How To

How To Get Self-Service Provisioning Right

In a time of so much complexity in the IT space, and with even more complexity to come in the future, organizations need simple solutions. Self-service is one such solution that can remove layers of complexity from the infrastructure provisioning process. However, IT decision-makers must adopt the right self-service provisioning method that simplifies workflows rather than complicating them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Automation is a key component of self-service, allowing completion of routine tasks without the involvement of specialized personnel.
  • The self-service experience must be simple for the end user, meaning that the interface should be intuitive and remediation should be possible with little more than a single click.
  • Users should even be able to manage the lifecycle of an application through centralized upgrades via the self-service tool.

Knowing what it takes to get self-service right can empower business leaders to choose the best infrastructure management provider with the ideal provisioning options.

What Is Self-Service Provisioning?

Self-service provisioning allows the end user to configure their cloud environment via a simple control interface. The underlying complexity is hidden from the user and handled by the third-party platform provider behind the scenes.

Self-service options also allow individual users and teams to access other necessary resources on demand. This includes those resources needed to provision, manage, and scale applications in their environment.

By equipping individuals with the tools to problem-solve independently, high-level infrastructure administration and support professionals can freely prioritize more complicated tasks. Doing so benefits operators with simple problems that are solvable in mere minutes as well as those with critical infrastructure-level issues that require priority responses from specialized support staff or engineers.

Ultimately, choosing a cloud platform with self-service provisioning options ensures cost-efficiency, saves time, empowers the end-user, and strengthens network security through the implementation of proper procedures that are easy to follow.

Enable automation throughout the cloud

Automation is a core component of cloud computing on a fundamental level. Many basic functionalities of the cloud are only reasonably possible due to the presence of automation, but extending automation to the self-service layer of the cloud interface is also important.

Self-service is empowered by automated processes that can complete routine tasks, detect issues, and perform remediation without human intervention. This vastly expands the scope of what self-service methods can accomplish before it becomes necessary to seek additional support.

Effective automation learns performance behaviors and analyzes past, present, and future demands to inform its recommendations. The solutions presented through the self-service interface are not arbitrary — they are conclusions based on observable patterns and solid data.


Support functionalities available through Nutanix Insights

Other related automation capabilities include blueprint creation, automated lifecycle activities, and easy management through a single control plane. By guaranteeing all of these functionalities on the platform, a reliable infrastructure platform provider empowers the user to address the widest array of provisioning needs through simple self-service.

Simplify the user experience

The right self-service provisioning solution will remove as much friction as possible between the user and ttheir infrastructure needs. Ideally, one-click self-service should be possible for all but the most complex of issues.

Accomplishing this level of simplicity requires enabling centralized role-based IT governance across all clouds in a hybrid multicloud environment. Governance policies should be consistent even across public and private clouds in a hybrid ecosystem.

Gartner outlines three critical failure points that can arise in self-service. When operators encounter one of these failure points, it compromises the simplicity and efficacy of the entire self-service provisioning process:

  1. External outreach: Whenever the user feels that they must contact an external support agent or tap into any other external resource, the self-service aspect of the provisioning tool is failing in its purpose.
  2. Navigation: If the provisioning software tool itself is difficult to understand and navigate, the path of least resistance for the user may be to contact a support agent after all.
  3. Software incapability: Failure can also occur if the self-servicing tool has an unintuitive design or if it blatantly lacks the specific content or functionality needed by the user.

A self-service solution that successfully overcomes these failure points can allow for the seamless scalability of applications across the hybrid multicloud network.

Facilitate application lifecycle management

Application lifecycle management refers to the processes that manage an application from its conception until retirement. Self-service provisioning features of the platform on which an organization deploys its applications should include lifecycle management capabilities as part of the interface.

Within the self-service tool, users should expect the capability to perform one-click, non-disruptive upgrades of applications at every stage of their lifecycles. At the same time, the dependencies of the upgraded application should update as well with no additional action or interference necessary on the user’s part.

These software and firmware updates should be centralized, applying to applications at any location in the multicloud environment from one easy-to-manage control plane. 

The Nutanix Lifecycle Manager is an example of a self-service upgrade management tool in the Nutanix environment that handles upgrade and dependency management from a centralized interface, extending updates to all instances of an affected application across all of an organization’s clouds, regardless of vendor.

A cloud platform that gets self-service provisioning right

The fast changing and evolving infrastructure landscape with its many server and cloud vendors means that change is constant and new and unexpected issues are likely to arise during the provisioning process. Those looking to adopt hybrid or multicloud methodologies have even more complexity to overcome.

Nutanix self-service solutions are uniquely capable of provisioning in a hybrid environment, making it possible to achieve the most efficient level of hybrid cloud orchestration. With the Nutanix Cloud Manager (NCM), consumers have a unified response to complications that may arise regarding orchestration, compliance, costs, and visibility. 

See how the Buchanan County Health Center utilized NCM and NCP as a whole to improve their infrastructure, disaster recovery, and much more.

NCM self-service is the Nutanix approach to streamlining provisioning and orchestration across multicloud. It provides a self-service provisioning solution that lets the user focus on success and company-oriented outcomes in an industry where every minute matters.

Learn more about other ways to simplify data management in the hybrid cloud as well as the role of automation in other aspects of IT such as database management.

The Nutanix “how-to” info blog series is intended to educate and inform Nutanix users and anyone looking to expand their knowledge of cloud infrastructure and related topics. This series focuses on key topics, issues, and technologies around enterprise cloud, cloud security, infrastructure migration, virtualization, Kubernetes, etc. For information on specific Nutanix products and features, visit here.

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