How do you get more flexibility, resilience, security, and reliability? Infrastructure automation is becoming the number one issue for organizations operating today's sprawling systems. Rigor and a lot of team support are required to succeed in what is likely to be a strategic project.

Infrastructure? One more important place.

IT services have come a long way. Gigantic at times, it is from it that we expect the business models of tomorrow, in line with an economy that is more digital than ever. Its management sits on the COMEX, its decisions and the directions it takes set the company on tormented and visionary roads, increasingly upsetting our technological conceptions.

In a few years, the static data for which infrastructures were designed became insufficient in the face of the flood of unstructured data and its commercial potential. As a result, infrastructures have profoundly evolved to absorb, process and manage the new information flows. They can also and above all provide the resources needed to think, develop and operate all the tools, applications, technical and business solutions dedicated to human activity. Then, the environments grew in turn when virtualization and containers appeared.

Today, infrastructure is the intangible foundation on which we jealously watch over and spearhead the most ambitious projects. The infrastructure brings with it processes that are now so complex that they can no longer be controlled by human hands alone.

The automation of infrastructures becomes essential.

Too many errors, too many security holes, and too many expenses are on the menu of a still traditional administration. Perhaps with their backs against the wall, IT departments are seriously considering letting robots take care of reproducible processes. To the employee, the creativity, the unexpected, the dialogue and the expression of a vision for the company. To the machine, the task of managing recurring tasks in real time.

Let's face it, fully automating one's infrastructure is not something every company can do yet, even the largest ones. Servers, storage arrays, network and security solutions can benefit to varying degrees from available automation strategies. Much depends on the commitment of the teams to go for it, their willingness to learn new reflexes, to accept that their businesses are changing and the explicit reasons that drive the desire for automation.

The search for greater competitiveness underlies the approach in fine. It is not enough to build the project. Automation requires the maturity of a company with regard to the technologies it uses and the practices and methods it implements. This is really a founding element of an automation plan and of the definition of its scope.

Successful automation is more about education and the search for meaning than it is about technology.

The market is full of automation solutions and the complexity of the project is largely due to that as well. Making the right technology choices becomes a challenge. But that's not the most important thing.

The first step is to have a clear vision of your expectations and to identify your objectives. There are many objectives in the environment of a large account. You need to simplify system maintenance and reduce operating costs. You also need to remove the burden of repetitive tasks, improve reliability and ensure server and application availability.
The return on investment will not be calculated in the same way, that's obvious, and neither will the management of the change be done in the same way.  

Four factors will influence how quickly the infrastructure can be automated:

  1. The company is used to manually executed processes.
  2. It may or may not pool resources.
  3. It may or may not employ a set of normative frameworks.
  4. It may or may not have security policies

Standardization at the heart of complexity

Automation is all about customization. However, there are a certain number of points to be clarified and decided upon before taking the plunge. In addition to defining use cases, it is in your interest to clean up your components. All this for obvious reasons of compatibility and not to be misled by the offer. You also need to be able to anticipate increased workloads, by rethinking the urbanization of your data centers. In addition, the standardization of engineering rules and standards will ensure the stability of future developments.

Because it is a cross-functional project by nature, automation, and through it the services Cloud, will provide the company with the required homogeneity in the face of data dispersion and system hybridity. This is all the more essential given that IT needs will continue to grow.

In addition to this article, you can also download our white paper on the subject: Successfully automating your infrastructure

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