This is part 3 of the series “10 Things Vmware Server Admins Should Know About Self-Service Catalogs and Lifecycle Management” that I’ll be publishing over the next couple of weeks.
3. The catalog system is more than a document, it’s also used to manage the life-cycle of the resource
What’s great about VM’s is how fast and easy they are to provision, but sometimes they are hard to kill.
I see the emails going around that say: “no one is touched that instance, who owns it?”
Back when resources were scarce, our hunter gatherer customers in Application Development and QA learned to never let go of a server. Like woolly mammoth’s they were hard to catch and came only sporadically; in the summer of ROI funding, or when great migrations came. Most of the time, QA was starved for resources. So they hoarded.
And while executing the initial request for a server environment through the service catalog gives you a nicely documentation and speed, over time changes happen and configurations drift.
This process of managing a server or environment from “as offered,” to “as agreed,” to “as built,” and then managing the change requests against it, is what I mean by lifecycle management.
The service catalog, being the source of “as offered,” “as requested” and “as built,” contains the whole lifecycle for your VM, plus information on who owns it, for how long they need it, and any other relevant data that went into the build sheet.
Unlike a static spreadsheet, when looking at a server, you can see what the maintenance hours, SLA’s and OLA’s are. The lifecycle system an tell you what types of requests can be made against that VM (like add memory, for example).That server can be started, stopped, snapshotted, upgraded. Notice they are all verbs against a thing, the VM instance.
The result is we have complete business context information about the server, the history of requests about it, subscription information and of course the proper technical build sheet, including workload requirements. As one VMware admin recently said, “I wish I’d known that you can only work on that server on Saturdays after 5pm.”