Today, many companies are storing more and more data in the cloud. By 2025, cloud-based storage is expected to account for 64 percent of the world's data, according to Statista's Digital Economy Compass. The data volumes of individual companies can quickly become huge, and managing cloud processes is becoming increasingly complicated at the same time. Exploiting the flexibility of the cloud requires efficient cloud management. In this context, automation is no longer an optional trend, but a necessity to remain competitive in the digital age.
Definition: The automated cloud
The cloud describes the interaction of several servers, which can be used for complicated program runs and external and thus everywhere retrievable data storage.
Technologies are used to reduce manual activities in the cloud. Cloud automation is therefore not a specific technology, but a collective term for many individual tools. Direct iPaaS solutions, such as Make or Zapier, are excluded here, but should also be mentioned.
Areas of cloud automation are, for example, creating data back-ups, controlling workflows, workload management or programming an infrastructure (IaC - Infrastructure as Code).
What is the benefit of cloud automation?
Cloud automation has numerous advantages that overlap with the basic benefits of automation. At the top of the list is cost savings through more efficient and error-free work.
In addition, Cloud Automation scores with:
- Faster innovation: Companies can test innovations faster because the cloud software handles requirements itself.
- Better control: Policies and security levels can be automatically implemented and controlled in the cloud.
- Smarter processes: IT staff can focus on strategic decisions while the system itself makes intelligent decisions and speeds up processes.
The cloud can be managed efficiently with fewer resources and human-machine collaboration works more smoothly.
The best tools for cloud automation
Many different vendors sell software for automation within the cloud.
The following tools have proven their worth:
Puppet is a long-standing market leader in the field of configuration automation and offers tools to manage data in the cloud in an automated manner. Partners include Microsoft, Google and Amazon. With Puppet Enterprise, processes can be configured and stored in public as well as private and hybrid clouds.
Kubernetes was originally developed by Google and is a platform for managing containerized applications. Kubernetes is also used by IBM, Microsoft and Intel, among others. The software facilitates the operation of applications in the cloud and is a pioneer in container orchestration, although not an actual management tool.
Ansible is an open source tool and is known for its ease of use. Automation and configuration tools are easy to use and the entire cloud infrastructure can be managed in a single software.
There are various other tools, such as Google Cloud Deployment Manager, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud or Chef.
Conclusion: Cloud as an innovation driver
Cloud Automation helps companies remain sustainably agile and reap the benefits of digitization.
The capacities of employees are not used for IT monitoring, but for value-adding tasks. Through intelligent processes and optimized workflows, cloud automation indirectly promotes innovation and is an important step towards digital transformation.