Cloud automation can help reduce mistakes and errors and take away the monotony of doing the same things over and over again. Cloud automation is encouraged by good cloud infrastructure. One of the primary drivers for putting it into practice is actually this.
Even though cloud computing has been a strong trend over the past decade, only some organizations are aware of its full potential. Yes, it can help you save time and money, but how? Let’s dig into the topic…
In this article, we discuss what cloud automation is, what jobs it may automate, its advantages and disadvantages, its software, and some common misconceptions about it in comparison to cloud orchestration in order to address the potential benefits cloud automation may offer your company.
What is cloud automation?
Cloud automation is a broad term that refers to methods and tools that reduce or eliminate the amount of manual labor required to deliver and maintain cloud computing workloads and services. It is a tool that businesses can use as private, public, and hybrid systems.
The provisioning and management of cloud workloads and services can be done more quickly and with less human labor by using a set of procedures and tools, thanks to cloud automation. You may use cloud automation in hybrid, public, and private systems.
Cloud automation testing
Cloud test automation is a method that developers use to test software modules or large systems quickly and make sure they work as intended. Teams can run automated parallel tests in the cloud to find and fix problems, stress test core systems, and make their quality assurance procedures work better.
For instance, manual regression tests, which verify nothing breaks whenever a developer submits a pull request, can require large teams to put in dozens of hours of hard work. Instead, you may automate this process by linking your product with your preferred testing suite using an API. Your cloud solution will perform these repetitive duties, freeing up your team’s time and resources to focus on other development activities.
Integration of cloud automation testing is very advantageous for DevOps teams who use CI/CD pipelines for their development. Automated testing procedures integrated into the CI/CD pipeline can guarantee thorough regression, performance, and device QA checks take place before and after updates are delivered to production or staging environments as teams continue to automate processes that quickly push code updates to the cloud.
Not that manual testing doesn’t have its place—quite the contrary. Nothing beats having a professional QA team handle the more difficult parts of product development, like fixing UX problems or making sure people with disabilities can use the product. You’ll be able to iterate more quickly and adjust your product to a continuously changing market if you keep automating.
Why is it important to automate clouds?
Administration of the infrastructure, network, applications, and users becomes much more complicated in hybrid and multicloud systems. IT teams must manage environments that are both on-site and on the cloud, frequently utilizing different management tools for each. As a result, manually maintaining, tracking, scaling, and securing resources and applications can be extremely difficult. Automation can combine hybrid and multicloud management into a single set of rules and procedures to make things more consistent, scalable, and fast.
Observability in cloud automation systems
The second element of successful cloud orchestration is observing and receiving input from your systems on what is running based on usage statistics. You may learn how resources are being used within your compute nodes with the use of telemetry tools in cloud orchestration systems. The orchestrator performs the magic of determining capabilities, returning data to the system administrator, recognizing issues, detecting when a node enters maintenance, and other tasks. Greater performance, efficiency, and density are the objectives of observability to handle more workloads, containers, and functions.
Types of cloud automation
The repetition, waste, and mistakes that come with human operations and intervention are eliminated when various jobs are automated in the cloud. Examples of typical ones include the following:
One of the fundamental principles of cloud computing is autoscaling, or the capacity to adjust the utilization of processing, memory, or networking resources in response to demand. It makes it possible to use the pay-as-you-go cloud cost model and offers resource elasticity.
Templates and code can be used to specify infrastructure setups, and automatic implementation is also possible. Opportunities for integration with related cloud services grow in the cloud.
It is possible to configure cloud tools and functions to record every action involving services and workloads in a given environment. Monitoring filters can be set up to look for anomalies or unexpected events.
Automating processes like code scans, version control, testing, and deployment is a key component of continuous software development.
Security and data protection
Automated security controls can be set up in cloud settings to enable or restrict access to programs or data, check for vulnerabilities, and achieve excellent performance.
Assets can be automatically tagged based on particular criteria, context, and operational conditions.
Differences between cloud automation and cloud orchestration
To deploy and maintain workloads in the cloud with little to no human interaction, cloud automation involves a number of procedures and processes. Cloud orchestration is the process of codifying and coordinating automated tasks so that they happen at precise times and in specific sequences for certain reasons.
Cloud orchestration and automation work together and depend on one another. Automated jobs are by their very nature a component of an orchestration process, which never involves only manual work.
Think about using the cloud for scheduled data backup and recovery. IT staff plans a series of actions based on logical events, like the time of day or the detection of fault codes, using a tool provided natively by the cloud platform provider or by a third party. This entire procedure is an example of cloud orchestration. The actual data backup and notifications that the operation was successful are two examples of automatic backup steps. When error codes are found, the second orchestration of activities is launched to notify the staff, switch to corrective action, rerun or manually finish the backup, and troubleshoot what went wrong.
