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
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.