This blog post demonstrates how cloud administrators can use HP CSA to build a comprehensive list of resource providers from disparate sources. Now you can utilize multiple resource providers as resource offerings in a service design.
Myriad instances, one system
Today’s large enterprise IT organizations commonly administer multiple instances of software and infrastructure across disparate sources to enable cloud services (did you follow that?). In some cases, some of these services may be sourced several times over from the same resource provider. HP CSA organizes (brokers) all of these resources into one system. It accomplishes this through open, extensible architecture, thereby making the system easier to manage. CSA also uses resourcing binding, which ensures that specific resources are provisioned as part of a cloud service design and are offered in a service catalog for business users.
Under the Resource Management area of HP CSA, there are two ways to categorize the complete menu of resources available today: by Providers, and by Offering (Figure 1).
A resource provider refers to the base complement of application, middleware, database, virtual and physical infrastructure resource types that are made available to an organization. It includes disparate sources that can be administered through the CSA resource management platform, including the availability of bursting to cloud services.
In the example of Figure 2, HP Matrix Operating Environment serves as an infrastructure resource provider offering private cloud virtual and physical instances. It also acts as a broker for multiple private clouds within an organization. CSA presents the offerings as a single resource provider, with account User ID and Service Access Point managed within properties (Figure 2).
A resource offering is where resource capability is offered by a resource provider (or a group of resource providers), and each offering is now assigned a single provider type and a single resource category instead. This occurs when an offering is associated to specific categories, and then CSA spots a description of providers on-hand to support the offer.
Let’s use the earlier HP Matrix Operating Environment example, this same resource (which is essentially a simple compute server using Matrix OE 6.3/7.0), can now be positioned as one of multiple compute offerings in the Compute-as-a-Provider category (Figure 3).
Resource binding to service designs
As previously noted, resource offerings are the substructure for creating cloud services that are presented to business users in a catalog. When creating a service design, the administrator will select a specific resource offering and link it to the relevant service component. Resource binding ensures that the resource offering is provisioned as part of the service component deployment—in essence connecting the circle.
Resource Binding is a fundamental construct used in the graphical service designer tool, when automating the CSA service lifecycle management process. This occurs where resource offerings are associated to service components, and can be found in various workflows held across the different service lifecycle transition states. These workflows (and resource offerings) are subsequently triggered by process engines which govern these workflows.
In the Resource Management area of CSA, each resource offering is listed with the number of service designs to which it is bound. This gives administrators an informative view of how resource providers are deployed. These are significant implications for consideration in subsequent blog posts, where we will address importing and exporting design/resource offerings, and how resource provider templates are used to stage resource offerings.
In the mean time, watch this video on the Provisioning and Flexing of Multi-Tier Application Services. It will give you an appreciation at how different application-infrastructure resource providers have been easily brokered into complex service designs through CSA’s cloud management platform. From the CSA’s Service Operations Console tab, you can see how multiple service components (and resource offerings) are consumed during the service subscription process.