What is Cloud Automation? Why is it Important? and More about Devops and Orchestration

What is Cloud Automation?

Cloud automation is the use of technology that performs tasks with reduced human assistance in order to unite cloud management processes. The software fulfills the function of implementing policies to allocate and balance workloads, sustain activities, and determine which compute nodes to use based on which hardware is available.

Cloud Automation refers to the processes and tools that reduce/eliminate the manual efforts used to manage cloud computing workloads and services. At its highest level, cloud automation allows users to access and deploy cloud resources on demand, with just a few pushes of the button. Automations can be applied to private, public, and hybrid cloud environments.

Why is Cloud Automation Important?

Apart from the indisputable advantage that Cloud Automation reduces manual work, Cloud Automation streamlines tasks to improve company efficiency. 

With the likes of Cloud Automation, companies are able to eliminate the endless task of extracting data and in turn reduce human error and miscommunication within the workforce. Moreover, Cloud Automation platforms allow for companies to manage their environment and to distribute and manage workload in no time.

Why Cloud Automation?

In an average work flow model, there are many stages which must be completed which takes weeks or even months, and is subject to human error during every stage of the process. Cloud Automation is less dependent on manual work/process and more dependent on frameworks which automate the provisioning of resources. The time frame changes from weeks/months to minutes. Cloud Automation is essential for increasing agility and reducing operational expenditures.

What is Cloud Automation DevOps?

DevOps was originally created to provide a culture between two teams (software development and IT operations) in the aim to reduce the overall lifecycle of software development. Automation is a fundamental element within the DevOps world. Automation and DevOps reduces labor and provides consistency across typical tedious tasks. This includes automating operations such as provisioning, continuous integration, CI/CD and also scaling environments. 

Automation within DevOps is becoming cloud-centric. Most public and private cloud computing providers support DevOps on their platform, including continuous integration and continuous development tools.

What is the Difference Between Automation and Orchestration?

Orchestration is an approach to arranging tasks and optimizing a workflow. Automation, on the other hand, addresses a single task. As an example: where you may automate the deployment of an application, orchestrating an app would also connect it to the network so that it could communicate with other apps and end users.

Cloud Orchestration takes automation one step further and ensures automated tasks take place in the right order, with the correct instructions in place.

Both terms imply that tasks happen without your direct involvement, but the way to receive those results, and the tools used to make them happen, differ.

What are Cloud Based Automation Tools?

Through means of automating the overall provisioning and management of cloud-based infrastructure, enterprises are witnessing a more efficient use of resources, reduced costs and time. 

It is therefore no surprise that with the importance of Cloud Automation, the industry has many tools to offer. Examples include:

  • Cloudify- open source orchestration technology with a focus on flexibility and scale allowing apps to run across multiple clouds
  • Terraform- an open source tool used to write infrastructure as code
  • Kubernetes- a container orchestration platform
  • AWS CloudFormation- allows you to model resources, automate them and then deploy within your AWS cloud-based infrastructure

What are the Most Common Cloud Automation Tasks?

  • Establishing Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC)
  • Performing Data Back-ups
  • Identifying and Addressing Zombie Cloud Infrastructure
  • Establishing Version Control for Workflows

Which AWS Tools Can Be Used For Automation?

AWS tools provides services using AWS and DevOps practices which simplify provisioning and managing infrastructure, deploying application code, automating software release processes, and monitoring application and infrastructure performance. 

The AWS tools automate manual tasks, help teams manage complex environments at scale, and keep engineers in control of the high velocity that is enabled by DevOps.

What is AWS Automation?

AWS automation simplifies common maintenance, deployment, and remediation tasks for AWS services (Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3 etc.).

AWS automation helps build automated solutions to deploy, configure and manage resources. 

What is Multi Cloud Automation?

Multi Cloud Automation integrates various tools and services to eliminate manual, time consuming process of operating the cloud. Multi Cloud Automation allows IT teams to focus on critical, high-value projects. Cloud Automation can be used for private, public, hybrid cloud types.

When performing tasks manually, human error occurs. Multi Cloud Automation minimized human error, troubleshooting and repetitive tasks which may put the cloud architecture and enterprise at risk.

What Tool is Mostly Utilized for Automation in Cloud Computing?

Possible Automation Platforms:

  • Puppet –  Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Puppet can be used for public, private, and hybrid clouds, and offers a GUI interface for defining configuration and automation tasks, as well as Domain Specific Language (DSL) scripts.
  • Ansible – synonymous with IaC, developed by Red Hat. With Ansible you can define configurations using its GUI, DSL, or a REST API. Provides support for public and private clouds.
  • Kubernetes – manages and orchestrates Docker containers.It manages deployment of services within containers, resource consumption, networking within the Kubernetes cluster and with the outside world, and more. Kubernetes is mostly used on the public cloud.

Read more about it on our blog: Docker Vs. Kubernetes 

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk – an automation platform that lets you deploy applications developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker, across EC2 instances. Elastic Beanstalk handles provisioning of the application, autoscaling, load balancing, monitoring, and more.
  • AWS CloudFormation –  Amazon’s Infrastructure as Code platform.

Read more about it on our blog: AWS EKS Vs. ECS Vs. Fargate: The Breakdown 

  • Terraform – an open source tool by Hashicorp. Terraform allows you to build, modify and version Infrastructure as Code. 

Read more about it on our blog: Running Terraform With Cloudify

How is Automation Done in DevOps?

Automation is crucial for DevOps practices. Automation begins from the code generation on the developers machine, until it monitors the application and system in the production. DevOps is dependent on automation to make deliveries over a few hours and make frequent deliveries across platforms. Automation in DevOps boosts speed, consistency, higher accuracy, reliability, and increases the number of deliveries. Automation done in DevOps envelops everything from the building, deploying, and monitoring.

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