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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]Cloud, cloud, cloud. We can’t get enough of it, and we definitely can’t stop talking about it. If we could, we’d probably line up to shout it from the rooftops; the future is cloud-first. That being said, it’s still relatively new in concept and in practice. Realistically, with the world celebrating its 4.543th birthday, and the early humanoids having appeared 450,000 years ago, the world of cloud has been a thing for less than the blink of an eye. As it is, give it fifty years and the next generation of workers will be splitting their sides with the seemingly archaic way we use cloud now. We’re at the very cusp of the possibilities that cloud can achieve, and I can guarantee you that it’s going to be a wild ride. But let’s rein in the dreaming a bit and come back to 2019. Sure, we’re not quite close to nanobots plugging our brains into the cloud for full-immersion virtual reality (I’m not even kidding, these are predictions for the 2050s), but there’s still a lot we can be doing. When it comes to your private cloud, have you started looking at automation?

One of the biggest differences between private cloud and virtual environments is the manual/automation argument. Virtual environments require provisioning, deployment and management to function, which obviously demands a serious amount of time and effort. The beauty of private cloud is the ability to automate all of those annoying tasks. By automating your cloud environment, enjoy a self-service model (which, I mean, is the whole purpose of private cloud, right?) while ensuring rapid and uniform provisioning- with the likelihood of silly human errors reduced. That’s fantastic and all, but it’s like telling you that by colonising the moon, we’ll be able to become an ‘interplanetary’ species (oooooh), build an extra-terrestrial base (aaaaaah) and save civilisation. Awesome, but how do we do it?

For a lot of organisations that have started their cloud celebrations, orchestrating automation across multiple subsystems is low on the priority list, which is counter-intuitive. Without automation, there can be no cloud. “Ehm, excuse me?” Alright, calm down. NIST (that’s the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for those of you who don’t want to guess) define cloud computing as having five essential characteristics. Pop quiz; can you think of what they are? Got one or two? Ok. On-demand self-service, resource pooling, rapid elasticity or expansion, broad network access and measured service. Those are the five. And they’re all possible, but only with automation. Cloud commuting itself is essentially a utility computing model, with resources including storage, virtual servers and network capabilities.

By using automation tools in a private cloud environment, organisations can translate business and technical policies into tangible cloud actions. The automation framework defines and directs direct provisioning, while monitoring and managing the cloud environment, which allows detailed reports to track usage, billing and lifecycles. This provides huge benefits for IT teams, making the whole thing easier to maintain. Users have the ability to request private cloud resources, effectively circumnavigating the need to pester a techie, as automation frameworks will identify the user and verify whether that user is authorised to make that request. Once a request is made, a workflow engine will implement the associated provisioning steps, simplifying the whole process. By deploying automation into your private cloud, lifecycle management can be completed easily and securely by tracking resource usage and reporting any underused or abandoned resources. Automation also improves the adherence to business policies and regulatory compliance regulations- a helpful hand in the world of GDPR fears. It provides a predictable and repeatable engine that ensures that resources and services are all provisioned in the same way, eliminating the human errors that often happen with manual provisioning.

The world we live in is evolving at a scary pace. And in the world of cloud, that pace is going to make more and more of an impact in your workplace. So, start with the basics before other amazing things start happening. When it comes to cloud computing, automation is an important factor that you want to get right, the first time. Make sure to have a chat with our experts here at Cetus, the latest evolution of homo sapiens who happen to know a bit more about this thing called cloud.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]
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