Infrastructure and the way we perceive it has changed dynamically over the years with a lot of the demands becoming harder to deal with and a lot more competition. Any infrastructure builder’s hardest battle is the fight against time which is where automation comes in.
If you want to move through the many time-consuming processes that infrastructure has to deal with then you simply cannot rely on solely manual work. A few years ago, developers had weeks till they had to deliver an update and now it is more of a daily occurrence.
Why Automation is a Game changer.
Treating infrastructure as code is essentially what automation helps you do. So, because of this, you are able to view the process as an entirety and make changes across the board rather than piece by piece.
Finding ways to solve bottleneck situations and allocating just enough resources to get projects completed in with best cost-efficiency is key to change the profitablitiy.
Scripting environments for a lot of infrastructure companies has stopped being the option and more of a norm. Think of it this way- while you are dealing with one decisionat a time, mulling over the changes you want to make, someone using automation is changing thousands of decisions at once.
Hey Jero! Machines make mistakes too!
Well human beings make mistakes too and the mistakes made by a machine are constant and can be fixed at a click of a button.
If a human being makes a couple of mistakes you have to individually fix each one. When beginning with automation, dealing with a million different synonyms can leave you a little confused. It is quite a straight forward process over all.
Why should I automate?
Automation has a couple of key advantages that are evident for anyone to see. They make the entire process smoother and faster. As procedures become more complex, automation could be exactly what we need to deal with the growing demands.
- You are also reducing the problems your business will face because of device failures. The beauty of automation is that it gives you an automatic backup system when it comes to your devices since it stores device configurations that can be used if and when your device fails
- A great benefit for companies that automate is they now have a more secure business which often also means that they are following the rules better. You can run a system analysis with much more ease and not miss that missing patch that a manual analysis may not catch in time. If you let a problem slip under the radar for too long it could also lead to a data breach which we all know is a cumbersome task for any company.
How do I get started?
A lot of organizations hear about automation, research the benefits and sign themselves up for the best tools they think are going to make all the difference. This unfortunately normally leads to chaos. A large network of parts of a major system getting automated at the same time after years of manually doing things is like asking a blind man to see. Starting small can be frustrating but rewarding at the end.
Knowing where to start automation is another important step. A component of the system that you may categorize as small and unimportant may adversely affect the rest of your infrastructure making things more complicated instead of simplifying your job. What I mean by this is try to find something that is small and that can be changed across the system so that the pattern remains the same all over. Essentially you are automating the easy, simple parts of your system first that make up your base and then moving forward after that.
Consider hiring a professional since every organization has different needs and systems. A system programmer could be the new job vacancy you need to fill if you decide to automate
Certain tools could be a great addition that can really help make automation easier. Puppet, Chef and other software has helped companies as big as Facebook become better. Face book’s systems engineer Phil Dibowitz took 3 year to get their automation running to full capacity so another quick tip is – be patient. But do remember that Facebook is a gigantic company so you do not have to expect to take that long. On the other hand, Google and Twitter have used Puppet as their go to tool for automation so it really does depend on what your business needs. When it comes down to it, Chef is probably an easier tool to handle and get of the ground.
Even though IT automation tools can be great, do not overdo it because that will just confuse the process further. Narrow down on a few good ones and go from there. Sometimes, less is more.
After automation has helped you plan and develop the environments you need, you can continue using various tools to keep things moving smoothly. Automation in the area of monitoring your infrastructure can also be useful.
Even though automation makes no mistakes, keeping a record of the changes you are making to environments can be exactly what you need if you suffer a system-wide failure. You should have enough recorded to be able to reconstruct everything with only the basics at hand.
In conclusion, complex procedures like creating new environments or updating old ones to make new versions become far simpler than ever before. This basically means managing environment controls efficiently and saving time. The logic behind automation is to keep every component of the system running at the same speed with the same standard. Most organizations suffer from the problem of having great methods that are not spread across the system enough. Automation is a way to have a good method that is followed across the system.