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Deployment example: IBM Hursley DevOps environment

Authors: JohnOwen
Build basis: None

This article describes the architecture, topology, and specification of the Jazz service offering provided by the DevOps Infrastructure (DOI) organization, based in Hursley, England. Part of IBM Software Group, DOI provides this service to the UK development community and its distributed worldwide teams.

Definition: Jazz repository is the name that DOI has given to the Jazz Team Server and the applications (Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager) hosted on it. Sometimes, this is referred to as a Jazz family or Jazz instance. Technically speaking, the repository refers to the name of the server portion of the URL. For example, the Jazz applications accessed via the following URLs are part of the Jazz repository jazz987:


Architecture overview

Hursley Jazz Service - High Level Architecture

Figure 1. Hursley Jazz service - High-level architecture

Figure 1 shows the high-level architecture of the service and includes the following components:

  • Logical partitions (LPARs) hosting Jazz repositories
  • Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence (RRDI)
  • Proxy
  • Jazz build engines
  • End users
  • Tivoli Storage Manager
  • Tivoli Monitoring

Each component is described in the following sections.

LPARs hosting Jazz repositories

The service currently hosts approximately 20,000 users on 100 Jazz repositories hosted on 13 logical partitions (LPARs). Most of these instances are production repositories. Typically 10 to 15 test repositories are also provided to allow teams to test new function and verify plug-ins and process configurations against new releases of Jazz. The number of LPARs fluctuates as repositories are moved to LPARs hosted on new hardware. The total number of repositories hosted has fluctuated, too, as projects reach the end of their lifecycle and are archived, and as new teams move to Jazz. The Jazz service was originally set up with Rational Team Concert 1.0. This release didn't support the compartmentalization requirements available in version 2.0 and later releases. Therefore, teams were allocated their own repositories. With the introduction of Rational Quality Manager in version 2.0.1, several teams also requested Rational Quality Manager repositories, which led to a further increase in the number of hosted repositories. Starting with version 3.0.1, Jazz supports multiple applications on the same Jazz Team Server. Therefore, new requests have resulted in teams being given a single repository that includes Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, and the Requirements Management application (which, since version 5.0, is Rational Doors Next Generation). The number of users registered with individual repositories varies from a handful for the smallest instances to over 2,200 for the largest repositories.

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
27 61 79 98 92 93 88 76 86
Table 1. Number of of production repositories hosted at the end of each year (to date in the current year). A further 10 to 15 repositories are used for test purposes

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2 6 9 18 24 19 19 17 19
Table 1a. Total number of users ('000s) registered to production Jazz repositories at the end of each year (to date in the current year). Additional users are registered to the test repositories


  • Each logical partition (LPAR) contains between one and 11 Jazz repositories
    • No more than one very large repository, or no more than two large repositories are hosted on a single LPAR
  • IBM Power 6 and IBM Power 7 hardware
  • AIX 6.1 or 7.1
  • Between 128 GB and 256 GB RAM (256 GB is the benchmark for new LPARs)
  • Between 8 and 16 logical CPUs (16 CPUs is the benchmark for new LPARs)
  • Single-tier architecture with each LPAR hosting the application server, Jazz, and the accompanying database
  • Each repository has an associated IBM DB2 instance, also hosted on the same LPAR. The decision for the database and application server to co-exist was made at the beginning to reduce an anticipated performance overhead associated with network communications between the database and application server. While other topologies, such as separating the database server from the application server, were considered, the current model still remains the preferred option. Although there is overhead with having separate database instances for each Jazz repository, this setup makes moving repositories to new LPARs more straightforward. This separation is ideal because shutting down a Jazz repository and its associated database instance and moving the repository is completely independent from the usage of any other repository hosted on the affected LPARs.
  • All data (operating system and application data) is hosted on the storage area network (SAN)

Jazz repository

  • Application server: Apache Tomcat
  • Database: DB2 9.7 or DB2 10.1

Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence (RRDI)

  • RRDI instances are hosted on two separate LPARs
  • Each LPAR contains up to six RRDI instances
  • IBM Power 6 and IBM Power 7 hardware
  • AIX 6.1 or 7.1
  • 24 GB RAM
  • 4 CPUs
  • Single-tier architecture with each LPAR hosting the application server, Jazz, and the accompanying database
  • Each repository has an associated DB2 instance, also hosted on the same LPAR
  • All data (operating system and application data) is hosted on the storage area network (SAN)
  • RRDI mandates WebSphere Application Server, which is why separate LPARs to the ones hosting Jazz repositories were used


The proxy comprises a single load balancer that feeds requests to one of three proxy servers. These servers direct requests to the respective Jazz repository. The proxy solution is used by teams running builds from Jazz build engines hosted in Hursley. Typically, the proxy reduces the time taken by Rational Team Concert during a source control management ( SCM) fetch operation. The use of proxies is not recommended for developer use, because, although they derive benefit during SCM operations such as accepting changes, other operations such as displaying work items or plans can take up to three times longer because the proxy won't cache such operations efficiently.

Jazz build engines

Jazz build engines are hosted on multiple platforms, incorporating physical and virtual machines, some of which are automatically deployed.

End users

Software developers and testers who write, update, or build code use either the Rational Team Concert Eclipse client or an Eclipse client, such as Rational Developer for System z, that supports the Rational Team Concert plug-in. Non-coders use the web client to access Jazz.

Tivoli Storage Manager

Two types of backup are supported: offline, where Jazz is stopped during the backup, and online, where Jazz remains up during the backup phase, which does not require a Jazz outage. Key operating system information and Jazz non-database data (such as work item indexes) are backed up to Tivoli Storage Manager. The four databases (DW, Jazz Team Server, Rational Team Concert, and Rational Quality Manager) are backed up to files that are then also backed up to Tivoli Storage Manager.

The outage associated with offline backups is minimized by restarting Jazz as soon as the database backup files are created and before the database files are backed up by Tivoli Storage Manager. Because the database backup files can account for almost 98% of all files that are transferred to Tivoli Storage Manager, this sequencing of the backups can reduce the outage window associated with offline backups by many hours.

Tivoli Monitoring

All Jazz LPARs include Tivoli Monitoring agents, which record basic information such as the following data:

  • Total CPU utilization, which is used to identify trends in total usage of the LPAR. This information is useful for capacity planning purposes and for identifying any anomalies that might affect Jazz performance.
  • CPU utilization for each Jazz Java process
  • Total RAM utilization for the LPAR, which is useful for capacity planning
  • RAM utilization for each Jazz Java process
  • Network throughput, which provides the ability to assess and rectify slowdowns in key processes, such as Tivoli Storage Manager backups
  • File system status indicators

Other information is also monitored, including DB2 performance. The team uses this data to assess Jazz performance and identify where maintenance or improvements are required.

Some Jazz repositories also monitor the response times associated with sample builds. This information provides a user perspective of Jazz performance.

Storage area network (SAN)

All data (operating system, file system, and database) is hosted on the SAN. Two key factors led to choosing this option. First, when the Jazz service was first established with the release of Rational Team Concert 1.0 in 2008, there was uncertainty about how much data would be created. The SAN provides a solution with the ability to increase capacity as Jazz repositories grow. Today, 17 TB of data are hosted on the SAN. The second factor was to host the operating system on the SAN in addition to all the data. This method provided an easier way to transfer LPARs to new hardware.

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
0.1 0.5 1.4 4.9 9 15 17 30 34
Table 2. Total production Jazz data (TB) stored on the SAN at the end of each year (to date in the current year)

Related topics: Deployment planning and design

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