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Increase Infrastructure Efficiency and Accelerate Cloud Transformation with CloudShell 9.0

Posted by Pascal Joly July 25, 2018
Increase Infrastructure Efficiency and Accelerate Cloud Transformation with CloudShell 9.0

Barely a couple of weeks after the final of the soccer World Cup, we have another exciting piece of news: Quali is announcing a sneak preview (EA) of the latest release of CloudShell: v. 9.0.

As part of this story, I will cover  2 major features of CloudShell 9.0 that will help current and future customers further their infrastructure utilization efficiency and significantly accelerate Cloud transformation initiatives.

Sandbox Life Cycle Orchestration

The Cloudshell built-in orchestration has already included since the very beginning the setup and teardown of a sandbox. As an option, CloudShell users will now have a simple way to save and restore their sandboxes.

The "Save and Restore" add-on allows saving an active sandbox, preserving the original sandbox content, configuration, and network state. The “Saved Sandbox” can then be restored by the user at a later time. The capability can be enabled per blueprint as well as defining the maximum number of saved sandbox per user.

What does it really mean? Simply put, let's assume a user needs to stop their work on a project, for instance, the test and certification of a new virtual application, or the support of a complex IT issue. They can now use simple interactive commands from the CloudShell UI  to save their sandbox with a specific name. The action will trigger in the backend a clone of all the VMs and their connectivity and create a new snapshot artifact based on these settings. Once the user is ready to resume, he/she will be able to deploy this artifact and create a new sandbox that will have the exact same settings as the original one.

This feature prevents overconsumption of limited infrastructure (physical or virtual) resources while allowing individual users to create a back up of their work environment.

Cloud Provider Template

CloudShell already supports out of the box the leading private and public clouds (Vcenter, Openstack, AWS, Azure). This allows users to model and deploy complex applications in the cloud of their choice using out of the box sandbox orchestration to automatically set up and tear down the environment.

It's a fact: there are many other Cloud technologies that we do not support yet, including some that we don't even know about. Patience, as in "maybe it will show up in the roadmap someday", is not a virtue of the fast-paced technology-driven world we live in. Thankfully, wait no longer. Cloud Provider Templates are here to help organizations to quickly collect the benefits of cloud-driven, environments as a service automation.

CloudShell is an open content platform and we provide in the Quali community  standard templates to build your own infrastructure "Shell" (the building blocks of sandbox automation). Cloud Provider templates are just an extension of this concept. Just like Shells, these templates are python based (anyone who doesn't code in python yet please raise your hand!). They provide a standard for any developer to quickly add support to a new cloud provider (public or private) in CloudShell and deploy complex application environments to these clouds. These new cloud provider will inherit of all the existing Cloud provider orchestration capabilities (create/delete/network connectivity) as well as the ability to create custom commands (extensibility).

Note that container based orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes may also be modeled in CloudShell as "Cloud Providers", so the range of technology supported is quite broad.

This feature is a major step for organizations looking for rapid time to value to support their cloud transformation initiative.

Want to learn more? Take a break from the Tour de France and contact us to try out CloudShell 9.0.

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CloudShell 8.1 GA Release

Posted by Dan Michlin August 20, 2017
CloudShell 8.1 GA Release

Quali is pleased to announce that we just released CloudShell version 8.1 in General availability.

This version provides several features that provide a better experience and performance for both the administrator , blueprint designers and end users many of them were contributed by our great community feedback and suggestions

Let's go over the main features delivered in CloudShell 8.1 and their benefits:

Orchestration Simplification

Orchestration is a first class citizen in CloudShell, so we've simplified and enhanced the orchestration capabilities for your blueprints.

We have created a standard approach for users to extend the setup and tear-down flows. By separating the orchestration into built in stages and events, the CloudShell user now has better control and visibility to the orchestration process.\

We've also separated the different functionality into packages to allow more simplified and better structured flows for the developer.

App and Configuration Management enhancements

We have made various enhancements to Apps and CloudShell’s virtualization capabilities, such as allowing tracking the application setup process , passing dynamic attributes to the configuration management.

CloudShell 8.1 now supports vCenter 6.5 and Azure Managed disks and premium storage features

Troubleshooting Enhancement

To enhance the visibility of what's going on during the lifespan of a Sandbox for all the users , CloudShell now allows a regular user to focus on a specific activity of any component in their sandbox and view detailed error information directly from the activity pane.

Manage Resources from CloudShell Inventory

Administrator can now edit any resources from the inventory of the CloudShell web portal including Address, Attributes, Location, as well as the capability to exclude/include resources.

"Read Only" View for Sandbox  while setup is in progress

To allow uninterrupted automation process and prevent any error during the setup stage, the sandbox will be in a “read only” mode.

Improved Abstract resources creation

Blueprint editors using abstract resource can now select attribute values from a drop down list with existing values, this shortens and eases the creation process and reduces problems during abstract creation

Additional feature requests and ideas from our community

A new view allows administrators to track the commands queued for execution.

The Sandbox list view now displays live status icons for sandbox components and allows remote connections to devices and virtual machines using QualiX.

Additional REST API functions have been added to allow better control over Sandbox consumption.

In addition, version 8.1 rolls out support for Ranorex 7.0 and HP ALM 12.x integration.

More supported shells

Providing more out-of-the-box Shells speeds up time to value with CloudShell. The 8.1 list includes Ixia Traffic Generators, OpenDayLight Lithium , Polatis L1, Breaking Point, Junos Firewall, and many more shells that were migrated to 2nd generation.

Feel free to visit our community page and Knowledge base for additional information, or schedule a demo.

See you all in CloudShell 8.2 :)

 

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