Below is an excerpt from our eBook How Cloud Automation can Help Scale your IT Services. Download the rest of the eBook here.
Incorporating automation elements in your environment helps make processes easier to maintain for your technical staff, allows you to increase your bottom line, integrate legacy equipment and provide a holistic view of your cloud environment.
1. Increase your Bottom Line
Increasing your bottom line is a top priority for any business. Cloud automation helps you achieve this goal by introducing a new stream of revenue that can steadily grow. The capability to sell compute resources turns your IT department into a profit center, as opposed to a cost usage center. Offering cloud services can help you cover the costs of upgrading equipment, meeting software and hardware maintenance costs or even paying employee salaries.
2. Monitoring Metering and Billing
Implementing cloud services that incorporate a billing and metering system allows you to monitor consumers’ usage and invoice them for storage and compute power according to your pricing standards. Internally, reporting and chargebacks can be assessed for departmental usage. The flexibility and seamless capability of an automated cloud environment with existing billing systems; giving you the option to perform these tasks through one central platform. This provides a smooth transition between old and new cloud platforms after your cloud automation appliance has been installed. The system provides a singe point of reference to the metering and billing data, reducing confusion during billing and allows all documentation to be kept in a single interface for auditing purposes.
3. Internal Private Cloud
In addition to adding a new revenue stream, your business will also have access to cloud resources for internal use. These resources can be used to streamline processes and provide the compute resources necessary for employees to perform departmental tasks. Enabling employees to leverage applications with a single click makes your business more efficient and effective because they do not have to wait for a tech professional to become available for software installation. They now have true on demand service for servers and applications, meaning instantaneous access to the resources they need.
4. Integrate Legacy Equipment
Working with a small staff also requires you to consider software and hardware that your team is familiar with in order to speed your time to market and decrease training time. One of the advantages of implementing cloud automation software is that it can incorporate your legacy equipment to reduce the amount of new infrastructure, ultimately reducing cost. This integration also eliminates the need for your other staff to train on a new system by allowing them to use familiar software. The single-click provisioning capability of cloud automation software integrates management and maintenance into a single platform, freeing your valuable IT personnel to perform other mission-critical tasks.
5. Holistic View of your Cloud Environment
Automation allows your software the capability to not only provision a set of compute resources for your consumers or internal employees, but also set up all the networking, software and licensing that would be necessary to get an asset up and running. This has been a valuable tool for system administrators everywhere because it alleviates the burden placed on valuable IT staff, freeing them to work toward other mission- critical goals. The features of integrated infrastructure provide your team a holistic view of your cloud environment for ease of monitoring and management.
6. Multi-Zone Management
Cloud automation technology allows your company to manage multiple cloud zones and locations through a single interface, making multi-zone deployments easy and efficient. Offering multi-zone environments allows your business to provide a true second site for disaster recovery, giving you a comprehensive recovery solution for your consumers. Further, an automated system allows you to provide your consumers a solution that is always at optimum performance. From a single pane platform, the details for each zone and virtual machine can be seen at a glance on an easy-to-understand user interface.
7. Network Operations Center (NOC)
From the network operations center, you can monitor environmental dynamics and networking, which sends alerts to your tech team to let them know when you need to upgrade your environment to accommodate for your growing customer base. Cloud management can help you see where your cloud system needs attention and allows you to provide an environment that is guaranteed to meet your customers’ needs, sending alerts on issues and allowing you to correct those before the end user is ever affected.
8. Simplify your Business
Cloud automation seeks to reduce business processes to a minimal amount of steps. Automation, the network operations center and other software components, keep your end user abstracted from what’s happening on the back end, leaving your team with the ability to focus their attention on consumers and not on infrastructure maintenance. As cloud automation continues to mature, it promises to provide a full range of configuration, setup and management options in addition to its current capabilities: a single sign-on platform for cloud-level management.
Importance in Business Use
Automation in a cloud environment is important for your business because it:
- Simplifies creation and setup of cloud computing resources
- Facilitates otherwise complex billing and ordering systems
- Streamlines multi-one management through a single interface
These are key attributes that you should be looking for when considering a solution and are necessary to reduce the complexities of cloud management for IT personnel.
photo credit: 401(K) 2013