Digital transformation is redefining how businesses work. This has significantly augmented the demand for more storage space, computing power and complex networking, which in turn has given rise to scaling up of infrastructure in the existing data centers. Further, with the shift towards artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, the need to automate certain facets of the data center is indisputable.
The massive growth in data and the speed at which businesses operate today mean that manual monitoring and troubleshooting can slow down the growth. Automation can come handy here by making daily routine operations autonomous.
Before we delve into the benefits, let us quickly understand what exactly does data center automation mean?
Data center automation is the process of managing and automating the workflow and processes of a data center facility. It is predominantly delivered through software solutions that grant centralized access to all or most data center resources. Traditionally, this access enables the automation of storage, servers, network, and other data center management operations, management, monitoring and maintenance related tasks that are otherwise performed manually by human operators.
Thus, most forward-thinking organizations are looking to leverage the benefits of data center automation (DCA) to improve their operational efficiency as well as reduce the workload on their managers and data center staff.
Here are the 5 key advantages of data center automation
1. Faster Time-to-market
Time-to-market is critical in this digital era as delays can lead to loss of market share as well as revenue. Data center automation accelerates the provisioning of the infrastructure necessary to enable the businesses in achieving faster time-to-market.
2. Cost Saving
Data center automation can help to save your cost of operations to a great extent. For example- Organizations can use AI for creating models of their power consumption. This will help them in identify pattern of their power consumption and allocating resources accordingly, thereby enabling them to reduce the power consumption of their data center. Companies such as Google are already using AI for reducing their cooling costs. Further, AI and ML can also help in predictive analysis of your maintenance, thereby allowing your IT team to avoid any data center outage.
3. Real-Time Analytics
Automation helps to provide real-time analytics which enables organizations to put in place real-time responsiveness. This is useful for supporting anomaly detection, root cause analysis, remediation, prevention and planning use cases, where processing and correlating massive amounts of information is critical.
4. Efficient Management and Troubleshooting
Automation can also make it easier for teams to manage their hybrid cloud environments by programmatically applying changes to all of their clouds. Remediation of issues can also be simplified through automated checks, updates, and patching. Further, it greatly reduces the downtime of failures when automatic failure recovery and backup mechanisms are implemented, ensuring continuous business availability.
5. Enhanced Security
Most of the data center professionals are implementing software-defined networking (SDN) to make data centers secure. You can use the SDN controller for applying security policies across your entire data center which can reduce the errors that can occur due to security vulnerabilities. With SDN, you can also apply multiple policies to a single virtual machine which can enable you to deal with disaster recovery in a better manner.
Data center automation accelerates the provisioning of the infrastructure necessary to support business services. It also enforces good practice and automates manual tasks. However, just like DevOps, automation is really more about a mind shift than a technology shift.
Further, simply procuring a set of automation tools isn’t enough to automate data centers. You need brains behind the brawn i.e. you need a workforce with the proper skill set to manage those tools and effectively implement the automation process. Thus, organizations need to focus on building these skillsets to help them make their data centers more effective and efficient.