Cloud Automation: Understanding the Benefits and Drawbacks of Automation in Cloud
The cloud has revolutionized business operations. Cloud platforms are becoming more affordable, which makes them attractive to enterprises of all sizes. Cloud automation can be integral to cloud migration, resulting in additional cost savings and reduced errors.
Cloud automation is a service that allows you to use cloud-based applications to automate many tasks. Businesses can become more efficient by automating in the cloud. Let’s find out what cloud automation is.
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What is Cloud Automation?
Cloud automation uses tools and services in the cloud that let you automate business tasks. As cloud computing environments continue to grow in popularity, so do the tasks and workloads that come with managing these environments.
By automating tasks you often do, you can do them quickly and without typing them in each time. This will give you more time to do other things, like marketing and sales or soliciting customer feedback regarding your products or services.
Manually deploying and running functions like scaling, provisioning, configuring resources, setting up virtual machines, and monitoring performance is repetitive, inefficient, and prone to mistakes that can affect availability.
Cloud automation can increase the efficiency of several workflows and tasks. Here are some use cases of what can be achieved using cloud automation.
- Application deployment and testing: Users can automate checking new code with cloud automation tools.
It is possible to automatically deploy the application to the production environment once the users have received the results and fixed any errors
- Database backups: These tasks often fall under the purview of an IT operator and are carried out by hand during business hours.
These tasks can be routinely executed in the cloud using an automation service
- Hybrid cloud management: Organizations that use both public and private clouds might benefit from automation systems that allow them to manage all of their cloud environments from a single control panel
- Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC): This refers to infrastructure provisioning, the process of setting up a cloud service’s underlying infrastructure, such as virtual servers, networks, and storage.
Processes can be automated after the infrastructure code is available, whereas hardware configuration requires manual setup
Cloud automation is crucial to a smooth transition to cloud infrastructure. It can include tasks like automated storage and backups and managing security and compliance.
Automated tools can help you ensure the best performance of your system and its resources. They streamline activities that are related to cloud computing.
This can further increase efficiency by reducing the number of IT staff required to manage repetitive tasks and make real-time decisions about performance and capacity.
Automation can be used to automate workloads on-premises or in the cloud. This will maximize your budget and resources.
Cloud Automation vs Orchestration
Automation and orchestration in the cloud are essential parts of a cloud strategy. To make a system that works better, you need to know how they are different and what their goals are.
Cloud automation can backup data, set up servers automatically, and find and eliminate inefficient processes. All of which can be done without the help of a person.
Cloud automation automates tasks and processes to make them more effective and reduce the amount of work that has to be done by individuals.
Cloud orchestration lets you set up an automation environment for the whole business that coordinates more teams, functions, cloud services, security, and compliance activities for repeatable end-to-end automated processes that skyrocket productivity and throughput and eliminate costly mistakes. It often shows specific workflows, such as the order of steps, deadlines, and, if needed, manual sign-offs.
Cloud automation could be thought of as a part of cloud orchestration or as one of its building blocks.
Automation in the cloud can be done without orchestration in the cloud. But you can’t do cloud orchestration without cloud automation.
Cloud Automation: Understanding the Benefits
Cloud automation solutions can reduce or eliminate the manual effort that your team puts into configuring virtual machines and clustering them, setting up virtual networks, and other tasks.
Imagine the time savings that automation can bring to companies.
1. Reducing Infrastructure Costs
As a result of automating cloud-based processes, operational costs can be reduced, time spent on routine maintenance can be eliminated, and users can devote more energy to tasks like research and development.
You may speed up your processes or even do away with them by reducing the manual labor needed to handle cloud-based activities.
Automation will lead to fewer errors and less time spent troubleshooting and debugging if fewer manual methods are used (and more time developing new things and innovating).
2. Better governance and control
Automation solutions for the cloud allow for centralized management of both deployment and operations.
When cloud services are managed manually, the currently active process is visible, but when they are automated, the entire process may be seen from a single location.
