An End-User aims to acquire storage resources via a cloud provider. EMC’s ViPR application enables users to create virtual storage resources built on top of physical resources (e.g. VMAX) via a web interface or using the REST API. Through ViPR, an organizations administrator can create a virtual array on which virtual pools of block or file storage can be built. These virtual pools can be configured with a number of options including RAID level, storage quotas, High Availability, Multi-Path options, disk drive type, etc. In this way, organisations can request the storage resources that meet their requirement without needing to manage the underlying physical resources.

Before SPECS After SPECS
  • In a typical scenario using ViPR, customers (e.g. department/team managers within an organisation) would submit requests to the ViPR admin staff.
  • A member of the admin team then manually (via the web interface) configures the storage as per the requirements outlined in the request and makes it available to the customer (department/team members).
  • Limitations in non-SPECS solutions:
    • The limitation of this scenario is the lack of a clearly defined set of security requirements which creates a disparity between what the customer requests and how the administrator interprets that request into provisioned storage.
    • The customer has no visibility into how the requirements are being enforced.
    • The customer has not visibility on its resources status after the storage allocation.
  • The SPECS solution:
    • SPECS adds a layer of control and intelligence on top of the ViPR interface while providing a user friendly interface to the customer that further abstracts away the complex inner workings of ViPR.
    • Using the SPECS web interface, the customer itself can specify their storage requirements and sign an SLA with SPECS confirming the enforcement of those requirements.
    • SPECS automatically configures the storage and makes it available to the customer without the need for intervention from the admin staff. Both the administrator and customer maintain complete visibility of the process throughout the lifetime of the storage & SLA.
    • External security features could be offered by the framework to the Storage Provider extending its native features.

Leveraged SPECS components:
  • SLA Manager, Service Manager
  • Brokering
  • Monitoring

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