Service Catalogs for Cloud Computing Services, which is an on-demand self-service; allows the users to obtain, configure and deploy cloud services themselves. Service Catalogs is terminology and has been defined in Information Technology Infrastructure Library Service Design. This Service Catalog is an exhaustive list of IT services that an organization provides or offers to its employees or customers. The concept is that, this catalog is the only part of the Service Portfolio that is published to the customers and is used to support the delivery of IT services. Service Catalogs for Cloud Computing Services is listed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a characteristic of cloud computing.
Service Catalogs for Cloud Computing Services : Brief Introduction
Cisco has written in a PDF named – The Need for Service Catalog Design in Cloud Services Development, that in the context of cloud computing, the service catalog is an integral and critical component of the cloud computing architecture. Because most cloud computing project invariably begin with a discussion of what IT services does a business wants.
So, service catalog is a strategy and to design and implement a service catalog portal that supports the underlying cloud infrastructure are primary components of the business plan of the service provider. Each service within the catalog typically includes:
- A description of the service
- A categorization or service type
- Any supporting or underpinning services
- Timeframes or service level agreement for fulfilling the service
- Who is entitled to request/view the service
- Costs (if any)
- How to request the service and how its delivery is fulfilled
- Escalation points and key contacts
- Hours of service availability
From the users’ perspective, the user goes to a specific webpage to search for a specific cloud computing service, such as requesting a new load balancer’s instance. The service catalog site groups services by category and allows for searching multiple types of available services. The user selects a desired service and reads the description and details. The user might enter any specific question (if the option is present) and submits the request for service to be deployed.
The request requires approval and goes through routing, service-level management and other automated processes necessary to fulfill the request.
Usage of Service Catalogs for Cloud Computing Services
An optimum catalog is one that maximizes the alignment of infrastructure capabilities with business requirements while delivering the best value for the end consumer. The service catalog can be used as an effective tool by IT organizations to implement enterprise standards, introduce new technologies and enforce default regulatory requirements. The enterprise architect is responsible for the service catalog™s alignment with the business architecture, thereby helping to maximize the return on investment in cloud and service catalog development.
The use of a service catalog for cloud computing services is an integral part of deploying services on private and public clouds. Users wishing to consume cloud services would use a cloud service catalog to view what cloud services are available, their function, and know the technologies used to provide the services. Users would also see the available different service level options based on latency and reliability. With this knowledge, users are able to change the configuration of the technologies used to deliver the services based on cost, performance and technology improvements.