The Role of Automation in System Administration
Automation is a need of our society, and people are dreaming of a day when computers do their tasks without any type of human intervention. Since the days of the first commercial systems, society's needs are pushing for automation. The fast changing IT world is a field where this topic is highly debated. Employees, partners, customers, and clients need to be connected to the Internet all time, as firms become interconnected and applications integrated. People have either little or no tolerance for delays.
We are well aware of the incredible power of the right checklist, and we do not talk about how to avoid using IT checklists. Automation is the key when we need the best procedures available all the time, ready for action and in place. This article has been written to discuss how to automate manual, hands-on management for the maintenance and operation of IT infrastructure, networks, systems, and platforms.
Operating systems tend to automate many tasks today. Contemporary organizations need more sophistication for their job scheduling, more intelligence in monitoring and alerting, and more abilities to handle cross-platforms. The best procedures are often developed once and then forgotten. Organizations have found out that it is hard to have the best procedures in place all the time. Procedures weaken and become prone to errors, IT changes just a little bit, and system administration offices just move on.
Modern applications are not alone, they are interconnected, and therefore we need automation. We are interconnected both externally (organizations dealing with other organizations and customers in different time zones and across the world) and internally (within the organization). A new type of Internet is emerging where devices will talk to other devices, which will be bigger than the normal Internet. Mobile apps will become commodities for the workforce. People will have immediate access to business applications through their mobile devices by taking advantage of available networks.
Cloud computing is taking the world by storm as more and more individuals and organizations realize the power of this technological solution. It is not only public clouds that are generating the buzz, but hybrid and public clouds are growing in terms of their popularity. Services are always available through the cloud, which is a big feature of the model either internal or external. Both performance and availability have to be high.
Companies need to assess new services, abilities, and technologies that they think will benefit them, and it has become a subtle driver of the automation trend. The IT staff is one the best departments to begin the automation process because of their high level of technical knowledge. As companies automate operating tasks, the IT staff will be able to work exclusively on getting the most out of existing and new technologies. Employees will need to develop a deep knowledge about application awareness and cross-platforms. Automation is the future, and many tools are available these days to deal with workload management, recovery and backup, scheduling, alerting, and watching (I will discuss each of these separately in the next couple of articles). Automation and hard work can take an organization to a whole new level, and the IT staff can play an important role.
Image credit: kewl (Pixabay)