Automating repetitive tasks has been catalyzing human innovation since at least the 18th century and the industrial revolution. Automation brings benefits across quality and speed making scale possible. It also emancipates people from low-level routine tasks allowing them to focus on higher value-adding and more strategic activities.
But what should we automate? I recently came across the below table on twitter that I found very insightful. Even a task that is repeated daily and takes about 1 minute (e.g, a simple email approval) adds up to 24 hours over 5 years.
Source: XKCD; https://xkcd.com/1205/
Automation in the Cloud
In this digital era, datacenter and cloud operations offer the most opportunity for automation. In a traditional ticket-based system, the most common tasks, like provisioning a virtual machine can take weeks or months: Define the right size, assign an IP address, connect to the correct network, configure the OS, create backup, update the CMDB. These are only a few of the jobs screaming to get automated. Providing agility and confidence frees up time and resources for what really matters in the current competitive landscape. Thinking up and designing a cloud strategy that enables quality software development.
vRealize Automation Cloud provides a versatile solution that covers in depth and out-of-the-box the most commonly used endpoints, while providing extensible frameworks to automate any system through workflows and subscriptions. Being a fully hosted, SaaS solution, we can now offer a completely free 45-day trial to start evaluating your own use cases!
3 Areas of Opportunity
Because of the breadth of what automation entails, it can frequently be difficult to figure out where to start from. Let’s take a look at 3 prominent use cases that vRealize Automation Cloud can help with:
Infrastructure automation and infrastructure-as-code is one of the most widely adopted forms of cloud automation. Setting up and operating infrastructure resources (and beyond) as code can be extremely powerful to achieve repeatability, programmability, modularity, portability, and compatibility. vRealize Automation embraces a low-code approach with its VMware Cloud Templates infrastructure-as-code engine and embraces other common infrastructure-as-code tooling such as Terraform and AWS CloudFormation.
Self-Service with Guardrails
Curating and offering a governed self-service cloud consumption interface requires numerous and meticulous automations under the hood. vRealize Automation Cloud includes a sleek API-enabled, fully customizable catalog interface.
But more than a pretty interface cloud environments need to be adaptive: identify users and tailor accessibility and policies. Most organizations require some level of control rather than a free-for-all type of self-service. vRealize Automation Cloud provides all the levers and knots to adjust the type and level of governance your organization requires. Access policies, action policies, resource quotas, costing, leases, and approvals. These policies can be applied at different levels (e.g., user and project) and across supported clouds (AWS, Azure, GCP and VMware) to finetune your guardrails and establish a transparent governance model.
Pipeline automation has been traditionally used in software development and release cycle (aka CI/CD) but in fact it is a wonderful automation approach especially when it comes to coordinating tasks that involve heterogenous systems and require cross-team coordination. Particularly for teams trying to adopt DevSecOps processes vRealize Automation Cloud provides a pluggable, unobtrusive pipeline framework that plays well with other CI/CD tools and work wonders across teams. Moreover, our pipeline solution is designed from an infrastructure POV, with full GUI and as-code access and ready-to-use dashboard that will help monitor and improve common DevOps KPIs. In the screenshot below you can see an example of deploying a Carbon Black operator in a Kubernetes cluster to ensure compliance with security rules.
Ready, Set, Automate!
Get Ready: Request a 45-day, free trial for vRealize Automation Cloud. Everyone with a company email is eligible, you get access directly, to the full product, no limitations, and no commitments.
Get Set: Bookmark https://learnvrealizeautomation.github.io/ and use it to navigate vRealize Automation Cloud during your trial (and beyond). Also, join our brand new reddit community and engage with the vRealize product team and other fellow users.
Automate: Set your team free of toil with vRealize Automation Cloud. Start with exploring the 3 use cases we describe above or get a helping hand from a vRealize Automation Expert – someone will reach out.