A typical server provisioning includes a complete set of activities such as deciding server resources, preparing resources, implementing policies, and loading service and supporting tools to make the server operational.
Service provisioning is a very commonplace term used in IT and telecom sectors that means the preparation of service requested by the customer. Similarly, the server provisioning is known for accomplishing a complete set of activities required to prepare a server for the desired operation; the basic activities of server preparation include allocation of resources, loading the desired operating system, installation of desired services, testing of the services and finally making it operational for the end users. In the cloud environment, before all these activities, a comprehensive cloud policy of the company is devised that covers all aspects related to security and the location of the software – in public cloud or behind the firewall – that will be deployed on the server. In the cloud environment, the hardware machines are replaced by the Virtual Machines (VMs) and other activities remain almost same, but accomplished in different ways owing to the advanced capabilities of cloud technologies and the management platforms that govern the cloud server provisioning.
In general, cloud server provisioning can be classified into three different categories as listed below.
- Self Provisioning
- Dynamic Provisioning
- Advanced Provisioning
Self provisioning is a process of server preparation that is solely dependent on the users of the cloud resources. The user purchases the cloud resources from the cloud server providers through the web interface by creating his/her account. The payment is made online for the desired server resources. All the remaining activities are required to be done by the user (customer) himself/herself. The purchased resources are normally available within a few minutes in this case.
In this type of cloud server provisioning, the service providers dynamically assign more resources to the customer at the time of need and withdraw resources from the customer when they are not needed. This kind of provisioning is also known as dynamic resource provisioning on the basis of pay-per-use billing method. It is very flexible for both the providers and the customers in terms of the better utilization of resources.
In this kind of cloud server provisioning, a proper negotiated contract of service is prepared and signed between a provider and a customer. The service provider allocates the agreed resources and provides an API and other interfaces to the customer to access and manage the allocated resources as per business requirements. In this type of server provisioning, advanced service level agreements SLAs are agreed upon to identify the responsibilities of both parties and scope of the services.
Advantages of Cloud Server
There are many advantages of using cloud server provisioning as compared to dedicated or legacy servers, especially for small and medium size businesses. The major benefits are listed below.
- Quick, flexible and cost efficient
- No requirement of any upfront cost
- Quick return on investment ROI
- Fully managed resources
- Easy to scale up or scale down the desired resources
- Easy server monitoring through cloud monitoring services
It is very important to note that there are many cloud-based server monitoring services and web-based tools available on the internet that can be used for very low price or even free of charges to monitor and automate the processes of the cloud servers. This is another important benefit of using the cloud servers. To get more information about free server monitoring service click here.