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What is Cloud Provisioning?

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Cloud provisioning is a crucial feature of cloud computing. However, many don't have a clear idea of the concept. Therefore, here is a look.

Cloud provisioning is a crucial feature of cloud computing. However, many people in the industry don't have a clear idea of the concept. Therefore, we present a brief overview of the topic here.

Cloud Provisioning Basics

Cloud provisioning refers to how customers procure cloud resources and services from cloud providers. There is a growing catalog of cloud services that come under the purview of cloud provisioning. They include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). These services can belong to either public or private cloud environments.

Cloud provisioning provides numerous benefits to users. Scalability is primary among them. Unlike traditional infrastructure, organizations can quickly scale their resources up or down based on short-term requirements. Speed is another beneficial factor. With provisioning, developers can quickly spin up workloads without the need for an in-house IT admin to do it for them.

Cloud provisioning also brings about cost savings. With traditional on-premises infrastructure, there were many set up, maintenance, and upgrade costs to deal with. With cloud provisioning, customers pay for only what they consume. However, the attractive economics presented by cloud services can present its challenges, which organizations should address in a cloud management strategy.

On the other hand, cloud provisioning also comes with some challenges. Here is a look at them:

  • Resource and service dependencies.
  • Policy enforcement.
  • Cost controls

Different Models of Cloud Provisioning

Primarily, there are three delivery models to conduct this, Each of these models differs from one another in conjunction with the services or resources purchased by the enterprise, the delivery schedule of those resources or services, and the payment method chosen for them.

The three models are:

  • Advanced provisioning - the user/customer enters a formal contract with the cloud provider, specifying the services. Then, the provider prepares the selected services and resources delivers them to the user. The payment can be a flat fee or subscription-based.
  • Dynamic provisioning - here, resources and services are deployed in a flexible manner matching the user's varying business demands. Spikes and low usage is accommodated by scaling, and the model has a pay-per-use billing model.
  • User self-provisioning - also known as cloud self-service. In this model, customers purchase resources through portals or web interfaces set up by the cloud provider, and the requested resources are made available to use in a matter of minutes or hours. Users create an account to access the services, and payments are usually done using credit cards.

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