Chapter 11 – Self Service Portal & Service Catalog
One of the key aspects of cloud service management is the automation to ensure that you can manage huge and growing infrastructures while controlling cost and quality. To attain this goal, we need a Self Service Portal and a Service Catalog. Results show that with these components in place the wait time for services have decreased by an average 98%.
Traditional processes would require you to fill out a paper and put it through the approval processes. Finally the capex is approved and the order is placed for the hardware and software. Also you will be required to constantly followup with the IT Provider teams to know the status of the hardware/software availability, their installation and provisioning, etc. Most often even if all the details are provided correctly upfront, there are chances of errors in the hardware and software provisioning as the process is manual.
With the Self-Service Portal these requests and their tracking are automated. You can track the status of the workflow Online. Ask for services when you need them and most of it is provisioned automatically through workflows implemented. There is less chance for error and faster provisioning with Self-Service Portal and the automation.
Thus the Self-Service GUI allows end users to request IT Resources and optionally automatically fulfill that request.
Tivoli Service Automation Manager provides a set of pre-defined services for Virtual Server Management. These are available as part of a service catalog that is accessible to end user through the Self-Service UI. The Self-Service Virtual Server Management functionality addresses a long-standing need by data centers to efficiently manage the self-service deployment of virtual servers and associated software. Using a set of simple, point-and-click tools, an end user can select a software stack and have the software automatically installed or uninstalled in a virtual host that is automatically provisioned.
These tools integrate with IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager to provide a self-service portal for reserving, provisioning, recycling, and modifying virtual servers, and working with server images, in the following platform environments in a virtualized non-production lab (VNPL). This functionality ensures the integrity of fulfillment operations that involve a wide range of resource actions.
These capabilities enable you to achieve incremental value by adopting a self-service virtual server provisioning process, growing and adapting the process at your own pace, and adding task automation to further reduce labor costs around defined provisioning needs.
Before users in the data center can create and provision virtual servers, administrators perform a set of setup tasks, including configuring the integration; setting up the virtualization environments managed by the various hypervisors and running a Tivoli Provisioning Manager discovery to discover servers and images across the data center.
After this initial setup has been completed, the administrator associates the virtual server offerings with Tivoli Provisioning Manager virtual server templates. In addition, the Image Library is used as the source for software images to be used in provisioning the virtual servers.
Data center users who have Cloud Admin rights can use the Service Automation Manager Offering Catalog application to create and provision virtual server deployments.
The Offering Catalog application contains all the offerings that are available to the end user. There are steps that you need to perform on the catalog that will make specific offerings visible to specific end user groups. The end user interface is a Web 2.0 interface which can be edited to expose it via a Service Catalog. The Web 2.0 UI is designed in an extensible, modular way that allows for programmatically extending it.
Tivoli Service Automation Manager defines security groups that are used to provide role-based functions that can be performed via the administrative user interface or the self-service user interface. We will discuss the User access management for the Self-Service Virtual Server Provisioning component in the next chapter.