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Self-Provisioning

Self-Provisioning (Erl, Naserpour)

How can cloud consumers be empowered to have IT resources provisioned on-demand?

Problem

Manual or semi-automated IT resource provisioning processes required by cloud providers can be time-consuming and inefficient and can impose unnecessary delays and effort upon cloud consumers.

Solution

A self-service portal is established with the ability to interface with back-end systems required for the automated provisioning of IT resources.

Application

In addition to offering front-end controls for cloud consumers to choose IT resources for automated provisioning, the self-service portal is also equipped with the ability to receive a feed of current IT resources that are available for provisioning.

Problem

A cloud provider may require that a cloud consumer interact with sales staff to have new IT resources provisioned or, subsequent to receiving the provisioning request, an approval process may be required and cloud resource administrators may further have to manually perform the provisioning. These types of processes can unreasonably prolong the time it takes for a cloud consumer to gain access to the required IT resources and can further demand extra effort and communication from the cloud consumer organization.

A burdensome provisioning experience can make cloud consumers wary of further transactions with the cloud provider and can inhibit the cloud consumer organization's overall ability to be responsive to fulfilling their own business automation requirements.

Solution

The cloud provider makes a self-service portal available that provides cloud consumers with a live, up-to-date list of available cloud services and IT resources that can be automatically provisioned after the cloud consumer submits the request online.

Some cloud providers will still require a human-driven approval process that is carried out upon receiving a provisioning request via a self-service portal. However, often this process is expedited so that approved requests are fulfilled within hours instead of days.

Application

The Self-Provisioning pattern can be applied together with the Centralized Remote Administration pattern to establish a sophisticated consumer-facing front-end comprised of a combination of the features of the usage and administration portal and the self-service portal. The respective portals can still be displayed independently but by standardizing both, they can be integrated as part of the same overall Web application to ensure a consistent experience for consumer-side cloud resource administrators.

Self-Provisioning: Common steps required to navigate the permission approval process of a self-service portal (Part 1).

Common steps required to navigate the permission approval process of a self-service portal (Part 1).

Self-Provisioning: Common steps required to navigate the permission approval process of a self-service portal (Part 2).

Common steps required to navigate the permission approval process of a self-service portal (Part 2).

NIST Reference Architecture Mapping

This pattern relates to the highlighted parts of the NIST reference architecture, as follows:

Self-Provisioning: NIST Reference Architecture Mapping
Self-Provisioning: NIST Reference Architecture Mapping