Cloud Automation Solutions
Ever-growing consumer demands and changing IT scenario are making ‘automation’ imperative across many organizations of all sizes.
Automation is playing a very key role by automating many manual tasks, easing operational and maintenance burden.
Because of this reason, automation is enjoying a wider presence and relevance almost on all technology platforms. And, Cloud needs no exception!
Though cloud computing services have done their best in easing organizational burden, automation became the need of the hour for many critical cloud operations as enterprises started taking a different approach to cloud computing.
Moreover, to meet the changing IT infrastructure landscape, emerging new services and scaling cloud operations, the automated management of cloud resources holds high significance among IT teams.
Defining Cloud Automation
In a broader perspective, Cloud Automation refers to the process of leveraging technology tools and resources to reduce manual burden in provisioning and managing cloud computing workloads.
Cloud Automation is also defined as a software-based solution required to automate installation, configuration, management and other cloud-related tasks and operations.
Cloud Automation Use Cases
In general, cloud automation use-cases refer to using dynamic abilities of cloud management tools or of a cloud solution to perform functions with less manual intervention.
- Adding new instances part of an auto-scaling scenario with auto scaling groups
- Auto provisioning servers to meet scaling requirements
- Identifying and stopping unused instances
- Taking data backups on pre-set intervals
There are also other specific use cases for cloud automation, which include:
Considered as a crucial part of the workload lifecycle management, cloud automation helps admins remove unused and unwanted long-term entities and their configuration items. It helps a lot in workload management by facilitating ways for automatic scaling tasks such as addition of more resources or removal of excess or unwanted instances.
Cloud automation services offer version control through consistent setups that work in line with organizational regulatory and policies. These setups help businesses track the resource usage, users, predict resource usage and achieve improved service quality.
Continuous delivery and continuous integration are key to the success of agile development driven by DevOps culture. The success here relies on the speed of resource deployment and scalability in testing software releases. While public clouds are already capable of doing so, private cloud are not that succesful. Cloud automation tools can be the savior in adding such capabilities to any of the cloud variants.
Cloud Automation Tools
There are a wide variety of tools for different use-cases of cloud automation. Considering the significance of automation in infrastructure, we are listing some of the popular cloud infrastructure automation tools.
|AWS CloudFormation||Suitable for AWS cloud platform, this tool helps automate and deploy resources into your AWS cloud infrastructure. Handles automated management of accounts, supporting business scaling.|
|Puppet||Leader in configuration automation market. Helps model, configure and enforce required infrastructure configurations. Works for all cloud variants, from computing to storage and further to networking resources at a high scale.|
|Ansible||Easy to use and task-based infrastructure automation tool known for its ease in automating configurations. Uses simple language called ‘playbooks’ to compose automation, configuration, and orchestration tasks.|
|Chef||Another popular infrastructure configuration tool that helps in effective compliance management, from enforcing configuration policies to continuous delivery of production code. Besides compliance, it also ensures high availability and GUI-based workflow pipeline creation.|
|Kubernetes||A container orchestration tool known for automating deployment, scaling and management of container apps. Cloud Native Foundation’s flagship project supported by leading tech giants such as Google, AWS, IBM, Microsoft, etc. Allows to deploy and run apps on microservice architecture for all cloud variants.|
|Terraform||An open-source tool that helps you automatically configure high-level resources through extensive graphing. Requires a configuration management tool like Puppet or Chef to automate software on those resources.|
|Google Cloud Deployment Manager||Suitable to build cloud infrastructure through Google Cloud Computing. Automate configuration and deployment of Google cloud with repeatable deployments and template-driven configurations. Use CLIs, APIS and other tools for all phases of manage infrastructure configuration and management.|
|Microsoft Azure Automation||Automation and configuration service for consistent management across Azure and non-Azure environments. Also provides automated control over maintenance and compliance tasks. Process automation and update management are among other features that help reduce errors and time on infrastructure deployments.|
|Cisco Intelligent Automation||Supports Cisco and other cloud environments, from Infrastructure as a Code (IaaS) to hands-on management and provisioning of instances. Self-serving portal for users, multi-tenancy and network service automation are some salient features.|
|SaltStack||Focused on automating security compliance, this tool helps configure and manage all aspects of cloud-based infrastructure. Agentless node management and exceptional security tooling are the salient features of this tool.|
|VMware vCenter Configuration Manager (VCM)||Configure and maintain VM cloud environments in line with security and compliance requirements. Control configuration of your VMware-based infrastructure from a centralised location.|
|CFEngine||Configuration management tool used to automate IT infrastructure for enterprises of all sizes. With requiring a central management, CFEngine runs on autonomous agents that run in regular intervals to enforce configurations.|
|Foreman||Best for teams building opensource lightweight tool that manages complete server lifecycle. Supports provisioning of cloud instances on all major cloud solution providers.|
Benefits of Cloud Automation
With these wide range of use-cases and tools and resources, Cloud Automation provides a range of business benefits including:
- Cost Savings – Automating tasks that demand manual intervention naturally eases operational costs and maintenance burden and allows teams to focus on planning further strategies. This could be one of the important ways to achieve cloud cost management and optimization.
- Faster Innovation – As the responsibility of data center and resource management lies with cloud service providers, implementing automation makes it easier for organizations to innovate faster and speed up developmental process.
- Increased Control – Automation within an organization is built on internal processes and policies in the organization’s cloud environment. This naturally gives the organization better control to make any changes whenever required.
Our Portfolio of Cloud Services
In public cloud, the computing infrastructure is hosted by the cloud vendor at the vendor’s premises.
The computing infrastructure in private cloud is dedicated to one organization and not shared with other organizations.
Hybrid cloud refers to a combination of private cloud and public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms.
Cloud DR enables businesses to recover data and implement backup plans by maintaining electronic records in a cloud environment.