Cloud Management product overview

In addition to provisioning virtual resources, the Cloud Management application fully integrates the life cycle management of virtual resources into standard ServiceNow data collection, management, analytics, and reporting capabilities.

Because the VM users request and manage their cloud assets using a familiar service catalog interface, the user experience is unchanged. Cloud Management provides process and service automation with orchestration, approvals, and service catalog capabilities. The system can package and deliver infrastructure elements, such as servers, networks, and storage to end-users through the service catalog. The system auto-provisions the cloud resources that a user requests and manages using a self-service portal.

The Cloud Management application offers the following capabilities:
  • Abstraction of virtualization systems: Because the requesters of virtual resources are not required to know the details of the specific virtualization system, the system uses a single interface to manage virtual resources in public and private clouds.
  • Reuse of virtual machine configurations: The system uses the templates provided by the third-party vendors (for example, Azure templates, VMware templates, and Amazon images) to create reusable catalog items, typically with a wide range of capability sets. Using the service catalog, the user selects from the resulting resource templates.
  • Service catalog interface: Requesting the right virtual resource for the job from the catalog is quick and easy for the user.
  • Role-based access: Role-based security ensures that users have the proper privileges for viewing, creating, and managing virtual resources.
  • Dedicated service portals: ServiceNow users view their virtual resources and request changes on a dedicated portal. Administrative and operational users manage virtual machines, provisioning tasks, and SLAs from portals that grant role-based access to virtual resources.
  • Controlled lease duration: The system applies default end dates to all virtual machine leases. Lease duration controls prevent unused virtual machines from persisting past their intended use date.
  • Automatic cost adjustment: If appropriate, costs are recalculated when users make modifications to virtual resources.
  • Fully integrated with the ServiceNow platform: Approvals, notifications, security, asset management, and compliance capabilities are all integrated into virtual resource management processes.
Note: The Cloud Management application was called Cloud Provisioning in earlier versions.
  • Approvals: You can make any request subject to approvals, allowing you to develop complex and business-critical processes.
  • Discovery of VMs: Use the Discovery application or the standalone capability to discover virtual resources and their relationships in their environments (for example, relationships between VMware components in the vCenter instance).
  • Capacity: Because the Discovery process returns basic capacity information for VMs, a cloud operator can determine the best virtualization server for a VM.
  • Schedule Labs: Schedule a lab framework to manage multiple groups of virtual resources for a common purpose, such as training. Schedule lab termination date and time to shut down virtual resources as soon as they complete their function.
  • Modify VMs: Request modifications to existing VM images, for example increased memory. Workflows can require approvals for each modification or can auto-create a change request.
  • Notifications: The system delivers notifications during the virtual resource lifecycle to provide information and set expectations for system users.
  • Prices: Price calculations and an integration of managed virtual machines with asset management provide a cost-based component to Cloud Management.
  • Information about requests: The system collects notes and guest customization information and attaches the data to the provisioning request.
  • Automated provisioning: A cloud administrator can configure the system to apply automatic and zero-click provisioning to virtual resource requests:
    • Fully automatic: Rules make all configuration decisions and processing goes directly from the request to provisioning.
    • Semi automatic: Rules make all configuration decisions but a cloud operator can modify and approve the request before continuing.
    • Manual: Requests go to an operator who must make all decisions about where the resource is provisioned and how it is configured.
  • Schedules: The system specifies a lease duration when creating a virtual resource. The schedule includes start and end times, a grace period, and automatic stop/terminate actions. The system notifies the user of lease status.
  • SLAs: The system tracks SLAs and OLAs for Cloud Management requests.
  • Workflows: Each action employs customizable workflows that allow business processes to include Cloud Management as a step.
  • Zero-click provisioning: Fully automated provisioning enables IT departments to respond quickly to customer requests.
  • Security: All workflows, business rules, and scripts in the base system are locked. The system restricts cloud management actions to users with particular role.