As we publish this article, there are 20 Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) with FedRAMP authorizations for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Along with the cost and performance benefits of CSPs come a few drawbacks. Each CSP has its own portal, purchasing, and account management tools; stock keeping units (SKUs); pricing; performance levels; and unique attributes with which they discriminate from each other. If you’re a federal agency, how do you shop your workloads across 20 CSPs and select the right one for each? How do you efficiently manage and govern your services across the variety of CSPs that suit your requirements? The answer is not to hire a contractor to provide specialty labor. Putting “human glue” between the agency and its CSPs adds costs and marginalizes the agility, reliability, and visibility that CSPs provide.
The answer is to automate and manage the entire service life-cycle of cloud resources at any and all CSPs the agency wants to use with ServiceNowTM. Using ServiceNow’s configuration automation and cloud management capabilities, and the APIs of CSPs, the scripts to configure services in a cloud can be written once, stored in the Configuration Management Database, and then executed automatically via an approved service request. Agency users can automatically provision these services instantly upon approval of an order, and use a single system of action to provision, monitor, control, maintain, manage, and chargeback for services across all CSPs. They can do all this without need for human intervention, and without training — if they know how to buy something at Target.com, they know how to buy their cloud services.
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