How to fulfill the automation/orchestration promises?
The automation and orchestration of your IT infrastructure and/or services should move you away from traditional manual and error-prone configuration management. The promise is that your IT will be more agile, faster, and flexible, and all that will be achieved at lower operational costs.
These are all valid promises and realistic benefits. However, you should also consider that, in order to achieve them, there is more to do than just automate IT processes. The automation and orchestration of your IT require new skills from your teams. They need to get familiar with the new technologies and components, there are additional development/testing/staging requirements and, most importantly, the key is to move forward from established management practices.
At NIL, we understand that designing, implementing, and maintaining automation and orchestration solutions is not a straightforward process. It touches and alters the established IT dynamics on different levels, from people and processes to communication and team boundaries. Our set of services for building automation and orchestration solutions takes all of these requirements into account. It is based on DevOps practices that enable your IT to truly embrace and leverage the automation and orchestration solutions.
Automation and Orchestration done right
NIL’s approach to developing and deploying automation and orchestration is based on DevOps principles. Its key objective is to overcome the lock-in within legacy operations and enable you to leverage the complete potential of automated and orchestrated software-defined data centers. These benefits include:
- IT for all the dynamic business requirements: Our approach to building automation or orchestration solutions enables you to manage the fast and dynamic IT services lifecycle, and easily adjust your automation/orchestration solution to the ever-changing business requirements.
- Operational efficiency: Properly designed, implemented and maintained orchestration solution unburdens administrators of the repetitive configuration tasks and eliminate misconfigurations caused by the error-prone manual configuration steps of complex and interdepended systems.
- Service lifecycle management agility: Enforcing the desired configurations on IT infrastructure/services with automation solutions provides better IT agility, operational benefits, higher security, and more reliable IT services.
- Transparency and consistency: When automated/orchestrated, IT services are provisioned and deprovisioned faster, always in a consistent manner and with all the required elements (service functionality and security wise) as defined by the stakeholders and system administrators.
- Comprehensive approach with knowledge transfer: we understand that automation and orchestration are much more than technology. It is about people and skills, culture and team dynamics as well as processes. We also make sure your team understands and embraces these aspects of automation and orchestration.
DevOps based approach
Our approach is especially suitable for large enterprises with dynamic IT environments that want to standardize the configurations, lower operational costs, and implement more agile IT. Developing an automation or orchestration solution with NIL is a consulting engagement that consists of two major components:
- Business requirements assessment with all of the relevant stakeholders. The exercise identifies the solution’s functional requirements and defines the IT infrastructure and services components that will be automated and included in the orchestration solution.
- Complete solution lifecycle consisting of solution design, solution development, solution implementation, knowledge transfer, solution support, and solution enhancement.
Defining the business requirements and with them the solution’s functional requirements is the most critical part of the engagement. The goal of this phase is to gain understanding as well as agreement on the solution business objectives and functional features between all of the relevant stakeholders and different IT teams.
Our DevOps approach to solution development and implementation uses a proven design built upon the following components:
- Source control system with automated building and testing of changes
- Automation and orchestration system
- Virtual or physical testing environment for development and testing
- Integration with the production environment to automate the deployment of changes
The advantage of this approach is that the solution can be tested before it touches your IT infrastructure, provides continuous integration, delivery, and deployment capability, using development and staging environments, source control, code building, and testing facilities. As IT infrastructure and services are evolving, the automation/orchestration solution must also evolve. With the DevOps approach, it becomes easier to develop and test new functionalities that are later rolled-out into production.
In addition to the technology, we also provide full team enablement to allow your workforce to adopt new processes and fully benefit from the new IT infrastructure/service delivery paradigms.