With more organizations across the globe embracing cloud-based services, end-users can now access their files, data and applications via a multitude of channels and devices. This increased adoption has resulted in a rise in the demands and expectations of users to enjoy constant up-time. Even just a few moments of limited or no response could result in the loss of customers and, subsequently, revenue. IT automation can help meet these challenges and facilitate the continuous operation and availability of applications and services.
The reality is that running a successful organization requires tremendous effort behind the scenes. Ongoing releases, updates and patches may be a necessary evil, but they must be handled in a way that doesn’t impact reliability, performance and availability on the front end. Downtime simply isn’t acceptable in today’s IT environment. As such, continuous infrastructure monitoring is essential to ensure that any incidents that occur are identified, addressed and remediated as quickly as possible – preferably before any damage can be done and ideally without any service interruption.
Simply put, none of this is possible without a solid IT automation strategy in place. Furthermore, the orchestration of that automation is key. This ensures that various tools, applications and systems within the operations management chain remain properly connected and that all hand-off points are automated. This eliminates silos by enabling optimized, end-to-end automation.
The operations management chain includes tools for monitoring a variety of layers as well as server virtualization, network and storage management, database management, IT service management and application server management, just to name a few. With a quality IT automation platform in place, all of these tools can be seamlessly integrated to create a fully automated environment. It also ensures that all of these tasks, processes and workflows can be closely monitored and carefully controlled.
One area where IT automation can really make a significant impact is in the realm of release and deployment. As the demand for faster releases, new features, improved usability, resolution of defects and constant monitoring for security loopholes continues to increase, IT teams are under mounting pressure to meet those demands without any interruption of service. This can only be accomplished with the appropriate deployment tools and architecture in place. Continuous operations mean the end-user remains blissfully unaware that upgrades are even occurring until they are able to enjoy the benefit of additional functionality and improved user experience that come as a result.
Perhaps the greatest challenge the IT professional of today faces, however, is establishing and maintaining a truly end-to-end environment. According to the research director of Gartner, Robert Naegle, “It is still more common to see automation technologies popping up in functional islands, with I&O management later attempting to aggregate and orchestrate disparate technologies, scripts and workflows.” IT automation can facilitate this seamless integration with ease and with purpose.