Best practices for decommissioning cloud service resources

Guest post by

By Sebastien Reister, HP Senior Cloud Architect

 

In my two previous posts, I looked at some different ways to think about automated provisioning of an operating system (Read Clone vs. script OS builds: Why “time to deploy” is not the only deciding factor and Improve server delivery by looking past “time to deploy”).

 

Now let’s extend some of this thinking to decommissioning a server.

 

Resource management

 

A cloud service is really an aggregate of disparate resources, which typically includes CPU, memory, and disk storage, but it may also include:

  • IP address
  • Hostname
  • OS
  • Software agents you deploy on the OS
  • Service accounts you create in the AD
  • Applications on top of the OS

 

In short, all the components of your service are resources — and as with most things, resources are finite. You need to make sure that when a resource is not in use, it goes back to the pool of available resources.

 

Stacking your services up

 

I like to think of cloud services as residing within a giant cube, where each service is a smaller cube made of its various resources (Figure 1). In the case of decommissioning, if one of the service cubes is not properly deleted, you face the risk that another service will fail the next time you add it to your cloud environment.

 

 HP - Cloud - Reister - decommissioning graphic3.png

Fig. 1: A simplified schema of cloud services

 

An unused resource that was not cleaned properly presents three potential problems:

  1. You will not be able to use or bill for this resource, so that’s a waste of money
  2. The next instance of your service may fail, because the cloud is not considered to be in a stable state
  3. The unused resource may block other resources, even if you think they are free

 

What to watch out for

 

There are typically two ways you can end up in this situation:

  • When setting up the service, you did not include specifications for the proper way to automatically decommission the resource
  • A service failed but you did not properly remediate a faulty automated process, resulting in one of the resources being overlooked and getting stuck in limbo

 

 

Two simple decommissioning best practices

You can avoid having to troubleshoot the issues that arise from improper decommissioning by always being mindful of the individual resource components that actually make the cloud service work. Here are two simple tips:

 

  1. When building a cloud service, always think about how to put the resources that you’re selecting back into the pool when the service is no longer operating.
  2. If a cloud service fails, make it a standard practice to release the resources back into the pool as quickly as possible.

 

Learn more

Discover how to simplify the management of enterprise-grade application and infrastructure cloud services with HP Cloud Service Automation, the industry’s most comprehensive, unified cloud management platform. Learn more at http://www.hp.com/go/csa.

 

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