A is for Azure Automation

In the first post of a 26-part blog series, CJ Spice looks at how Azure Automation has transformed infrastructure use

The development of Microsoft Azure has virtualized infrastructure, and created Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), allowing businesses to streamline their IT workloads and maintain their infrastructure more easily, and at a reduced cost.  Today, Azure has developed into a robust cloud platform that supports IaaS and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) models and has changed the way we do business across the globe.

Azure used to function in a compartmentalised fashion. Servers in disparate location had to have a VPN between the two. It required much more manual attention and building, with each piece of an infrastructure environment with its own purpose.

Today, Azure is holistic. We can link workloads with Backbone and bring IaaS and PaaS together in the cloud with no boundaries. Azure has grown to 27 datacenters, with locations where we have never seen them in the past, including South Korea, Australia, India, and Germany. Azure can be utilised on anything from a single machine to entire enterprise network. The progression Azure has taken over the past decade has proven to be continually exponential.  The possibilities are endless.

azure-automation-capabilities

Automation

One notable shift that Azure has taken to drive business transformation and reduce IT effort is automation. Where we used to build each machine and manually replicate environments, we can now take advantage of automation and script-writing. Back-ups are automated, and Disaster Recovery strategies can be set to automatically activate in the event of downtime or infrastructure disasters. Many general functions that were typically carried out manually can now be leveraged with the power of automation.

Azure Automation also helps drives usage efficiency and conservation. An Azure environment can be automated to scale accordingly for non-busy times. When your business is dormant—on weekends, holidays, or overnight—your servers can be reduced automatically and re-adjusted to meet the employees needs during active hours.  No manual intervention and the users continue to work effectively.

Runbooks allow users to automate those tasks which can be time-consuming, long-running and prone to error. This alleviates the schedules of IT professionals to address other issues and support the team with less concern about those frequently repeated tasks that can be automated with the power of Azure.

Automation runbooks can be created to satisfy a number of cloud operations including monitoring, deployment and optimisation.

Are Automatic Processes Secure?

Although automated processes require less hands-on maintenance than the used to, the security level is still retained through several layers. Automation accounts allow business to isolate their automation resources such as assets, runbooks, and configurations. This allows companies to categorise resources and maintain separate accounts if there are policies that require data be isolated to a specific region.

There are also various options for authentication methods to maintain a high level of identity security. These methods include role-based access control, Azure AD User Accounts, Azure Run As Account, Windows Authentication, and AWS Credentials. All these aspects ensure that you are not sacrificing peace of mind for convenience, but maintaining quality in all arenas.

Summary

Automation and runbooks should be considered an integral part of any Azure or cloud Architecture helping ease deployments, drive efficiencies, reduce running costs and manage your environment.

New Signature can help you build the environment that best suits your business needs and automate your workflows to create a streamlined IT atmosphere. Contact us today to learn more about Azure and its capabilities.