The ArenaCore platform provides a powerful product definition capability in which digital products can be brought to life and then used within the system solution designs created on the platform either by yourself or by others (according to access control rules that are under your management).
Many users may only wish to use the ArenaCore solution design capability for their own design purposes, in turn taking advantage of product definitions created by others.
A further class of users may only be involved in implementing and managing solutions that have already been designed and approved within ArenaCore.
A key role of the platform therefore is to facilitate interaction between those who perform these various roles.
The ArenaCore platform distinguishes between the design of physical items, and logical items, or ‘Resources’ as they are usually called within ArenaCore.
Logical Resource Management
Logical product definitions within ArenaCore can represent network, storage, compute or application items in public, hybrid or private cloud scenarios. Logical resources can therefore be application modules, services, VMs, containers, storage volumes, network elements, etc. Commercial and open source elements can be freely associated with custom developed items providing that any applicable compatibility rules are satisfied.
The following screenshot shows an ArenaCore design session in which a set of logical resources are being composed:
The items seen in the case of the diagram above are examples of custom developed application components.
(Logical product definitions will be created and provided on the ArenaCore platform that represent implementations of well-known ICT and cloud system elements. These will be made available via publicly accessible Product Catalogs).
The example screen below shows the result of a user double-clicking a ‘Gateway’ node in the previously shown diagram. As a result, a popup dialog panel has appeared above the design canvas surface (in addition to details that appear on the left hand side even for a single click selection).
This dialog window allows entry and validation of detailed attributes relating to the item concerned:
The power of the ArenaCore product definition approach is that owners of these product definitions can control these UI and business logic elements, and therefore determine what attributes are presented, collected and processed during design activities.
Containment and Connection Concepts
Logical (and physical) resources can flexibly contain, be contained and be connected to other resources according to what are known as ‘Resource Roles’. These are described as part of the ArenaCore product definition process, and can also be hierarchical (in particular to support backward compatibility).
Resource Roles can support compatibility across product ranges, vendors & manufacturers.
As for product configuration UI forms, Resource Roles can contain custom defined logic in order to support more complex compatibility rules.
Physical Resource Management
Management of physical equipment resource elements is a critical activity that is relevant for many organisations even if they have moved off any remaining legacy ICT platforms. This is evidenced by the focus placed currently on ‘Hybrid Cloud’, which includes the important sub-class of ‘Private Cloud’ infrastructure.
The following screenshot shows a session in which the external and internal disk drive bays of a physical storage chassis are being edited. The storage chassis is itself located in a rack containing other compute, network, storage and power supply devices.
In this case the units shown are Open Compute type systems (hence the ability to fit a total of five LFF drives horizontally within the width of the rack unit).
The following screenshot shows a design session in which the internal CPU, memory, riser and mezzanine slots of a physical compute node are being edited:
Note that most complex chassis items (servers, storage arrays, switches etc) will usually have a detailed base ‘Plan’ dialog view (such as can be seen above) that enables internal items to be manipulated. Multiple child items (e.g. compute nodes) within each chassis may have their own Plan views.
Multiple plan views may be open simultaneously, enabling complex internal structures to be moved visually between different machines (e.g. a drive bay containing drives, or a riser card containing adapter cards).
ArenaCore supports definition of ‘standard configurations’ at the Riser, Bay, Chassis and Rack level. This enables definition for example of standard configured server products or even ‘blocks’ of a number of pre-structured systems across multiple rack units, and from there up to fully populated racks and multiple racks – all defined as a single product.
As for all other areas of ICT & cloud management, management of Physical Resources is a domain that continues to evolve. ArenaCore supports this evolution through structured inventory lifecycle management across the initial implementation, mid-life enhancement, fault resolution and decommissioning phases.
The Logical and Physical design screens shown above are easy to use in terms of drag and drop type operations originating from pre-built Product Catalogs.
For those who are involved in the product definition process, it is necessary to travel more deeply into the Product Specification and Product Catalog definition layers of ArenaCore. This is all covered in more depth across other documents located on this community site.
In order to continue with this initial introduction however, please continue to the Going Deeper section.