A Step-by-Step Guide to Defining Your Cloud Services Catalog

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Defining Your Cloud Services Catalog

Transcript Of A Step-by-Step Guide to Defining Your Cloud Services Catalog

A Step-by-Step Guide to Defining Your Cloud Services Catalog

Table of Contents



Chapter 1


Defining the Services Catalog

Chapter 2


Building a Services Catalog

Chapter 3

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Business


Chapter 4

Declaring Success


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Enterprises looking to build cloud services catalogs soon learn that the path to success is complex. It’s complex both because of the diversity of available services, as well as how enterprises interact with those services. Yet, the good news is that the technology you deploy in support of this initiative will strip complexity from the development process. The catalog itself shields users and administrators from dealing with the underlying management – including automation – of cloud services.
Cloud services catalogs are a centralized resource to both discover and leverage private or public cloud services. An outgrowth of service registries and repositories from the days of SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), this new and improved technology provides a single gateway for

service access for applications and end users. The listed services typically include application functionality or data for use either by end users or in applications. As a result, enterprises are able to reuse these cloud services across applications, and they may exist on any number of platforms including private and public clouds.
Think of a services catalog as akin to iTunesTM, or other online music and video stores, rather than as a typical catalog. Just as we download the music we need, on-demand, service catalogs allow you to discover and access cloud services, such as storage, compute, and business services, which can be self- or auto-provisioned. Just like iTunes tracks your music downloads, cloud services catalogs track your service usage. Perhaps even applying rules to your use of



services, such as who or what can leverage services, and for what purpose.
Enterprises that lack cloud services catalogs are missing out on the advantages of centralized control, centralized discovery, and centralized access; and these services become distributed and unmanageable pretty quickly. Not surprisingly, effective governance becomes the single most important reason that cloud service catalogs exist for enterprises.
Beyond service catalogs, enterprises that also leverage best-of-breed automation and operations tools to insure success after initial implementation of service catalogs are far more likely to meet their cloud business objectives. However, this takes a certain

amount of understanding as to the approach, as well as knowledge of the available technology.
In this eBook, we’ll remove the mystery out of how to define a cloud services catalog, providing you with a step-by-step guide to build the catalog itself. This effort often marks a departure for IT, and typically there are no existing models to follow. However, we’ll move you through the processes to understand the existing service assets, and leverage best-of-breed operations and automation technology. Finally, we’ll show you how all of this information ties together into a larger plan to leverage cloud computing; a plan that will provide more efficiencies and agility.



Cloud services catalogs provide a single point of discovery and access for IT, applications,
line-of-business users, and partners.

Public Cloud

Private Cloud

Public Cloud

Private Cloud

Cloud Services Catalog

Corporate IT





Chapter 1
Defining the Cloud Services Catalog: Challenges and Opportunities

The use of cloud services provides enterprises with key advantages such as these:
First, enterprises have the ability to leverage services from anywhere, as required by the architecture in support of the business. For example, there’s the ability to leverage a credit check service hosted on a cloud-based platform, from any systems within the architecture, on-premise or cloud-based. An application at the services level may be location and platform independent except when data security, SLA’s or other requirements legislate where the service is hosted.
Second, there’s the ability to leverage virtualization, or address core applications as logical instances that may run on any number of physical servers, providing better resource utilization and scalability.

In essence, you are talking to the applications through the services interface. The location where the instance actually runs is transparent to you.
Finally, there’s the ability to mix and match services for use within composite applications or processes. This approach underscores the agility of cloud computing architecture. Not only can you create application processes quickly to solve business problems, but you can also recreate them as needed, and thus provide the core value of agility. The use of cloud computing provides even more value since we do this using more cost-effective computing platforms, public or private.
The cloud services catalog is the key to automated provisioning and deployment because it provides a single point of

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reference for the cloud services. The services catalog defines, in detail, all services—public and private—available to business users or developers.
The services catalog must be kept scrupulously up to date so that users always have a clear picture of the available services and resources. What’s more, the services under management need to be related directly to the needs of the business.
The services catalog of today differs from services catalogs found in the initial days of SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) in that the underlying technology details are usually not provided to the users. The rationale is that keeping the implementation details behind the catalog, as it were,

provides IT with the maximum flexibility to obtain resources from either private or public clouds.
This structure supports the notion of multi-cloud deployments that seem to be the current direction in the industry, and provides the ability to monitor the use and cost of the services, which allows IT to better manage SLAs for the entire enterprise.
Services Catalogs and Cloud Operations Cloud operations refer to those operations that can proactively avoid performance issues and gain deep insights into the health, risk and efficiency of virtual and physical cloud infrastructure, as well as operating systems and applications. This is done with infrastructure that can provide performance data that’s abstracted to key

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metrics. Analysis of the key metrics allow those who monitor cloud services offered in the services catalog to proactively make changes in the operational profile to support the use of the services.
Cloud operations also refers to the ability to manage capacity and cost metering of cloud services, and thus track usage, true costs, and the value of leveraging each service. Another key function is the ability to logically group resources so they can be managed by services, or by groups of services. Finally, cloud operations provide the ability to manage services through the use of policies, which can be set to limit or manage access to cloud services in the catalog, or set alerts for administrators to be notified if services use goes out of pre-set limits.

Services Catalogs and Cloud Automation Creating a scalable, yet cost effective, cloud management program requires a closely-knit mix of strategy, technology and tactics. What’s the leading priority? Automation. Enterprises should consider the use of key service governance and cloud automation technology that can provide orchestration workflows to turn groups of services into a business solution. Cloud automation also provides the ability to create policies and procedures to automate the access and use of services by both developers and end users, and thus make the use of the services catalog more productive and accessible.
Cloud automation is all about defining mechanisms that automate the use of cloud services, including the ability to

Chapter 1


automatically correct issues with cloud services, such the operational health of the service, including performance and working through changes within the infrastructure. This can be accomplished using workflow triggers that allow administrators to create alerts, and trigger automated procedures that are tied to those alerts.
Cloud automation is tightly coupled with security as well, including automating best practices, which keeps the service secure, while automated workflows and procedures can implement compliance requirements. Resource management using provisioning capabilities also falls under the cloud automation umbrella, controlling which resources (including

cloud services in the catalog) are provisioned and for what purpose. This can be extended to enforce policies and procedures, which removes the end users or developers from the role of enforcer. Instead, automated tools manage the use of services and resources.
Creating a Plan-of-Attack Enterprise IT should create a well-defined and resourced plan to both implement the services catalog, and to place automated operational, governance, security, and management facilities around the use of the services. This plan will provide the jumping off point for the movement to a services catalog, which will be defined stepwise in the next section.

Chapter 1

ServicesCloud ServicesAbilityEnterprisesServices Catalog