Automated Provisioning

The ability to rapidly provision resources is another key to a successful PaaS implementation. Resources in this case refer to PaaS instances themselves (e.g. "clouds") as well as runtime nodes within the instance (e.g. WLS managed servers), and database resources (e.g. tablespaces).

The core focus is on removing the human element wherever possible. A balance must be achieved, however, between complete automation and human oversight. For example, giving the organization full rein to create PaaS instances at will be a great time saver. However without proper oversight and governance, there is a strong possibility of "instance sprawl" meaning higher administrative costs and less re-use.

Provisioning automation can be achieved many different ways, ranging from code within the self service application itself to formalized BPM processes with workflow and approval stages. The choice of implementation should be dictated by the following factors

  • What is the projected cost of creating the provisioning solution?
  • How complex are the provisioning flows themselves?
  • How complex is the governance and oversight required for the provisioning?
  • How many different types of integrations are required within the provisioning process?
It is important to keep in mind that the goal is to automate as much of the provisioning process necessary to lower costs- in the long run it may be cheaper to continue to include some manual aspects of the provisioning process rather than attempt to fully automate everything with a custom process.

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