Branded blog post on CIO.com discusses:
Automation is Crucial to Getting the Full Benefit from Converged Infrastructure
By Paul Desmond
In a recent post I discussed how migrating to converged infrastructure will play a significant role as enterprise IT groups seek to increase agility while keeping up with the mountains of data that help them make smarter, faster decisions. In passing, I mentioned one of the reasons that converged infrastructure was so important was it helps companies automate many tasks, a point that bears further discussion.
The idea of automation in IT management is hardly new; indeed it’s been something of a Holy Grail for a couple of decades or more. The industry has seen constant improvement on the automation front, whether it’s routers and switches that can automatically send traffic around failures or IT management tools that automate routine, mundane tasks. Password resets, for example, once took up a fair amount of time for any help desk staffer. Today, automated tools let users reset their own passwords.
As IT systems become increasingly complex, automation becomes all the more important. It’s no secret that human error lies at the root of many IT outages, often the result of configuration changes gone awry. That’s why most enterprises now have automated change management systems, to help guard against unintended consequences when making changes.
Today IT groups need automation not only to guard against errors, but to improve their own productivity. If they are to keep up with business demands for improved agility, they need to be able to do more work faster – it’s really that simple.
Converged infrastructure by itself helps a great deal by bringing together IT silos that have grown up over the years, replacing them with pre-engineered and pre-integrated systems that are far less complex. When combined with well-architected automation software, converged infrastructure can speed up deployment of services as well as IT management tasks.
Easier management, faster provisioning
Automation can apply in a number of areas, beginning with IT management. In a highly virtualized environment, the one-to-one relationship between physical servers and the applications riding on top of them is long gone. Virtual servers can and do move about freely, as demand warrants. Automated tools are a must if IT is to be alerted to problems and be able to troubleshoot and address them. Manually ferretting out issues in such a constantly changing environment is simply not going to cut it.
Provisioning is another area ripe for automation, for both servers and applications. To increase business agility, IT must be able to roll out infrastructure and applications quickly. Automated tools make that possible, taking away many of the manual steps in the processes – and removing the possibility of human error at the same time.
And of course all these capabilities should be available from a centralized console, the proverbial “single pane of glass.”
Such capabilities should help reduce operational costs by freeing up IT staff time, says Ravi Chalaka, VP, Worldwide Solutions and Social Innovation Marketing for Hitachi Data Systems, which offers the Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged infrastructure.
“I’ve seen examples where automation helped reduce operational costs by 30%,” he says, citing the example of a Hitachi customer that provides SAP ERP and other business process applications. “That means
IT staff have more time to spend on providing high-value services, such as planning for the next generation of applications that will give the business a competitive edge.”
IT providing a competitive edge: that’s what it’s all about.
Click here to learn how the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio can create a more agile and flexible data center to help IT enable faster time to production, automate operations, and provide real-time business insights.
About this Blog: Hitachi Data Systems builds information management and Social Innovation solutions for enterprises. Hitachi’s IT infrastructure, analytics, content and cloud solutions and services enable enterprises to leverage their data assets to meet strategic business goals. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio of converged infrastructure products helps enterprises manage increasingly complex and critical data center operations in a way that enhances flexibility, agility, efficiency, productivity and scalability. Learn more about Hitachi Unified Compute Platform here.