What services are important in making the cloud a real and viable service? Is automation necessary for the cloud? According several companies, it is very important. Why? Because automation improves both the bottom line and customer satisfaction. For Cloud customers there are five essential characteristics that have to be addressed to make the Cloud a viable service. Those characteristics include:
- On-demand self-service,
- measured service,
- broad network access,
- resource pooling,
- elasticity or network access
While working with these you can see that virtualization and solid WAN engineering will provide three supporting features: broad network access, resource pooling, and elasticity. However, on-demand self-service and measured service are not part of standard virtualization management suites. For these, automation is required.
So how does automation service work?
At this time, the results are not that well designed. Looking at different cloud services, at the most basic level, cloud automation packages take preprogrammed actions when a trigger event occurs. But preprogrammed event operations are just the beginning. In addition, what needs to happen is that new products with enhanced innovation need to take management to a new level by enabling policy-based automation.
These products use multiple management engines to stay in touch with all aspects of the infrastructure and make policy decisions based on specific scenarios and self-service requests. So when a user-customer makes a request for an operation to take place, the request is acknowledged and acted on.
But this brings up another aspect of automation that can’t be avoided. One must maximize the software components for efficiency. Because if demand spikes jeopardize the performance of mission-critical business services by starving application servers, that can be a problem. So the system must segregate workloads into resource pools and assign priorities to them–as self-service requests come in, critical servers must be given priority access to underlying physical resources. How do you select an automation management system? Look for the ability to manage resource loads in cloud environments. It must be fast and reliable.
In the end, the automation operations can only benefit the user-customer, because it will be seen as a fast way to work with a system that must be solid and reliable.