Provisioning in Cloud Computing – Everything You Need to Know
Author: Haziqa Sajid
Cloud computing is a significant tech breakthrough as it has changed how businesses operate and manage their IT operations. Cloud computing offers unprecedented scalable, reliable, and cost-efficient infrastructure to address the growing need for increasing connected devices and data. A 2021 report by IDC revealed that global spending on cloud services is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025.
Provisioning is one of the core aspects of cloud computing that plays a vital role in enabling organizations to efficiently allocate, manage, and deploy IT resources. It involves managing and configuring IT resources, like processing power, storage, and network, to meet the organization’s needs.
This blog will discuss all the critical aspects of provisioning in cloud computing, from an overview of the different types of cloud provisioning methodologies to the challenges and solutions. Let’s dive deep into more details.
What is Provisioning in Cloud Computing?
Provisioning in cloud computing involves allocating, configuring, and enabling access to IT resources to address the dynamic needs of an organization. Cloud provisioning aims to ensure that an organization can seamlessly access the required resources in an optimized and efficient way. It also configures various components, such as operating systems, middleware, and applications. Another critical aspect of cloud provisioning is the implementation of security initiatives, such as firewalls, threat detection, and encryption, to ensure the safety, confidentiality, and integrity of critical information and data.
Types of Provisioning in Cloud Computing
There are three types of provisioning in cloud computing with varying degrees of flexibility, control, and pricing structure. It includes:
- Advanced Cloud Provisioning
- Dynamic Cloud Provisioning
- User Cloud Provisioning
Advanced provisioning delivers IT resources based on a service level agreement (SLA) between the cloud vendor and client organization. The agreement or contract specifies the type and amount of resources allocated for a defined period. The cloud service provider then provisions the promised resources, including storage, processing power (CPU), RAM, and GPU (for graphic-intensive workloads).
Advanced provisioning is commonly used by businesses that require the utmost stability, reliability, and performance. This model is well-suited for organizations with consistent requirements for all resources. It is usually charged by a fixed monthly or annual pricing structure.
Dynamic provisioning, also known as on-demand provisioning, is the most flexible and scalable cloud computing model that dynamically allows cloud service providers to allocate resources as needed. In this model, the client organization can quickly acquire required IT resources based on their dynamic requirements without making manual adjustments. Cloud automation and orchestration allow service providers to streamline the dynamic provisioning process and address varying customer needs. It ensures that the resources are instantly available whenever required.
For organizations having fluid requirements, dynamic provisioning is the perfect solution to address their varying needs. The pricing model is based on a pay-per-use basis – the amount and type of allocated resources. V2 cloud is a prominent example of dynamic provisioning with high flexibility and enterprise-scale security.
User self-provisioning, also known as cloud self-service, enables customers to subscribe for the required resources directly from the cloud provider through a website. Customers have to create a user account and pay for the required resources.
For organizations that require a high level of autonomy and agility, user-self-provisioning is the most suitable option. The subscription to resource allocation process is straightforward without any complex procurement or onboarding process with the cloud vendor. Microsoft 365 or G Suite are prominent examples of user-self provisioning.
Strategies to Address Cloud Provisioning Challenges
Cloud provisioning involves a lot of challenges associated with resource allocation, network allocation, storage allocation, security, scalability, and flexibility. The cloud provisioning process involves the following methodologies to meet these significant requirements.
Organizations may require multiple provisioning tools to effectively manage, customize, and utilize their cloud resources. With the deployment of workloads on multiple cloud platforms, a centralized console is set up to monitor and manage all resources for optimized allocation. It results in a more optimized and efficient allocation of required resources. The industry’s best practices for optimized resource allocation include the following:
- Load balancing – distributing incoming traffic to different VMs to balance the load and avoid overloading and conflicts with different resources.
- Autoscaling – In dynamic provisioning, autoscaling automatically adjusts the number of VMs based on user demand, so resources are used efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Capacity planning – projecting future requirements and allocating resources to ensure scalability up to the client’s future needs.
By implementing these practices, organizations can improve and optimize operational efficiency by eliminating the need for manual workloads. It also ensures your mission-critical, CPU-intensive apps keep performing without experiencing downtimes.
Managing Engine Images
Managing Engine Images is also intended to streamline the resource allocation process in dynamic provisioning. Engine images are also associated with the deployment and management of cloud resources. Managing engine images ensures that the images are updated, secure, and readily available whenever required. It is necessary to update images to accommodate dynamic requirements continuously. The complexity of this task increases with the number of engine images occupied and the depth of customization.
In cloud computing, network configuration is the process of setting up and managing virtual networks, security groups, subnets, and other network resources to ensure a secure and efficient transition of resources. It must be handled carefully to dodge potential cyber threats, performance bottlenecks, and denial of services. It requires rich know-how and experience with network infrastructure and cyber security.
Storage configuration is another crucial aspect of cloud provisioning that involves deploying, managing, and optimizing cloud storage resources. It includes defining storage requirements, setting up storage classes, and allocating storage resources to meet the needs of applications and services. Proper storage configuration is essential to ensure data reliability, performance, and security and to avoid potential storage capacity and performance issues.
Monitoring and Maintenance
Another critical process in cloud provisioning is to ensure the health and performance of cloud infrastructure. It involves continuous monitoring of allocated resources, performance optimization, and scheduling regular maintenance routines to ensure that infrastructure performance is up-to-date and controlled.
Cloud Provisioning Best Practices
Automation & Orchestration
Cloud automation involves streamlining repetitive and manual workloads. Cloud orchestration is the systematic organization and coordination of automated workflows in the cloud to streamline repetitive tasks. Orchestration is fundamentally essential in inter-connected and complex multi-cloud ecosystems. A multi-cloud system involves multiple public, private, and hybrid cloud services. A cloud service provider offers cloud automation and orchestration tools like AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for Operations) to lighten the burden of IT teams from manually managing mundane and repetitive tasks.
Cloud scalability is mainly based on two types; vertical and horizontal.
Vertical Scaling (scaling up or down) is the addition or removal of resources, such as memory (RAM), storage (Capacity), or processing power (CPU), to an existing cloud server, with a maximum limit based on the total resources of the cloud. It usually involves downtime if scaling reaches over the limit.
Horizontal Scaling (scaling in or out) is the addition of more resources, such as servers, to balance the workload and increase performance and storage capacity. It is offered by high-end cloud service providers with minimum or almost no downtime.
To avoid downtimes, scalability testing must regularly determine the right-sized resource allocation. It measures response time, network requests, CPU load, and memory usage.
Security is the central area in cloud provisioning, involving several security and scrutiny measures like access control, multi-factor authentication, data encryption, threat intelligence, and monitoring. Cloud providers also need to formulate a robust disaster recovery plan to ensure the continuity of services and data security. It is essential for cloud providers to comply with industry-approved certifications like SOC 2, ISO 27001/27002, CIS, FISMA, and PCI DSS. Industry-standard compliance ensures that cloud infrastructure is up-to-date and secured up to the standard benchmarks.
Cloud Provisioning – Scope & Impact in the Future
Provisioning in cloud computing is critical in ensuring that the required resources are delivered to the right users at the right time. With the increasing number of interconnected devices and data sources, cloud computing is here to stay and support all industries in their digitization journey. In today’s era, organizations need to invest in the right cloud provisioning solutions to stay ahead of their competitors. Explore V2 Cloud, a trusted provider of desktop as a services with enterprise-grade security, cost-effective pricing, dynamic resource allocation, and reliability of services.