Cloud-native automation and orchestration tools make IT administration easier — at least once you know what you’re doing. While there is also some concern among the ranks of cloud technicians that automation could lead to job losses, by mastering the tools available you make yourself more valuable, while also finding and executing on efficiencies. Cloud automation is a win-win.
But where should you begin when it comes to automating your cloud environment? There are many moving parts in an enterprise cloud deployment, even within specific application clusters.
These are the three easiest targets for automation and orchestration.
Bruce is a 45-year-old IT manager, with twenty years experience working for ACME Power. Bruce has three photos on his desk – one of his wife, Linda; one of his kids - Davy and Wendy; and one of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Apart from his laptop, Bruce’s desk is pristine. He walked into the office this morning with a big smile on his face and passed out donuts to his colleagues.
Today has been highlighted in Bruce’s Outlook calendar for weeks. It’s day one of a thorough compliance audit of ACME Power’s application and server infrastructure.
In a world where we have self-driving cars, cures for complex diseases, and where we’re building houses with 3D printers, some enterprise organizations still manually patch servers which run their mission-critical applications.
Enterprise data center management can fray the nerves of even the most experienced administrators. “To err is human”, as the saying goes, and errors can happen during patching, even with the powerful toolset in Microsoft System Center. A server admin could spend hours struggling with a single patch and cause productivity delays the next day for the systems which don’t get addressed.
There are effective ways of automating these tasks, which come with price tags both directly and indirectly related to patching itself.
Automated patching server application patching can alleviate a lot of work for IT management teams. It shifts the patching and updating process outside of business hours. In an ideal world, Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) would flawlessly execute server application patches.
However, there are some gaps in SCCM patching functionality, especially when it comes to orchestration, validation, and report logs. These can cause issues with QA and risk mitigation and can drive frustrations among your IT staff.
As part of any monitoring strategy, we might need to automate some tasks to provide key information to evaluate the state of our infrastructure or apply a repetitive action to resolve specific issues.
We have several ways to implement this. One option is to use Microsoft’s Azure Automation toolset. Let’s explore what you can control with Azure Automation and how to get started using it for cloud server update management, configuration, and more.
Why do companies do this with software?
The concept sounds crazy. Logic says that you lease a car, start to drive it immediately, and continue to drive it for the lease term. Yet with Microsoft software, even cloud-based software like Azure, O365, Dynamics CRM, and Windows 10, companies continue to buy SaaS offerings on their traditional Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and pay for them before they start to use them.