Putting the Service in Self-Service: Understanding the Cloud Service Catalog
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – (Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare)
But what is in a name? Service Catalogs can come in many different shapes and sizes. As more people dip their toes in to the waters of cloud infrastructure on both private and public cloud architecture, we should take a look at what makes up the ideal service catalog.
The generally accepted definition of cloud services is most often attributed to the NIST 5 guidelines:
- On-demand self-service
- Broad network access
- Resource pooling
- Rapid elasticity
- Measured Service
The one we have the most trouble with is actually the first one which may surprise some people. Delivering an effective, usable Service Catalog with many tools can be a real challenge. The ideal situation is to have an internal orchestration platform that you use to manage and deploy your infrastructure. That same tool can be leveraged to deliver applications and service environments with the addition of a web-based front end.
A leading tool in this category is VMware vCloud Automation Center, or vCAC as it’s known. Many environments use this today already, so it is encouraging to see some guiding principles on how to move to the next step in creating the Cloud Service Catalog.
Head on over to the VMware blog site here (http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2014/05/cloud-service-catalogs-created-equal-learn-differentiates-best-rest.html) and see how VMware Cloud Management took steps to deliver on their service promise with vCloud Automation Center (vCAC).