What Is Cloud Automation and Where to Apply It?
With cloud automation, the cost of getting bigger gets smaller as enterprises can scale capacity when they need and how they need it without paying for more.
Combining cloud automation allows enterprises to fight complexity and scale up with simplicity. It also helps them adjust to the changing needs of a dynamic business landscape. When cloud platform are automated, it can help all aspects of your business run in concert. If you cannot achieve that, your enterprise is at a competitive disadvantage to those companies that can.
What is Cloud Automation?
Cloud automation is a methodology that uses specialized software tools and methodologies to automate some specific or all of the manual tasks associated with managing and operating cloud-based IT infrastructure. Cloud automation can be leveraged across the entire spectrum of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. It helps minimize administrative overhead and through continuous integration and continuous deployment, it also helps attain workflow targets.
Configuring cloud automation software tools can be used to automatically control the installation, configuration, and management of cloud computing systems. This in turn facilitates the business to make the best use of their cloud-based resources. As organizations wake up to the infinite possibilities of leveraging the cloud for hosting mission-critical, business-sensitive applications and services, cloud automation will gain steam as an approach that helps slash costs, boost revenues, and mitigate risk.
Common cloud automation tasks
Now let’s take a glimpse of some of the business processes where cloud automation can be applied. Organizations can automate a wide range of business tasks to lower their IT costs, reduce errors and increase their operational efficiency. Let’s take a look at some of the business processes that can be augmented through cloud automation.
The concept of Infrastructure-as-Code describes the process of managing and provisioning the technology stack using software and code, rather than by configuring individual hardware items.
Cloud platforms with virtualization capabilities can automate the discovery of computing resources on the network and organize them into pools, such that IT operators can flexibly deploy resources regardless of their physical configuration or location in the server room. Then, they can draw directly from that pool of computing resources, allocating them as a need to define virtual machines, containers, storage, VPNs, and other common configuration items.
This results in an Infrastructure-as-Code architecture where users can execute automated, codified processes to achieve the desired hardware configuration without manual set-up.
Performing data back-ups
Even data that is saved in the cloud should be backed up on a regular schedule to prevent data loss. However, when IT operators are in charge of performing manual back-ups on a fixed schedule, it can often take a backseat to daily operational tasks and putting out fires. Data back-ups don’t always seem like a priority until you critically need one. With cloud automation, IT operators can configure data back-ups to occur automatically during off-hours with no manual intervention.
Identifying and addressing underused cloud infrastructure
When an organization loses track of some of its cloud-deployed instances, the result is underutilized cloud infrastructure. This usually refers to underused cloud assets that have been forgotten after being purchased. These cloud instances are still activated, still generating a monthly bill, yet the organization is deriving essentially zero value from the asset.
Cloud automation can be used to codify workflows that streamline the detection of underutilized IT infrastructure and address it before it drains your IT budget.
Establishing Version Control for Workflows
Certain organizations operate in verticals requiring rigorous privacy and security regulations pertaining to customer data. For organizations that host business-sensitive data in the cloud, automation tools based on a cloud platform are substantially more effective when trying to set up version control for workflows where such cloud-hosted data is in use. This would allow your organization to demonstrate to a regulator that the same secure configuration was used each time the data was accessed or modified.
Cloud automation provides long-term benefits for the up-front cost of purchasing a cloud automation platform and configuring it as desired. Cloud-based Business Process Automation helps reduce IT costs, enables continuous deployment, and drives agile innovation through the organization.