What is provisioning?

Provisioning is a process that automatically allocates computer or telecommunications resources to respond to a change in user activity. It is also the process by which an infrastructure is set up.



What us provisioning exactly?

Provisioning is more and more common in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Technical environments are now closely linked to this process. With the advent of DevOps, the use of provisioning has expanded. It is increasingly found in development and production environments. It is based on automation and continuous improvement.

Provisioning consists of the automation of various tasks. It can range from setting up a development environment to creating complex structures. In any case, it requires a high level of know-how and competence. Several companies already use it, particularly in the telecommunications industry.

Provisioning therefore ensures the automatic installation of certain software. The configuration of this software must make the environment fully operational. It is also a question of ensuring the availability of this environment.

The importance of provisioning

In addition to making more or less complex environments available, provisioning brings a great speed of deployment. This process makes the task easier in that it takes care of often tedious activities. This automation also ensures that no essential components are overlooked when a new environment is implemented. An operational and functional environment is obtained quickly and remains available.

In addition, provisioning ensures the creation of almost completely similar environments. The environments are indeed homogeneous and can be easily reproduced. Many companies systematically automate their tasks and projects.

Provisioning tools

There is a wide range of tools available to automate. It all depends on the priority of the company using them. Many of them have proven themselves and give roughly equivalent results.

The oldest provisioning tool is the shell script. It has aged a bit and programmers often find it difficult to maintain. Although it still provides adequate provisioning for environments, it is beginning to be overtaken by more powerful tools.

One such tool that is increasingly being used is Chef, which is modeled as an organization based on "recipes" structured in the form of a CookBook, a set of instructions guiding programming in order to accomplish tasks in an application. It also guides the installation or use of software.

Ansible is a more recent tool that has quickly made a name for itself in the provisioning field. It is written in Python. It is designed to be easily accessible, which makes it very popular. It does not require extensive training in system administration. It also does not require the installation of a client to work.

Most provisioning tools are designed to keep a history of operations. It is also possible to go back in time. Operations are performed very quickly in a heterogeneous environment. Provisioning is very useful when several systems are present. These can be allocated or reallocated according to the circumstances.

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Virtualized environments

Most of the time, provisioning tools are used in virtualized environments. When working in this type of environment, several instances can be thrown away. Since these instances can be repetitive, they can be discarded as needed since they are easy to recreate. The availability of technical environments remains very fast.

A developer can quickly become operational by virtualizing environments. His task is then lighter and he can focus on creating applications.

Server provisioning

Server provisioning consists of configuring the server to a network according to the type of resources required. It is the set of operations that is needed to create a machine that is functional. Server provisioning also involves defining the desired state of the system.

The hardware must be configured in a data center, or data processing center, which is the place where computing and telecommunication resources are grouped together. This location is intended to store, process, or distribute computer data in a secure manner. Server provisioning also includes software installation and configuration.  

User provisioning

User provisioning is defined from user objects. It is a form of identity management that keeps an eye on privileges and access rights. This process includes several services, including access to a network or database. Messaging is also part of the services involved. This type of provisioning is most of the time managed by real people relying on IT resources.

Network provisioning

Network provisioning consists of configuring access to the network for servers, users and containers, in particular. This process is present mainly in the telecommunications field. The provisioning is then linked to the service itself, which includes the required equipment. It can also involve the implementation of the wireless environment.

Service provisioning

Service provisioning generally refers to the creation of the service and the management of data related to the service. Again, this is a process used in telecommunications. It is used for customer service and Cloud infrastructure. The Cloud service can take the form of an infrastructure or a platform hosted by third party providers. The service is made available to users over the Internet.

The importance of automation

Provisioning is a major element in optimizing the IT environment and integrating digital transformation into a business. Provisioning is a particularly cumbersome task, regardless of the system to be provisioned. The vast majority of modern tasks are now performed in software. Provisioning has become indispensable for meeting deadlines and controlling operating costs.

In the recent past, provisioning of infrastructure was done manually. The installation of physical servers, for example, was manual, as was the setting of various parameters. If additional needs arose, there was no choice but to order more hardware and wait for delivery. The situation has changed and provisioning is now very fast.

Now the infrastructure is mainly software. The virtual environment and the containers make the tasks faster and more efficient. There is no longer a need to provision as frequently.

As the infrastructure becomes virtual, the capacity of enterprise environments has been greatly increased. The virtual infrastructure must be provisioned for each new development. Manual provisioning of this infrastructure involves risks of error when it is done manually. It is also time-consuming.

When provisioning is manual, it is not easy to track changes or avoid errors altogether. It is also not easy to control versions. Automation therefore becomes essential to avoid manually provisioning and managing servers and operating systems when it comes to developing and implementing an application.

If you want to implement it yourself, Ryax will accompany you from the beginning to the end of your project.

La Ryax Team.