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Automate your business process with IBM Cloud Orchestrator

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This post was co-authored by Massimo Marra.

Business process helps drive a company’s strategies to execution. In a cloud environment, manual processes that don’t connect to overall business processes can cause problems. For instance, we’re sure you don’t like to deal with inconsistencies and errors between your on- and off-premises process management environments.

In this blog, we’ll outline how you can easily adopt IBM Cloud Orchestrator (ICO) to coordinate cloud-enabled business processes and cloud services.

Integrate business process on the cloud

ICO helps you define, deploy and maintain business services deployment across your infrastructure and platform layer. You can have a consistent, flexible and automated way of integrating the cloud with your data center policies, processes and infrastructures across various IT domains. Complex business processes can be designed and implemented to fulfil any client demand. At the same time, you can have a flexible and robust interface to the popular private and public cloud infrastructures, including IBM SoftLayer.

Manage complexity of the underlying infrastructure

ICO offers a complete solution for automating and managing the private, public and complex hybrid cloud environments. You can achieve this by bridging high-level business use cases with the cloud infrastructure.

With ICO, you can launch multiple composite cloud applications based on integrated OpenStack heat pattern templates. OpenStack heat patterns provide a means for creating the relationships between cloud resources. They automate complex procedures, and control the complete provisioning lifecycle, volumes and the network. The heat pattern template maps the infrastructure for a cloud application in text files, which you can easily read and share to take appropriate actions.

ICO in action

In a recent implementation, a client wanted a hybrid cloud solution that could expose internal services to development and operations project groups, which spanned public and private clouds. Services ranged from pure Infrastructure as a Service virtual machines to complex software stacks deployments.

Each service request went through a complex approval procedure that involved several of the company’s divisions, including finance, security and networking infrastructure. Security standards had to be maintained for every resource released to requesters. Only after all of these steps were service requests approved and fulfilled.

The client integrated ICO with a third-party solution to handle all incoming service requests. All requests for services were automatically transferred to IBM Cloud Orchestrator without any manual, backend intervention. The client no longer needed to introduce manual steps to fulfill the internal processes.

While IBM Business Process Manager took care of the business process side of the implementation, the actual deployment leveraged the OpenStack Heat engine to decouple and control the resources. OpenStack Heat provides a flexible and fully automated way to manage the life-cycle of virtual machines, networks, storage and middleware.

What’s next?

This was the first phase of the implementation. The project is still evolving to handle the complete private cloud. More complex use cases are in the works. ICO proved to be the right solution to integrate the business processes with cloud resources.

Stay tuned to learn more about the next phase of the implementation. To learn more about how you can use automation to eliminate complexity in your business processes with IBM Cloud Orchestrator. Register for InterConnect 2017 today!

IBM Cloud Software Test Specialist - Test Architect

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