Provisioning

In voice telecommunication, provisioning means to provide telecommunications services to a user or customer, including transmission, wiring, and equipment. In NS/EP telecommunications services, "provisioning" equates to "initiation" and includes altering the state of an existing priority service or capability. "Source: US Federal Standard 1037C"

In a modern signal infrastructure employing information technology at all levels, there is no distinction possible between telecommunications services and "higher level" infrastructure. Accordingly provisioning configures any required systems, provides users with access to data and technology resources, and refers to all enterprise-level information resource management involved.

From a management perspective, it is typically managed by a CIO, and necessarily involves human resources and IT departments cooperating to:
*give users access to data repositories or grant authorization to systems, networks applications and databases based on a unique user identity, and
*appropriate for their use hardware resources, such as computers, mobile phones and pagers. As its most central responsibility, the provisioning process monitors access rights and privileges to ensure the security of an enterprise's resources and user privacy. As a secondary responsibility, it ensures compliance and minimizes the vulnerability of systems to penetration and abuse. As a tertiary responsibility, it tries to reduce the amount of custom configuration using boot image control and other methods that radically reduce the number of different configurations involved.

"Provisioning" often appears in the context of virtualization, orchestration, utility computing and open configuration concepts and projects. For instance, the OASIS Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC) defines an XML-based framework for exchanging user, resource, and service provisioning information, e.g. SPML (Service Provisioning Markup Language) for "managing the provisioning and allocation of identity information and system resources within and between organizations".

Once provisioned, the process of SysOpping ensures that services are maintained to the expected standards. Provisioning thus refers only to the setup or startup part of the service operation, and SysOpping to the ongoing responsibility.

erver provisioning

Selecting a server from a pool of available servers; loading the appropriate software (operating system, device drivers, middleware, and applications); appropriately customizing and configuring the system, software to create or change a boot image for this server, and change its parameters, e.g. IP address, IP gateway, to find associated network and storage resources - sometimes separated as resource provisioning - audit the system, i.e. ensuring OVAL compliance to limit vulnerability or ensure compliance or install patches, then finally starting the server and its newly-loaded software. This makes the system ready for operation. Typically an internet service provider (ISP) or Network Operations Center will perform these tasks to a well-defined set of parameters, e.g. a boot image that the organization has approved and which uses software it has license to. Many instances of such a boot image create a virtual dedicated host.

There are many software products available to automate the provisioning of servers, from vendors such as BladeLogic, [http://www.cassatt.com/ Cassatt] , IBM Tivoli [http://www-306.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/prov-mgrproductline/ IBM Tivoli] , HP and [http://www.openqrm.org/ OpenQRM] .

In short, server provisioning is defining server configuration based on organizational requirements. A hardware/software component (e.g. single/dual processor, RAM, HDD, RAID controller, a number of LAN cards, applications, OS, etc.) will depend purely on utilizations like ISP, virtualization, NOS, or voice processing. Server redundancy depends on the availability of servers in the organization. Critical applications have less downtime when using cluster servers, RAID, or a mirroring system.

Service used by most larger scale centers in part to avoid this. Additional resource provisioning may be done per service.

User provisioning

User provisioning refers to the creation, maintenance and deactivation of user objects and user attributes, as they exist in one or more systems, directories or applications, in response to automated or interactive business processes. User provisioning software may include one or more of the following processes: change propagation, self service workflow, consolidated user administration, delegated user administration, and federated change control. User objects may represent employees, contractors, vendors, partners, customers or other recipients of a service. Services may include electronic mail, inclusion in a published user directory, access to a database, access to a network or mainframe, etc. User provisioning is a type of identity management software, particularly useful within organizations, where users may be represented by multiple objects on multiple systems.

Mobile subscriber provisioning

This refers to the setting up of new services, such as GPRS, MMS and Instant Messaging for an existing subscriber of a mobile phone network, and any gateways to standard Internet chat or mail services. The network operator typically sends these settings to the subscriber's handset using SMS or WAP as mobile operating systems accept.

Mobile content provisioning

This refers to delivering mobile content, such as mobile internet to a mobile phone, agnostic of the features of said device. These may include operating system type and versions, Java version, browser version, screen form factors, audio capabilities, language settings and a plethora of other characteristics. As of April 2006, an estimated 5000 permutations are relevant. Mobile content provisioning facilitates a common user experience, though delivered on wildly different handsets.

External links

* [http://identitymngr.sourceforge.net/ Identity and Service Provisioning Open Source Software Project]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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