Automation in Datacenters: Weighing the Positives vs. the Negatives
Let’s face it, as an administrator, if there is a part of your job that you can put on autopilot, you’ll most likely implement that tool in order to make it happen. When you have a process that is repetitive, the best method of solving that problem is to write a script that solves the problem being posed to the organization and run the script whenever the problem arises. This can be a good band aid fix but what happens when properties of your environment change when you were banking on these properties always being constants? Automating tasks can seem like a good idea but many cloud systems administrators prefer doing some tasks manually in order to ensure consistency in system uptime should a critical variable change.
Many administrators get in a hurry to deploy code and they do implement any type of real time error checking within their scripting. Not planning for the unexpected can always result in unexpected consequences. What happens when your app continues to crash and you look at your systems engineers and say, “I’m not sure why this is happening because we haven’t changed anything?” The truth is, systems change all the time without administrators direct knowledge and while this is an inconvenient truth for some system administrators, it is something that needs to be accepted in order to find the root cause of some systems problems.
Automation in datacenters is crucial for success when operating a cloud. Just be cautious of the tasks that you decide to automate and their potential impact on your environment. Automating disk clean up tasks could put your organization in a compromising position should you delete data unintentionally due to a policy on stale data.
Many cloud services such as software defined networking simplify tasks that should have been automated to begin with. Automation is critical within your datacenter but it recommended that all automation tasks be looked at from all angles and the departments that they potentially impact within your business. Automation will help your organization save money in both public and private cloud setups. Automation should go through a standardization process that conforms to your industries regulations. Large corporations are often slow on granting approvals for automation requests for this very fact. It is crucial to take automation tasks under review before implementation due to legal and logistical issues that could arise from unintended consequences, as Joynet learnt the hard way.
Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Google Plus, Twitter @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.