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Cisco Prime Service Catalog

Applications as a Service with Cisco Prime Service Catalog

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Challenges

Cloud automation delivers consistency and efficiency in data center infrastructure through infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Now organizations want to adapt the same automation they use to deliver IaaS to deliver end-to-end application automation to accelerate time-to-market for the business.

However, application delivery is more complicated because it requires coordination of teams, processes, and technologies across traditionally separated networking, infrastructure, application developers, and IT operations. The challenge is to enable applications to be developed, tested, and deployed more quickly with automation without increasing risk or disrupting your organization’s revenue.

Cisco UCS Director

Cisco UCS® Director enables application automation. This powerful software solution for managing IT resources delivers unified infrastructure provisioning and automation across computing, networking, and storage resources, drastically reducing complexity for IT operations and administration. By abstracting individual device managers into a single management console, Cisco UCS Director allows IT operators and administrators to shift their focus from management of what they have today to development of new services that better align with the needs of the business.

In combination with Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Cisco UCS Director delivers integrated infrastructure solutions through a single pane across the computing, networking, and storage elements into secure tenant containers. Then, using the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to define the secure networking required for tenant management, each layer is tuned to the application’s unique requirements, delivering application-aware infrastructure containers.

With Cisco UCS Director’s infrastructure application catalog, application administrators can assemble infrastructure containers containing computing, networking, and storage resource catalogs and assign them to specific groups of technical users, such as application architects or developers.

Supporting a wide range of workloads, from development to production, Cisco UCS Director allows developers and IT project leads to manage the complete lifecycle, from inception through discontinuance, from the same user interface.

Cisco UCS Director and Cisco ACI work together to deliver application container templates that infrastructure teams can save and consume through the Cisco UCS Director infrastructure self-service portal, allowing network and infrastructure teams to collaborate in new ways. But more is needed to complete end-to-end delivery of applications.

Cisco Prime Service Catalog

To complete the application lifecycle, application elements, such as middleware, databases, and web servers, must be configured into the infrastructure containers defined by Cisco UCS Director. Through a graphical canvas, Cisco Prime Service Catalog allows application developers to configure these elements and place them directly in the infrastructure containers.

Using the Cisco Stack Designer embedded into the Cisco Prime Service Catalog (Figure 1), application architects can dynamically map the application infrastructure templates created in Cisco UCS Director onto a graphical canvas and add the required supporting application elements. Deploying ready-to-use integration between Cisco Prime Service Catalog and OpenStack HEAT, Puppet, and Chef, developers can create application blueprints that define the complete application stack and direct consistent application delivery.

Figure 1. Application Canvas Embedded in Cisco Prime Service Catalog

The final step is to bind pricing, service-level details, and business policies, such as approval, governance, and consumption guides, to the application blueprints, turning them into business services. These business services can then be published in the Cisco Prime Service Catalog, where they are available for ordering through a modern self-service portal (Figure 2) or through northbound APIs to higher-level applications such as Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) or as part of an application developer’s code.

Figure 2. Cisco Prime Service Self-Service Portal

Conclusion

As organizations continue to expand automation beyond data center infrastructure, the combined Cisco UCS Director, Cisco ACI, and Cisco Prime Service Catalog solution provides IT teams with the capability to automate the provisioning and deprovisioning of the tasks and policies embedded in each layer of their applications.

Cisco Prime Service Catalog delivers a graphical way to join application elements with business policies and governance, allowing end users to consume applications in a way meaningful to them while IT remains in control.

This solution allows application developers and IT project managers to browse and request available application stacks through an intuitive user interface. Automation that contains architectural policies in each layer replaces manual provisioning and deprovisioning to keep your organization safe and IT in control.

For More Information

To learn more about Cisco UCS Director, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsdirector.

To learn more about Cisco ACI, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/aci.

To learn more about Cisco Prime Service Catalog, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/service-catalog.