We live in a self-serve world, where nearly everything is available to us in just a couple of mouse clicks. Business users, of course, expect it to be no different with IT, and delivering to them a web-based menu of cloud services customized to their individual roles can be a powerful shift in how your organization manages IT services.
But simplifying how users procure services is one thing. The real transformation occurs through simplifying how you create the services in the first place! Here is a look at a few of the simple best practices you can use to design IT service offerings in HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA).
How to know what service designs to create
For every item exposed in a HP CSA catalog, a cloud service architect will create a service offering in CSA. But before you do, an important step in developing this type of content is to first determine with project stakeholders what they want to see in the catalogs, how many catalogs are required, and who are the targeted audiences.
Each catalog should include:
The targeted audience
A list all items in the catalog with a high-level description for each
Once you have some of these details about the catalog nailed down, you can begin designing service offerings.
Identify design specifications for the offering
For every item identified in the catalog, you will create a service offering. You should identify a number of design specifications for each service offering:
Name of the service offering
Goal of the offering
Type of service offering (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, or other)
Detailed description of the offering
List of all parameters
Details for each parameter (lower value, upper value, type of value
Parameters relationships (mandatory or optional, whether they are related)
List of resources needed for the service offering
Associate resources for each parameter
Initial cost and recurring cost for each parameter
Initial costs and recurring cost for the offering as a whole
Capturing this information at the start will help ensure you have all the details you to design the service, but also for any other administrator going forward.
Use a template to define the end-to-end process
You will need to create high-level specifications for the cloud service as to the what HP Operations Orchestration flows it will execute at different lifecycle states.
The template (Figure 1) provides a starting point, helping you to lay out the end-to-end process. In the template, each horizontal rows represents the HP Operations Orchestration flows specific to a resource provider (VMware vCenter, for example), and how they are executed across different lifecycle states.
Figure 1. Service design specification template
You determine the order of the provider flows by how what is required to realize the final service and what information is required by each flow to successfully deliver its end result.
For example, if you’re creating a service for deploying a VM using VMware vCenter, it will need a specific IP address, which will be supplied by an IPAM solution, and a specific hostname, which will be generated by a custom hostname generation solution. In this case, the provider flows in the template will be ordered as follows:
IPAM Provider Flow
Hostname Provider Flow
vCenter Provider Flow
Figure 2: Example of a CSA service design for deploying a vCenter VM
Of course, the order of the IPAM Provider Flow and Hostname Provider Flow provider flows can be run in any order, but the vCenter Provider Flow provider flow can only be executed after we reserve an IP address and a hostname.
As you can see, creating a cloud service offering in HP CSA is a straightforward process that follows a simple building block approach to pull together the internal and external IT resources for service offerings. To learn more about HP CSA, download a whitepaper on best practices to be followed when developing new content for HP CSA.