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Data Center Automation: Why is it important?

As the volume of data produced increases and the data center speeds up, the manual operation becomes less efficient. Data center automation has become a new trend to break through the situation. What is data center automation and why is it important?

What is Data Center Automation?

Without the need for human interaction at data centers, automation increases the efficiency of the facilities by reducing the time required by I.T. to perform daily tasks. This creates more free time for humans and means that consumers benefit from quick automated services on a large scale.

Data center automation is mainly distributed via software solutions that can allow access to centralized resources. This allows the servers, storage and networks, and other tasks to be automated.

Not only does data center automation free up human time, but it also has a vast array of other benefits for businesses using it. For example, it can enforce the processes and controls of the facility in accordance with relevant standards and policies. It can also help automate daily tasks such as updating, reporting, and patching.

It also helps deliver insights to server nodes and can create and program the scheduling and monitoring procedures within the facility.

data center automation

Why is it important?

The massive growth in data and the speed at which businesses operate today mean that manual monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation are 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. Data center automation is predominantly delivered through software solutions that grant centralized access to all or most data center resources. Traditionally, this access enables the automation of storage, servers, networks, and other data center management tasks.

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

What are the benefits of Data Center Automation?

  • A single source of truth. “Automation via integration” breaks down information siloes and increases data accuracy.
  • Improved workflow and productivity. Swivel chair management and manual effort are reduced or eliminated.
  • Improved collaboration across functional teams. Accurate data in a single pane of glass enables data-driven collaboration and decision-making.
  • Increased utilization of existing resources. Resources can be automatically provisioned in the most efficient manner possible to defer capital expenses.
  • Maintaining uptime and meeting SLAs. Automatic notifications of potential issues allow you to resolve them before services are impacted.
  • Reduced human error. Eliminating dual data entry reduces the chance of human error which is a leading cause of downtime.
  • More time for strategic projects. Staff can spend less time on routine, time-consuming tasks, and more time innovating.
  • Simplified security management. User permissions can be easily maintained across systems and users can only see what they have access to.

data center automation

Data Center Automation Tools

There are tens of thousands of data center automation tools on the market and they can be classified into several types according to their applications. Some of them are tailored for single tasks in data center operation and some make full automation of data centers possible. Here we will introduce some network automation tools that are seen most often.

OpenStack is an infrastructure management control system available in a variety of configurations. After setting up, data center managers can use a dashboard control center to manage storage, network, and computing activities.

Ansible is an open-source tool for software provisioning and configuration management. Many organizations are using Ansible to drive complexity out of their environments and accelerate DevSecOps initiatives. Also, different from other automation platforms. Ansible is built on a powerful agentless framework, thus it is convenient to use the tool in almost any network environment.

Apart from the open-source network automation tools, there are also some vendors introducing their own branded tools, such as Dell, Arista, etc. Engineers can choose networking automation tools based on businesses’ requirements.

Conclusion

There is no denying that more and more data center systems benefit from automation, such as airflow management automation, power, and cooling automation, etc. IT equipment automation has become a reality, with the benefits of increased agility and operational efficiency. Data center automation is the trend, and it is only a matter of time before it is widespread.

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