Infrastructure automation is the process of reducing human interaction with IT systems by creating scripts or functions that are repeatable and can be used either by other software or on command.
IT infrastructure automation tools can control IT elements including servers, storage, network elements, and operating systems (OS), with the goal of improving efficiency of IT operations and staff, with the goal of hands-off operation in most environments including both cloud and on-premises elements of hybrid IT environments.
Cloud infrastructure automation tools greatly improve efficiency and speed of workload deployments and can help reduce costs by terminating unused virtual machines (VMs) and reclaim unneeded storage.
Automation is a key component of IT orchestration, of driving IT efficiency, and of enabling an organization’s digital transformation. As IT organizations grow in complexity and size there are a limited number of resources to focus on infrastructure administration. Updates, OS patches, and the ordering, provisioning, configurating, and deploying of systems can present an unmanageable burden for IT were it not for a solid infrastructure automation framework.
Every organization wants efficient, scalable, and reliable IT infrastructure. Automation tools increase agility, enhance employee productivity, and reduce security attack surfaces by eliminating manual errors though standardization of process and governance policies.
Infrastructure automation mostly benefits those tasks that are self-contained, well documented, and tedious to perform manually, for example:
An infrastructure automation framework delivers predictability and repeatability to those processes used for managing IT workload configuration across the organization. This in turn helps IT meet their service level agreements (SLAs) by reducing complexity and freeing up valuable IT resources to focus on business value rather than low level infrastructure management. These factors contribute to increased uptime and consistency while accelerating the deployment of new and changed workloads.
As organizations and infrastructure grow, automation helps teams that are struggling to manage often explosive growth to manage a complex environment with existing staff. Infrastructure automation streamlines ongoing operations such as network management, install/move/add/change (IMAC) of workloads, user access management, storage and data administration, deploying application workloads, troubleshooting, and debugging.
Infrastructure automation offers self-service, multi-cloud provisioning with consistency across clouds. By centralizing policies through templates, automation delivers infrastructure as code (IaC) enabling developers to create VMware templates using JSON/YAML and Git repositories.
Infrastructure automation offers many benefits including: