Today, more and more, networks are becoming more extensive, perform more functions, apply more security measures and, ultimately, grow in all areas. This growth leads to difficulties when applying configurations, modifying policies, troubleshooting ... since the scenario to take into account is larger and larger. These difficulties are seen, as has been commented, in large networks, such as a datacenter.
The automation of the Datacenter is the process of managing and automating the workflow and the processes of a data center.
It enables you to automate most of the data center operations, management, monitoring, and maintenance tasks that are otherwise performed manually by human operators. These human-made actions are slower, less efficient, and more error-prone.
Data center automation is immensely valuable because it frees up time and:
Provides information about nodes and server configurations.
Automate routine procedures, such as updates and reporting.
Produces and schedules all planning and supervision tasks of the CPD.
Enforces data center processes and controls in accordance with regulations and policies.
Automation is usually obtained from two solutions: APIs or management and automation tools.
An API provides a set of protocols to build and integrate with the software. The infrastructure provided by APIs for tool sets such as configuration management and OpenStack can save companies resources, time and money and can provide consistency across development environments.
Automation is also primarily achieved through a software solution that provides centralized access to all or most of the datacenter's resources. The most popular tools are the following:
Ansible is a very simple solution to allow the automation of processes in a data center. Unlike other tools, ansible is agentless, which means that it is not necessary to install agents on the controlled machines, but the tool connects remotely via SSH and applies the settings automatically.
Puppet is a tool that provides common language and compatibility across a wide range of devices. Puppet is used to automate complex processes involving many pieces of hardware and software.
Chef is a tool for defining infrastructure as code (IAC), which allows you to automate and verify the process of managing configurations and system status. Unlike other solutions, Chef takes a policy-based approach that is based on the principles of evidence-based idempotency and development. System configuration and application change testing can be done in parallel, so system states can be easily applied and monitored by all infrastructures and equipment.
To these tools, we must add the solutions that complement each other. In the case of Ansible, for example, there is Ansible Tower, a fully visual and centralized control center where you can create, upload and view policies and settings, among other things.
Massive data growth and the speed with which businesses operate today make manual monitoring, troubleshooting, and manual repair are too slow to be effective and can put businesses at risk. This increase in network configuration and management difficulties provokes the search for a solution that facilitates all these processes. This solution is called DataCenter Automation.