DCN October 2017 - Page 37

IT Automation fashion. Yet regardless of the task in hand, automation should reflect best practice in your data centre in its simplest form. Now, we pause as you Google, ‘best practice.’ Prior to implementation, the reasoning for automation should be sound. If automation is applied to a process without a strong basis for doing so, there will be a far higher chance of issues occurring somewhere down the line. Basically, don’t try and automate everything. This will result in more effort being spent on troubleshooting issues, and the time that was hoped to have been saved by the introduction of automation will have been lost - ironic, right? For the benefits and efficiencies of automation to be achieved, there must be a clear understanding of all interactions held within the data centre ecosystem. This also applies to an understanding of the behaviour of the application stack, from on-premises to cloud service providers, and the interdependencies of systems throughout the data centre. When applying automation, there’s many things to consider. Below are a few simple steps, but you can find an automation bible here with everything you need to know. Identify your test machines first. Whether that is lab gear set aside for the purpose or a few less-critical volunteers, set up your alert so that it only triggers for those machines. Clarity is key. From the outset, it’s crucial to be clear on the goals that are to be achieved from automating a process. If no clear problems are going to be solved through automation, then it may not be the necessary solution. Please don’t automate just for the sake of it. Start on a small scale. “Do no harm to your production data centre environment” is a good rule to bear in mind. Starting low-risk will allow you to automate the processes that have the greatest impact, with the least effort required. Success here will then pave the way for larger-scale initiatives. Don’t get too smug. Keep automation as simple as possible to avoid any issues arising following implementation. This will also enable you to validate any changes to the process, and orchestrate changes into the workflow. “For the benefits and efficiencies to be achieved, there must be a clear understanding of all interactions held within the data centre ecosystem.” Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Always ensure that the validation of each step within the automation process is fully tested before implementation. Ignore your urge to go and make a coffee. Stay vigilant and observe the automation process from start to finish to ensure the quality of each execution point. Remember, good automation is enabled by, and is a result of, good monitoring. Put your detective hat on. Gather the findings and analyse the results. From here, you can then identify areas within the process that require intervention for further optimisation. Embrace the conversation. You can’t do this single handedly, you’re going to have to talk to and involve others. Automation needs to be collaborative to the point where everyone involved has agreed on everything from base functionality to message formatting. Automation embodies the ‘do-more-with-less’ attitude that has become so popular with IT professionals (not necessarily through choice). However, it is easy to become complacent and completely ЁѡЁѡ)ѽѥݥ́)ɽՍѡͥɕɕձ̸ѕ)ݡݽձeЁ)$ѡݔɕѡ)ѡɔфɕ͕́́ЁѼ)䁡ɥ%P͕٥̰)ɕѱ䁥ѕ)ѽѥݥ܁%P)ɽͥ́ѡѥѼՍ)ѡ́܁٥ɽЁѡЁݥ)Ё́ɕձи)QɔѡЁѡ)ɽՍѥѽѥ)ȁфɔ́́͵ѡ)́ͥɔ͡ձх)ѽɥѡѽѥ)ɽ͍́ȸ)Uѥѕ䰁ѽѥ͡ձ)ɅЁЁ͡ձͼ)ɕѕݥѠɕЃLѡ)ͥɔѼȁѡɑ́Ё ͔)ԵЁՙи)=ѽȀ܁