The cloud, where automation is king. There is no doubt that the modern-day data center has changed dramatically since the turn of the century. Virtualization or some form of cloud computing has become the norm, and with this new technology comes the need for new skill sets.
Some companies are large enough that they have a development team to work on automation. On the other hand, smaller companies most likely do not have a development team available; most admins wear multiple hats and have very little time to spare. The problem with this is that in most cases, developers have never had the opportunity to do any kind of administration along their career paths. On the flip side of that coin, you do not see a lot of administrators who are truly able to write code. To be fair, Microsoft PowerShell may have been the start of the “interesting” bomb that got the local administrators writing automation code.
This is the trend that IT is now following. For the administrators out there, you need to make sure that coding, in a language of your choice, is one of the skill sets in your arsenal. For the developers who are working on operational automation, take some time to be an admin for a week and learn about what they do from an operational sense. When you can fully combine or at least blur the lines between the two, you might have just found the birth of your DevOps team.
Full disclosure: I have been spending all of my time lately working with Orchestrator and building most of the automation. In all practical terms, this leaves me in the role of the developer. If you had asked me a decade ago if I thought I could see myself as a developer, the answer would have been “no.” However, I have been writing “build/automation scripts” for quite a while now, and the cloud has been the next logical step.
Orchestrator is truly a product that gives you the basics with the provided workflows, but let’s be totally honest in noting that “assembly” is required. Is there an alternative in which “assembly” is not really required? That is what you just may find with Embotics vCommander and its upcoming release 5.5. vCommander offers all of the tools and workflows necessary to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) automation out of the box, with some customization being needed to:
- Create organizations
- Set quotas
- Set up a service catalog
- Configure service request forms
- Create an approval workflow
- Configure automated deployment placement
- Create a completion workflow
All in all, Embotics has done a pretty good job of packaging an out-of-the-box cloud computing system solution for the masses. My forecast is that this area in technology will be one of those with the biggest growth and competition. The public cloud is good in some cases, but if they were given a choice, I think we would see a larger number of smaller companies trying to keep things in-house if possible. Solutions like Embotics vCommander help companies to do just that with automation.