Automation: The True Allure of the Cloud

  • 12 October 2018
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Automation: The True Allure of the Cloud
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This post was authored by Chris Brown Technical Marketing Manager at Nutanix

Today we start a new blog series all about IT automation, from why it’s necessary to how the Calm Data Model works to meet these requirements. Before we can get to the juicy technical bits of Calm, we first need to take a look at really why automation is so critical. To start, we want to explore public clouds from a different angle then is regularly talked about in IT operations. Namely, why do users like the Cloud? With easily accessible and usable cloud resources available, IT is no longer the only provider of infrastructure and in many cases they are seen as too slow. How did we get here and how can IT close this gap?

We often talk about cloud adoption in terms of OPEX/CAPEX and saving by closing datacenters, but why do end users create their own cloud account? In AWS spinning up a new ‘VM’ is only a few clicks (and credit card swipe) away. The AWS marketplace has over 5000 different applications, ready to launch when you are. It doesn’t require you to fill out a standardized form that doesn’t really meet what you need, doesn’t require waiting, doesn’t require interacting with another person, and doesn’t require fixing misconfigurations from the inevitable game of telephone that follows. One-click and you’re off. How can IT compete with that?

Automation is the public cloud’s true differentiator. Automation is what allows these instant-on experiences and the only way to operate at massive scale. Luckily, automation isn’t a tool exclusive to public clouds and is the key for IT to rise to these new agility demands. With automation, IT can turn complex, multi-step, multi-day provisioning cycles into one-click actions that span across teams and siloed expertise. IT can use automation to provide the exact same cloud experience to their users expect while ensuring that corporate policy is properly applied, no matter where it’s deployed. That security rules are followed. That IT is still in control. Automation is the key to a true cloud-like experience on-prem.

Simply using this automation in the cloud is limiting. There is never a single right answer in IT, rather it’s always a balancing act based on the current situation. New information or capabilities could change our decision calculus. If we used an inflexible automation tool or one locked to a cloud, we’re handcuffed. We can’t extend the automation to existing machines and are forced to use an inferior technology.

This flexibility is a core benefit of Nutanix Calm. We’ll explore how our data model makes us unique later on in this series: next week we’ll explore how self-service has become the expectation instead of the exception.

If you want to jump ahead and just start using Nutanix Calm today, checkout our Calm series. And as always, join the conversation and share what you make on our calm forums.

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