In essence, cloud orchestration means attaining your objectives in the cloud infrastructure by planning automated actions. In contrast, cloud automation refers to employing cloud management tools to do jobs without manual effort.
Benefits of cloud automation for organizations
By using cloud automation solutions, your organization can benefit from various perks.
You can speed up your procedures or even complete them without lifting a finger by minimizing the amount of human labor required to manage cloud-based activities.
Less manual work results in fewer mistakes and less time spent troubleshooting and diagnosing problems.
Making continuous deployment possible
The continuous deployment aims to automate the pipeline for deploying applications in order to enable more frequent updates. The use of automation technologies that automate deployments to cloud-based environments can be very advantageous for teams attempting to establish a seamless continuous deployment process and operating in accordance with DevOps best practices.
Enhancing security and privacy
It makes sense to automate tricky jobs. You won’t need as many people to log into mission-critical systems this way. This significantly lowers the possibility of human error and account breaches.
Enforcing security principles across all deployments can be accomplished by incorporating security best practices into automated procedures.
Improving backup processes
You need system backups if you want to safeguard your systems from threats like equipment failure and cyberattacks. Automate cloud backups or automatically back up your on-premises systems to a cloud-based environment to increase your resilience.
Cloud automation tools
There isn’t just one platform, tool, or methodology for cloud automation. One or more tasks can be automated using a variety of platforms and tools, from hosted services from public cloud providers to on-premises technologies for private clouds.
Cloud automation companies
The following are the leading cloud automation companies:
Particularly in an infrastructure-as-code environment, configuration management systems offer a wide range of cloud automation features. Several examples are as follows:
How to become a cloud automation engineer?
A senior software developer or engineer who focuses on cloud automation, orchestration, and integration is known as a cloud automation engineer. This is typically a cross-functional profession that requires in-depth familiarity with software design, workflows, and processes, as well as data center and cloud architecture.
A cloud automation engineer also assures high availability while implementing, optimizing, and supporting the infrastructure. For instance, she/he might be required to design the infrastructure for a software platform’s deployment as well as the logging and monitoring tools for managing and troubleshooting that platform.
The role of a cloud automation engineer is extensive and requires a variety of software and hardware expertise. Because there are so many different skills and needs, the majority of the work requires several years of experience, making it often a senior-level position. A formal education, typically a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or an engineering field, serves as the foundation for most certifications. While some employers might prefer candidates with a master’s degree in one of these disciplines, others might waive the formal degree requirement for candidates with a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience.
Employers typically look for individuals with five to ten years of relevant experience in the development of applications, as well as at least two or three years of knowledge of CI/CD development paradigms like Agile or DevOps. Employers will look for a cloud automation engineer to have three to five years of hands-on experience with infrastructure components like OSes, databases, web servers, storage, networks, and security/authentication. A cloud automation engineer is also heavily involved with the infrastructure and operations side of the business.
Although they are uncommon, industry certification requirements can change depending on the demands of the employer. For instance, certain positions could demand that the applicant possess ITIL credentials.
It’s crucial to realize that cloud automation engineers don’t just appear; they develop over time. There is no one professional route, and competent people can come from the worlds of software development and IT operations.
A cloud automation engineer must be knowledgeable about many different platforms and tools. Numerous possible permutations involve public and private cloud, software development, and IT infrastructure, even though the precise tools and most valuable talents vary for every employer.
Experience with cloud systems is a requirement for the position. For instance, understanding the underlying stack, such as VMware’s virtualization and OpenStack, is necessary for on-premises private clouds. A candidate should be able to demonstrate expertise with any stack and transfer that knowledge to the more desirable platform, even though knowledge of the exact stack is an advantage.
Engineers working on cloud automation must be familiar with the infrastructure stack. Additionally, candidates might need to understand how to integrate and install public cloud services, particularly in hybrid cloud setups. Employers might, for instance, look for applicants who have experience with Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or even more specialized services like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage.
The ability to sidestep intricate hierarchies and organizational procedures to get resources makes cloud automation so alluring. Developers can avoid delays in the purchase, justification, and requisition. Businesses may roll out new services and applications more quickly. With the help of breakthroughs like Node Feature Discovery, orchestration software can intelligently detect resource capabilities, giving system administrators crucial insights into their platforms to improve performance and efficiency. Cloud automation should be given top priority when developing your cloud infrastructure blueprint and planning your rules.