Guest post by Eric Brooks, Solution Architect

The growing popularity of the private cloud provides the promise of many beneficial features for any IT environment. One of those is the addition of a central orchestration layer of software. This will allow for daily, time-consuming tasks to be easily automated, saving countless hours of resource time. This is especially true when provisioning related activities can be addressed on multiple different systems. As with many new buzz words and the technologies behind them (Cloud being one of the worst in recent memory), the devil is in the details. The reality of automating basic tasks has been something that IT resources have been working to address well before the cloud paradigm appeared. Creating complicated collections of command line scripts and home grown portals has been the way of the past.

One of the most important aspects of the private cloud design phase is to define the appropriate level of automation. The tendency is to try to address many tasks that require more time to be invested in development than is saved in resource cost. The main objective should be to pinpoint the most savings possible by comparing not only the total time necessary to complete a particular task, but also its technical requirements, which define its ease of automation. These two items, in conjunction with a working knowledge of existing business process, can successfully determine the most cost-effective level of private cloud automation.

The Logicalis Enterprise Cloud team has addressed this very same question by going through the formalized exercise of examining existing ITIL business processes and eliminating the human intervention required to complete them. So, do you agree, the proper use of cloud automation software can substantially reduce the total cost of operating any IT environment, and this is Ripe, or do you disagree, and this is just Hype?

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