Part 8 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.
8. The service catalog software can communicate directly with the underlying support systems to orchestrate workflow
Once we have created our standard templates, published them in the service catalog with nice pictures and text descriptions and some simple forms we are ready to automate.
Now comes the time to make this actionable.
The service catalog platform should integration with either your management console or your server provisioning tool to kick off the workflow and build the environment. Whether this is VMware vCenter, a tool like Opalis, or another orchestration product it's not that important.
The catalog tool needs to connect to a variety of back end tools so it should have a nice integration tool built in.
A nice use of the service catalog is that you can create bundles of services, which may need to be provisioned by different groups or tools. A common one is identity provisioning: you my need to add specific test id's, grant access, or change firewall rules. These would be separate services. They could be bundled or the user could select them individually into their shopping cart.
By the way, are there other things VM admins should know about self-service?