What Is Cloud Automation? A Driving Force in Data Center Automation
Although cloud implies "up there, somewhere," in reality the cloud landscape can be down the hall: a private cloud in your own data center. It matters less where the servers hosting your cloud are, and more how you manage it, as Bill Kleyman pointed out in an article about emerging trends in data center management.
The emerging private data center architecture owes most of its success to automation of routine tasks. Kleyman broke the system into layers and tackled the automation needs of each.
At the server layer, the trend toward using highly automated configuration tools like Puppet Enterprise meshes nicely with the emergence of ever-larger and more dense server farms in modern data centers. Only with cloud automation tools can you effectively manage and quickly provision the capacity you have installed. There are just too many machines to care for each one manually.
Automation extends to the software layer, where complex systems can be configured once and then rolled out on the fly as needed, using cloud automation tools. Intelligent systems architecture can balance the load among compute, network or storage resources, bringing systems online or offline as demand dictates.
This infrastructure-as-code approach to the modern, increasingly complex data center requires advanced cloud management tools, and cloud automation answers that need. The same software-defined approach to managing private cloud architecture works equally well for managing public clouds. Bonus: By abstracting away the differences between clouds, sophisticated cloud automation software makes it easy to provision the resources the business needs at any given moment, without getting bogged down with where the servers actually sit.