In a recent blog post, I described how cloud administrators use HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) templates when staging for service designs. In particular, I looked at the way resource providers templates are made available for your use as out-of-the-box offering. And we looked at the convenience of having them when creating the resource offerings used in service designs. Now let's take a look at a created service design, and what the continued reusability of a service design means to the service designer.
Why is service design portability important?
A service designer with an operating environment may be running multiple systems. This often occurs for reasons related to corporate structure, or to support separate development, testing and production environments. The question then becomes: how do we enable portability (re-usability) of these service designs created for the different instances, while exercising a level of standards consistency across the different operating environments? How can we remove the pain of service designers having to re-create the same service design, every time it is used in a different instance or in a different part of the organization?
At the same time, how do you ensure that service designs continue to add value over time? Service designs need to continue enhancing their value with additional features and capabilities consumed as an out-of-box offering. They have to do this without expensive platform upgrades all while providing an ease of installation and configuration to HP and non-HP products.
These are some basic considerations that practitioners may not have yet considered when choosing a cloud management solution. Now you can see how HP CSA has raised the bar for service design portability (reusability) and eased the ability of increasing service design value over time.
In this article, we will first examine how HP CSA supports the exporting and importing of service designs. Now you have the ability to take a design from one version of software to another or even port it between different instances of HP CSA.
How does service design portability works?
HP CSA has made the task of service design re-usability amazingly simple, and possible in just a few clicks. Begin with the import and export icons found on the Service Design screen (Figure 1). HP CSA exports Service Designs as a compressed .zip folder containing three files:
A text document with instructions
An XML file for the resource offering
Another XML file for the service blueprint
These files can be opened in order to modify the XML code in limited ways (for example, to rename it as a different version).
When importing Service Designs to a destination HP CSA, it occurs on the same Service Design page. This import process checks for dependencies such as available execution actions. If any action does not exist in HP CSA, an alert will pop up that prevents the service design from mounting; this ensures that the service design will function properly. (If necessary, missing execution actions can be imported from HP Operations Orchestration as a new repository.)
Every design includes resource offering information, which may automatically connect to a specific resource provider, depending on the name and IDs of the provider. (For a review of managing resource providers and offerings, see my earlier blog post.) If this happens, simply refer to the Resource Management page’s Offerings tab (Figure 2) to confirm which, if any, provider’s bindings exist, and add them as necessary. And that’s it — now an administrator can create a service offering using that design and expose it to the consumer catalog.
Just as administrators can port service designs from one instance of HP CSA to another, they can also import service design content packs that have been created by HP’s Cloud Solution Lab. These packs are complete with XML templates of service designs and resource offerings, plus they include additional files with the set of actions that need to be imported into the HP Operations Orchestration.
Administrators can now import content packs of service designs created by HP for specific use case scenarios. This helps streamline the creation of designs and it also ensures continued value creation for these service designs over time.
How content packs help service designs grow in value?
HP CSA's open and extensible architecture enables customers to start small and grow bigger. When powered by HP CSA, customers can now extend their cloud solution by adding more value over time. This is achieved by using Content Packs that include out-of-the-box integrations with HP and non-HP products. I promise, these are easy to install and configure. The loosely-coupled architecture allows customers to install Content Packs without having to go through an expensive and time-consuming platform upgrade.
The value of these Content Packs include out-of-the-box integrations with :
• TippingPoint Cloud Armour Provider to Secure VMware VM
• VMware vCloud Director Provider
• Server Automation as an OS Provider
• Server Automation as a Patching Compliance Provider
• DMA Application Provider for Provisioning Oracle Database
• DMA Application Provider for Provisioning WebSphere Application Server
HP CSA already makes setting up service designs from scratch a straightforward process. These Content Packs are a good starting point for building certain environments, and provide the ability to customize and bind resource providers as necessary. Plus, if you run into any challenges, you can call HP to resolve issues. HP CSA has certainly raised the bar, not just in making service design easier for you to use and re-use, but also in continuing on the value of service designs created.