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Setting up and using external templates for provisioning

Note

The functionality referenced in this topic is available in version 4.6.01 and later.

Cloud Computing Technologies have advanced, and resources are no longer provisioned and deployed in the cloud as individual resources such as virtual machines (VMs). Most cloud providers  promote the deployment of resources as cloud services consisting of one or more related resources. These services can be Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS), or a combination of these. 

To define, deploy, and manage these cloud services in a predictable, reliable, and orderly fashion where the resources, which are part of the service, are related and interconnected, all the major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Open Stack have come up with "Template" technologies. You can create templates for the service or application architectures you want and have AWS CloudFormation use those templates for quick and reliable provisioning of the services or applications (called “stacks”). You can also easily update or replicate the stacks as needed.

Templates are a declarative mechanism to define or describe the cloud resources and their interconnections, which are part of a large composite cloud application or service. In most cases, it is a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) text file, which is human-readable, can be treated as code, and can be version-controlled using a source code management repository. Essentially, these templates are blueprints of cloud services.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management supports its own grammar to define the blueprint of cloud services. The service blueprint is internally defined as a JSON text file, and can be version-controlled using an internal mechanism for versioning the blueprints. Conceptual similarities between these external templates and BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management service blueprints make it easy to integrate them and unlock the additional capabilities these templates can offer.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can provision artifacts or resources for public cloud providers like AWS in an externally-declared fashion. This functionality extends BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management's capability by supporting offerings that it does not directly support from various public cloud services like AWS RedShift, Azure HDInsight, and so on.

With BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management, cloud administrators and SOI owners can:

  • View the provisioned artifacts.
  • Perform basic management actions such as decommission, extend the decommission date, and reprovision or update the stack if the template is modified.
  • Use the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management tags or metadata (such as owner, tenant, and SOI name) that are applied to the resultant artifacts in the public cloud service for billing aggregation purposes.
  • View the CMDB representation of the SOI, which contains some representation of the externally provisioned artifacts.
  • Perform incident management activities.

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