In addition, automation improves role-based access control, ensuring that only authorised users have access to sensitive data and processes.
3. More Efficient Workflows
Cloud automation increases the efficiency of workflows. It can assist your software engineering team in developing techniques for continuous deployment. You may find flaws and fix them as quickly as feasible using cloud automation.
Cloud automation tools make it easy for developers to collaborate across different platforms. Developers can use the same tools differently than multiple tools for every project. You can use an automated script to create an application in the cloud.
4. Enhanced Security Posture
Automation of critical duties is a wise decision. Thus, you will no longer require several individuals to log into mission-critical systems. Incorporating security best practices into automated workflows is a means of enforcing security standards across all deployments.
This significantly decreases the likelihood of human error and account breaches.
Automation can monitor everything, from resource usage to security concerns. Worrying about your cloud service’s performance is no longer necessary.
It is easier to handle problems when they arise if you can prevent them in advance. This helps to ensure data is safe from unauthorized access during an attack or ransomware.
5. Improved Resiliency
Cloud automation can improve system resilience by providing continuous monitoring and management, automatically detecting and correcting potential problems.
System backups are required if you wish to safeguard your systems against threats ranging from hardware failure to cyber attacks, such as server failure. Automation can transfer workloads to temporary standby server locations to keep things running smoothly.
Automating your backups in the cloud or backing up your on-premises systems to the cloud will improve your organization’s resiliency.
Cloud Automation: The Drawbacks
Businesses can use automation tools in the cloud to make significant changes that improve business processes. But there are some problems with automating tasks in the cloud.
The most challenging part is figuring out what problems the company wants to solve with cloud migration and cloud automation.
Lack of technical knowledge.
The cloud can be a significant investment. Businesses must reevaluate their current technical portfolio before choosing the right tools and platforms.
For this kind of insight, you need technical experts who are qualified. It takes time and money to do things thoroughly and follow through with migration and automation because, in the end, this affects the business.
Applying Governance Consistently
Even though many automation tools have control panels for multi-cloud environments, sometimes, a part of the infrastructure stays on-premises. This is called a hybrid model.
And since both cloud and on-site infrastructures are still essential parts of the whole, automation solutions should be able to keep communication running smoothly without stopping the business flow.
When you move a lot of data, there is a chance that some of it will get lost or leaked.
When migration begins, and after it’s done, it needs to be constantly and proactively monitored to make sure there are no loopholes or “back doors” into the data that could be opened by accident.
It can put system security at risk and make it harder for cloud automation tools to work together smoothly.
Next Steps: 5 Software & Tools for Automating in the Cloud
Cloud automation can help teams save time and effort. Cloud automation is more flexible, secure, and faster, which allows you to create predictable and reliable workflows.
Cloud-based systems could automate tasks that would be impossible for humans to perform manually.
Here’s a list of five tools to get you started with cloud automation:
1. AWS CloudFormation
One of the most well-known public cloud providers (IaaS), Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a leading cloud provider in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) industry.
With YAML or JSON configuration files, AWS CloudFormation can automate and orchestrate your software deployments’ procedures and resources.
2. Azure Automation
Azure Automation offers cloud automation for both Azure and non-Azure platforms. Also, you may use it to configure files, restart services, and scale indefinitely without manual intervention.
GitHub was launched in 2008. Since then, it has functioned as a central location for software and code. When using GitHub, businesses and individual programmers can use automatic source code version management.
It can help with software distribution and synchronization from the developer to the end user.
4. Google Cloud Deployment Manager
To automate tasks in the cloud, use Google’s tool, Google Cloud Deployment Manager. It paves the way for IaC to be implemented with minimal effort using pre-made templates.
Storage buckets, Cloud Functions, Pub/Sub, and Cloud SQL are only a few of the many resource types and services this tool supports on the Google Cloud Platform.
5. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
When it comes to deploying software, managing configuration files, and setting up continuous delivery, the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a lightweight cloud automation solution that can do it all.