Self-service cloud computing is a form of private cloud service where the customer provisions storage and launches applications without going through an external cloud service provider. With a self-service cloud, users access a web-based portal, where they can request or configure servers and launch applications.
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Benefits include the user being able to access storage, applications and other services without relying on their internal provider doing it for them. Everything is automated to lift burden off of the IT department, which would otherwise perform these operations manually. Since the data is stored on a virtualized network, hardware is pooled and used by different customers, making self-service a cost-effective solution. There is also transparency, giving consumers direct access to their cloud at their convenience.
However, self-service cloud computing requires extensive planning to run smoothly. To work, a self-service cloud provider must process consumer requests without involvement. With service essentially being on-demand, well-planned automation is necessary on the provider's end. The interface also needs to be simple, to accommodate users of varying familiarity with cloud computing.