As the industry grows to understand and embrace cloud computing, we begin to see a clearer picture of the expectations of cloud. Along with the typical expectations of scaling, provisioning and recovery, we are also discovering the importance of cloud automation. There are several components of a cloud automation platform and the practice is rapidly evolving to meet changing consumer demands.
Cloud automation was previously known as virtual lab automation and serves to scale and provision virtual machines while allowing control over security from a central location. It is this automation component that simplifies the cloud, allowing any user the freedom to utilize its resources.
Automation combines auto-provisioning, auto-scaling and automated recovery. Together, these allocate IP addresses, storage and computing power to your virtual machines. Automation is also practical for applications, and is used to allocate storage and provision compute resources. Cloud automation reallocates the task of manually creating storage and compute power, and ensures that you always have enough of these resources without the need for advanced technological knowledge.
Utilizing a cloud automation platform keeps your cloud environment running at an optimum level. It ensures that you have enough space to run your VMs and applications so you get the maximum performance from them, but that you dont have too much space wasted expensive resources.
Aside from IT benefits, cloud automation also comes with built-in business benefits. Since automation allows users without technical IT knowledge to launch applications and VMs, valuable IT resources are freed to work on mission-critical business tasks. Automation also takes care of the mundane static tasks, further freeing IT members to work on business processes.
Most providers offer only portions of the automation process, but the development of a fully automated process is on the horizon.
THE FUTURE OF AUTOMATION
As we see automation develop over time, the industry as a whole is working toward a software agnostic platform. This lets end users utilize applications and VMs regardless of the platform they are using. What does this mean? The end user can use applications developed by Company A even though their platform is through Company B. Creating a software agnostic platform will further the utilization capability for end users.
The second trend that we foresee as the future of automation is a cloud computing platform that wraps all components of cloud automation into one system. As it currently stands, most providers offer components of automation, but not the whole package. In the coming years, we will see a transition to full-service cloud automation platforms in response to consumer demand.
Finally, enhanced automation practices will speed time to market. This means that applications will take minutes instead of hours or days to initial launch, allowing the end user to immediately being utilizing their new resources. As it stands, most providers have comprehensive appstores that users can select from, but they take time to launch, wasting valuable time and slowing time to delivery for your business.
Cloud is rapidly gaining a foothold in business around the world. Cloud automation is the next step to simplifying the cloud and making it accessible at a lower cost without the need to sacrifice valuable resources. As the demand for cloud computing resources increases, we will also see the demand for invaluable cloud automation increase as businesses realize what an asset it is to their cloud environment.
Although cloud automation platforms are in their infancy, providers of cloud are striving to make this available for their customers to simplify their transition to cloud and obtain better performance. As the year goes on, we look forward to seeing new developments in the field of automation.