Cloud Manager - Automate environment life cycle activities and reduce cost through policies

March 2, 2022 | 4 minute read
Asif Ibrahimkutty
Senior Principal Software Engineer
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Policy governance greatly simplifies the management of environments by automating many environment lifecycle activities. With policies, customers can reduce the human cost of managing environments as well as reduce their running costs by automatically optimizing environment usage through policies.

Policy governance was added in Cloud Manager 12 release. With Cloud Manager 13 release, we have greatly simplified the user experience of defining and managing policies and also added new capabilities.

With Cloud Manager 13, it is now possible to add multiple actions to a policy. Let's walk through the following practical use case to explain the benefit of this feature. A university foresees increased usage of their PeopleSoft HRMS application on the first week of every month. We will walk through this use case to demonstrate how policies can help automate this requirement and also how it can reduce costs.

A PeopleSoft administrator can simply create a policy with the actions 'Start' followed by 'Scale Up' and associate the policy with a recurring schedule so that the policy is triggered for execution at the beginning of every month. The policy can be associated with one or more environments by explicitly specifying the environment names in the policy definition or by specifying an OCI tag available on the environments. Adding an OCI tag to a group of environments simplifies defining and managing policies on a group of environments since all that is required is to specify the OCI tag in the policy definition to represent the environment group.

That’s it. The policy will be automatically triggered at the beginning of each month and the environments will be reinforced with additional nodes to cater to the traffic. Administrators can also manage their policies by activating or deactivating them, changing the policy schedule, adding more environments, or removing environments.

The screenshot below shows the policy definition.

When multiple actions are added to a policy, the actions will be executed in sequential order. When the above policy is executed, environments will be started and then additional nodes are added to the environments. If a policy action fails, the next action in the sequence is not executed. This allows users to review and address the failure, thereby ensuring that the environments where the failure happens can be introspected and the failure addressed.

There are many other practical use cases where multiple policy actions will benefit. One such use case is scheduling a refresh of an environment after doing a backup.

The execution status of a policy can be seen from the Policy Monitor page, as shown in the below screenshot.

The PeopleSoft administrator can also add another policy to remove the additional nodes and move the environments back to their base state at the end of the first week of the month. This policy directly translates to cost reduction as the extra resources added earlier are now automatically removed. Also, the environments can be automatically stopped through policies during weekends and holidays, which can further reduce costs.

Another functionality added in Cloud Manager 13 is to automatically apply CPU patches on environments whenever Cloud Manager downloads these patches from MOS. CPU patches for third-party products like tuxedo, weblogic are released periodically and it’s important to apply these CPU patches on all the environments to keep them secure and current. Manually applying the CPU patches on all the environments takes a significant amount of time and effort. Policy governance can automate all of this. All that is required is to define a policy to apply CPU patches to the environments. The policy will be executed automatically as and when Cloud Manager downloads a new PeopleTools Infrastructure DPK containing the CPU patches.

The screenshot below shows the policy definition. The environments on which the CPU patches are to be applied can be configured through the policy action parameters button.

Since applying CPU patches on environments is an event-driven policy, the default behavior is to execute the policy as and when the event occurs, i.e., when Cloud Manager downloads a new PeopleTools Infrastructure DPK. It is also possible to override this behavior by scheduling the event-driven policy. This can be done by setting up a schedule against the policy action (See the Schedule button on the preceding screenshot against the Apply CPU Patch policy action). This flexibility allows customers to execute the policy during off-hours or weekends, when the environments are no longer in use, thereby minimizing the impact to end-users.

Asif Ibrahimkutty

Senior Principal Software Engineer

Asif Ibrahimkutty is a Senior Principal Software Engineer with PeopleSoft development organization focusing on PeopleTools and Cloud Manager. He has more than 10 years of experience with  PeopleSoft product development.

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