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Datacenter Automation

Datacenter Automation

Data center automation is the process by which routine workflows and processes of a data center—scheduling, monitoring, maintenance, application delivery, and so on—are managed and executed without human administration. Data center automation and orchestration increases agility and operational efficiency. It reduces the time IT needs to perform routine tasks and enables them to deliver services on demand in a repeatable, automated manner. These services can then be rapidly consumed by end users.

Data center automation is primarily delivered through a composite data center automation software that provides centralized access to all or most data center resources. Typically, data center automation market solutions enable automating the servers, network and other data center management tasks.

The massive growth in data and the speed at which businesses operate today mean that manual monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation is too slow to be effective and can put businesses at risk. Automation can make day-two operations almost autonomous. Ideally, the data center provider would have API access to the infrastructure, enabling it to inter-operate with public clouds so that customers could migrate data or workloads from cloud to cloud.

Typical high availability architecture includes application servers with apps replicated multiple times. The applications in this scenario are virtualized in every application delivery controller. This architecture supports high availability and performance necessities. However, high efficiency may not be supported in this model, as the resources provisioned for each app is not efficiently reallocated to the other apps.

An automation architecture based on server virtualization requires images to be created and software to be installed in each physical server in order to support automated provisioning of applications through VM images. Additional storage in case of server virtualization or OS virtualization incurs additional costs. While server virtualization deploys applications across all usable resources, OS virtualization stores them locally. In case of OS virtualization, however, not only is the application stored, but the application server and the virtual image are also stored.

In order to reduce the impact on either of these methodologies, virtualization for data center automation in cloud computing can be used. Storage virtualization is the concept of amalgamating multiple storage networks into a single storage unit. Usually, the storage unit is managed and utilized with the help of software, making the storage software-defined. Virtualization obfuscates the storage systems used, making any kind of storage network be part of the virtualized environment. Virtualization of data center automation makes such tasks as backup, archiving, and recovery easier and faster.

Data center automation is immensely valuable because it frees up human computational time and:

  • Delivers insight into server nodes and configurations
  • Automates routine procedures like patching, updating, and reporting
  • Produces and programs all data center scheduling and monitoring tasks
  • Enforces data center processes and controls in agreement with standards and policies

The most popular products in category Datacenter Automation All category products

Barracuda Load Balancer
Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure (PACI)

F.A.Q. about Datacenter Automation

Why Data Center Automation Is Important?

Automation is drastically changing the IT scene. Almost 40% of technology professionals recently surveyed claim to employ automation services in some or the other capacity. This includes automating data centers. Automation of virtual data centers provide numerous benefits.
Unavoidable repetitive tasks are a cause for many errors in a traditional environment. This can be wiped out with the implementation of automation. Automation also frees up critical time of IT team and lets them invest time in more value adding tasks. This leads to a responsive business, thus accelerating time-to-market for IT services. Virtualized data centers reduce configuration issues by maintaining consistent systems across the data center. Like most automated processes, it minimizes risk.

What are the automation and orchestration layers?

Server layer. There are systems now available which take almost all of the configuration pieces out of deploying a server. Administrators only need to deploy one server profile and allow new servers to pick up those settings. More data centers are trying to get into the cloud business. This means deploying high-density, fast-provisioned, servers and blades. With the on-demand nature of the cloud, being able to quickly deploy fully configured servers is a big plus for staying agile and very proactive.

Software layer. Entire applications can be automated and provisioned based on usage and resource utilization. Using the latest load-balancing tools, administrators are able to set thresholds for key applications running within the environment.

Virtual layer. The modern data center is now full of virtualization and virtual machines. In using solutions like Citrix’s Provisioning Server or Unidesk’s layering software technologies, administrators are able to take workload provisioning to a whole new level. Imagine being able to set a process that will kick-start the creation of a new virtual server when one starts to get over-utilized.

Cloud layer. This is a new and still emerging field. Still, some very large organizations are already deploying technologies like CloudStack, OpenStack, and even OpenNebula. Furthermore, they’re tying these platforms in with big data management solutions like MapR and Hadoop. What’s happening now is true cloud-layer automation. Organizations can deploy distributed data centers and have the entire cloud layer managed by a cloud-control software platform. Engineers are able to monitor workloads, how data is being distributed, and the health of the cloud infrastructure.

Data center layer. Although entire data center automation technologies aren’t quite here yet, we are seeing more robotics appear within the data center environment. Robotic arms already control massive tape libraries for Google and robotics automation is a thoroughly discussed concept among other large data center providers.