IT Automation – Scripts are a thing of the past!


A Wikipedia search for Automation returns

automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching in telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships or aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.

Automation’s biggest benefit is it saves labor, however, it is also used to save energy and to improve quality, accuracy and precision. From an It perspective, is another method to allow your operational staff to move from a reactive state to pro active state. Although the benefits are in your face, the adoption is low. Why?

My thoughts. A typical IT solution life cycle is sponsored by management and championed by a technical representative within an organization. The champion evaluates the product or products, builds the business case and begins the sale cycle. In the case of Automation, it is seen as a job killer as labour savings is typically the driver.No IT champion will support this initiative internally or will he be able to show the benefits to other departments as they are thinking the same way..If they automate and move away from the “SCRIPT” approach and the job cutting will occur Brings me to the ever so famous ‘SCRIPT”. I don’t know why but working in IT now for over 10 years the word SCRIPT seems to impress people. I have worked at several customers where management and peers were impressed that an ADMIN was able to SCRIPT something in order to automate a process. A SCRIPT that is not supported, typically held hostage by one individual and siloed from all other departments..Impressive!

Back to automation and why companies need to seriously start evaluating it in order to do more with less. With the introduction of the Cloud Services, Internal IT needs to be more competitive and shift away from fighting fires. Companies are provisioning systems at rapid pace especially over the last couple of years with the major adoption of virtualization.  Number of servers being managed is increasing exponentially to thousands of vm’s, not just in house, across multiple hybrid clouds. As data centers grow more complex, server management becomes all the more challenging. In many cases, everyday tasks like provisioning, patching, and configuration management are not just time consuming, they are unreliable and unsustainable. Things get even harder if you’re supporting multiple data centers and maintaining internal and external compliance policies. Internal IT is dragging along responsibility for stacks of legacy applications and legacy infrastructure and then being compared to external services (cloud) on agility and price?
As mentioned earlier, I had a chance to attend the HP Automation – Do More with Less Conference this week in Montreal where HP introduced their new flavor of HP Server Automation AKA SAVA built for SMB. Yes you heard it HP software that is targeting SMB. As discussed with Luigi Tiano, the feedback from customers when trying to position HP software in Quebec are the following;

  • HP Software is to complex
  • HP Software is to expensive
  • HP Software is built for Enterprise customers

As CTC has accomplished with the HP Operation Appliance, HP has now introduced an appliance based solution for HP Server Automation (SAVA). Industry-leading server life cycle management for small to medium deployments with includes the following benefits;

  • Self contained virtual appliance for VMware
  • Ideal for line of business and small to midsize deployments
  • Up to 3000 Windows or Linux managed servers
  • Upgrade-able to HP Server Automation Enterprise for unlimited scale and enterprise capabilities

As discussed with Sebastien Parayre from HP, it should take your internal staff 25 mins to deploy and begin seeing the benefits of Automation. Below is a video of the Install in action. Hope you enjoyed my rant on Automation. Be social and Share!

 

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