and choose the Space in Region you want to deploy.

cloud-org-18-new

You can start the definition of the organization and spaces by selecting Manage->Account->Cloud Foundry Orgs from the IBM Cloud UI menu.

In the picture below you can see two sample Cloud Foundry Organizations.

cloud-org-13

In the next image you can see, that the tmsWorkshop organization has three spaces: one space in DE, one in US-South and one in UK.

cloud-org-14

The picture below contains an instantiation dialog for a Cloud Foundry SDK for Node.js Application. In this image you can find elements which are given in the upper picture.

The “normal order” of the creation of an Cloud Foundry  service is:

  1. Select the Region
  2. Verify which Organization has associated Spaces to this Region
  3. Select the Space you want to deploy your App/Service

cloud-org-04

You can use these basic elements in the IBM Cloud dashboard to filter  Cloud Foundry services or apps.

The following picture shows the filter elements inside the IBM Cloud dashboard, the most relevant filter elements for Cloud Foundry are: “CLOUD FOUNDRY ORG”, “CLOUD FOUNDRY SPACE” and “LOCATION” (Region).

cloud-org-16

For more details take a look in the related official IBM Cloud documentation. You can find here  https://console.bluemix.net/docs/account/orgs_spaces.html

IAM ( identity and access management)

Now move on to the topic IAM. IAM enables Cloud users to have more flexibility in user access rights, than with Cloud Foundry.

Using the services or technologies which are based on the identity and access management, you can organize with the IBM Cloud Resource groups. A Resource group contains Resources, which are directly related to Regions (data center locations).

Here is a simple picture of the basic IAM organizational elements and dependencies in IBM Cloud. A Resource group can contain one or more Resources.

Important:
A Resource Group is not related to a Region, this has the impact, you can organize your resources cross region with Resource groups. Only the Resource must be created inside a Region.

cloud-org-05

You can start the definition of your resource groups by selecting Manage->Account->Resource Groups from the IBM Cloud menu. In the following picture you can see two Resource groups.

cloud-org-15

The following  picture contains the Visual Recognition instantiation dialog on IBM Cloud, here you can find the elements Resource, Region and Resource group  to organize the service.

cloud-org-06

The following picture shows the filter elements inside the IBM Cloud dashboard, the most relevant filter elements for Resources are “RESOURCE GROUP”, “CATEGORY” and “LOCATION” (Region).

cloud-org-16

 

For more details, just take a look in the related official IBM Cloud documentation for IAM Identity and access management, which you can find here:

IaaS Infrastructure as a Service

The IaaS devices (VMs and so on) which will be created inside your IBM Cloud account, will be listed in the Device List. In this Device List you can filter on the Device Name, Public IP, Private IP, Location, Device Type or Tags. (you can organize devices for example using tags)

Here is a simple picture of the dependencies of the Device List and a Device.

cloud-org-07

You can just find the given elements in this sample filter of a Device List in the IBM Cloud Infrastructure.

cloud-org-12

The related official IBM Cloud documentation you will find here:

Summary

I would say, if you got a basic understanding of these topics, you will avoid some common pitfalls you maybe step in, when you don’t know this simple background.
Keep in mind Cloud Foundry, IAM and IaaS.

This is a good starting point to move on to the access management and user management topics.

I hope this blog was useful for you and thanks for reading until the last line 😉

Regards,

Thomas

PS: By the way, you can use the IBM Cloud for free, if you simply create an IBM Lite account. Here you only need an e-mail address.

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