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How to use intelligent automation to drive better cloud resource management

Ben Rosenberg, President, Advanced Systems Concepts | April 25, 2016
Cloud computing has dramatically improved scalability, accessibility and flexibility, but low costs and on-demand availability can result in the misue of cloud assets, either inadvertently or because of improper controls. What’s needed is an intelligent automation solution that can automatically spin up and down resources.

Intelligent automation can create a hybrid IT environment that is optimized in real-time. It reduces potential bottlenecks and eliminates the need for manual intervention. It can also monitor SLAs by automatically changing job priorities and cordoning off servers so that essential workflows can be executed.

Intelligent automation also makes it possible to simplify IT management by building relationships between tools. Most large IT organizations have anywhere from three to eight job schedulers or automation tools, most of which come from one or more of three categories: applications; operating systems; and infrastructure, virtualization and grid platforms.

While it’s not necessary to abandon these schedulers, one comprehensive, cross-platform automation solution allows IT to develop unified job strategies as well as coordinate execution of mission-critical tasks. Just as important, end-to-end automation provides a single point of control for overseeing and tracking the multiple applications, operating systems, and mix of physical and virtual resources involved.

For organizations seeking to transition to an intelligent automation solution, a variety of migrating strategies are possible. One is to use the automated tool that comes with most packages to transfer jobs, plans and objects. Another is the start-from-scratch approach, wherein the IT staff builds all jobs and workflows anew; this approach is appropriate when old workflows no longer fit the organization’s current or future business needs.

The third migration option, and one that’s preferred for most larger operations, is a hybrid approach. Starting with the transfer of existing processes using the new application’s migration tool, the organization builds out new processes on a forward basis, reconstructing or rebuilding existing processes only as needed. In most cases this is the best choice because it enables IT to not only mitigate the risk of losing critical workflows and processes, but also reduce errors caused by manual transfer. At the same time, it provides more flexibility to adjust and improve processes where appropriate.

No one would disagree that the introduction of cloud computing has given enterprises greater capabilities and opportunities than ever. Using this vast new resource efficiently, however, is something most IT departments are still learning to master. With intelligent IT automation as a key management tool, it’s possible to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of such a powerful innovation.


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