Automation trends and cloud infrastructure optimization
- Posted on November 8, 2023
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
The cloud has emerged as the lynchpin of innovation and efficiency across businesses. Cloud computing took off so well over the past decade that enterprises have migrated bulks of their computing tasks to the cloud. Today, it is managing an enterprise’s cloud infrastructure that has turned into a Herculean task.
Automation in the cloud
Automation is rapidly taking center stage as organizations seek to fully leverage the potential of cloud resources. To better understand the transformative role of automation in cloud infrastructure, let’s start with emerging trends we’re seeing today:
- Multi-cloud mastery: Enterprises usually stick to a single cloud provider – but with the focus turning to flexibility, multi-cloud strategies are gaining traction. Better redundancy and compliance are the chief drivers.
- Go serverless: Serverless computing is like renting a car with a chauffeur. You enjoy the ride while the chauffeur takes care of driving, maintaining, and refueling the car. Extend this to cloud administration. Developers can focus purely on coding and deploying code and not worry about server provisioning, scaling infrastructure, or downtime.
- Security re-invented with ISAC: Security best practices when made a part of infrastructure scripts ensure better resilience. Think of ISAC (Infrastructure Security as Code) as the fortress protecting your cloud infrastructure.
- GitOps versioning: Changes to cloud infrastructure are stored as versions that can be reinvoked when disaster strikes – enabling automation to take you back to the latest, most stable state effortlessly.
- Immutable infrastructure: Immutable cloud computing infrastructure allows enterprises to work with ‘new’ infrastructure all the time. Outdated infrastructure is simply replaced and not repaired. Immutable infrastructure makes sure that every change is a fresh start thus eliminating inconsistencies. It also enhances security with automation.
- AI-powered automation: Artificial intelligence (AI) will take automation several notches higher by taking a preventive rather than curative approach. AI will leverage its knowledge of historical incident data to continuously oversee every component of the cloud infrastructure.
The golden rules in cloud automation
Next, what are the best practices that can enable organizations to extract the most from their cloud investments?
- The black box approach: One of the key innovations in cloud automation is Infrastructure as Code (IAC). Cloud automation tools like Terraform, Azure Resource Manager (ARM), and Bicep allow for the provisioning of infrastructure through code, making deployments consistent and reproducible. They hide the complexities of cloud management behind a codable interface. Think of a TV remote control that provides you with the channel and volume buttons while hiding every other complexity from you.
- Modularity: Modularity allows automation in terms of blocks that plug and play - think of automation scripts as Lego blocks. These can be organized into reusable modules to ensure consistency while also being agile with deployments.
- Streamlining software development: Finally, embracing the dynamic duo of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) ensures that software delivery is like clockwork, punctual and precise.
Cloud automation's strategic edge
Automation plays a pivotal role in various aspects of IT. Tools like Jenkins, Nagios, Kubernetes, Veeam, and Cisco's DNA Center streamline deployment, monitoring, security, configuration, backup, and network administration. Additionally, it improves workflows with tools like Power Automate, supports incident response, and effectively integrates data. IT assistance is aided by chatbots driven by AI.
Automation is transforming operations in the world of managed services too. It supports predictive analytics, self-healing systems, proactive issue resolution, and standardization. Additionally, automation makes disaster recovery, backup, and patch management easier.
Cloud automation is just taking off. AI will accelerate the adoption of automation by enterprises and enable automation to take big strides into the future.