Cloud Automation Services

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How Cloud Automation Can Help Businesses?

The unstable economic conditions of recent times mean people are being asked to do more with less. This is certainly true of organisations, with shrinking budgets and increasing demands on technology. Cloud automation can help meet those demands and  means freedom from laborious, repetitive tasks and more time spent on digital innovation and profitable ventures. Modern methodologies like Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), and DevOps are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve without automation. For this reason, major hyperscale cloud providers, such as AWS and Azure, provide integrations and tools to simplify automation on their platforms. The key is to leverage these as efficiently as possible.

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Technical Subject Opinion

Cloud automation is becoming increasingly necessary – from the initial provisioning of the infrastructure, identity access management solutions and application deployments to operational monitoring, security auditing and compliance remediation. Businesses can quickly realise the benefits, such as when esynergy worked with Ofqual to re-platform their Azure workloads. The main benefits are listed below:

  • Employee satisfaction and efficiency – automating simple repetitive tasks frees up time for developers and engineers to focus on more complex, profit-driven tasks. By removing the likes of virtual server or container deployments, new code builds and releases, quality and security tests and simple issue troubleshooting steps, staff can be more productive in completing the work they want to achieve.
  • Rapid deployments – the days of new deployments taking hours or even days to complete are gone with cloud automation. Combined with concepts such as agile development and DevOps cultures, new features or bug fixes can be implemented in minutes.
  • Reliability – automation ensures identical deployments are executed each time. Be that creating a new virtual server, compiling and deploying new application code, or automatically remediating a technical glitch, there’s zero chance of human error or oversight. The speed at which issues can be detected and fixed also helps to increase service uptime.
  • Security – As with reliability, the automated rollout of application code and infrastructure ensures secure deployment by removing accidental misconfigurations. Security tools enforce correct configurations, with regular security remediation audits and compliance checks to ensure they remain so. Finally, you can build automated security testing into deployment pipelines to maintain security before the code is even compiled.
  • Scalability – there comes a stage where automation is not just a time saver but absolutely essential for the ongoing management of an organisation’s cloud presence. Consider if demand for a service rises so that hundreds or even thousands of containers are required to fulfil it. It would be impossible for a team to manually cope with the provision and maintenance of a solution at this scale. Implementing automation early in your cloud solution means it can respond to such a scenario with little to no extra manual effort.

So how can your organisation realise these benefits? esynergy can work with your organisation as we did with Her Majesty’s Passport Office or HM Revenue and Customs. These are some of the key technologies and methodologies which we use to assist:

  1. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) – using tools like Terraform, AWS CloudFormation or Azure Bicep, infrastructure is declared as code in manifest files and deployed through integrations with the cloud provider’s API. The effort of deploying 10 or 1,000 identical containers to serve an application is roughly equivalent.
  2. Microservices / Serverless Computing microservices architecture combined with serverless technologies is the backbone for rapid, reliable deployments. Splitting monolithic applications into disparate components allows for smaller, incremental updates. Serverless technologies like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions or container orchestration through Kubernetes enable almost instant infrastructure deployment “as needed” and are destroyed once their purpose has been fulfilled.
  3. Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines – Continuous integration results in small frequent code changes into a central code repository. These minor changes are less prone to error, lowering the risk of disruption and enhancing the code’s overall quality. Continuous delivery is the routine deployment of these changes. Building a pipeline automates this process so that a developer simply commits the code into the repository. This activity then triggers the build, deployment and testing procedures necessary to implement the changes into live.

In summary, cloud automation is more of a necessity than a luxury for most organisations. Many benefits of using modern DevOps philosophies, such as infrastructure as code, CI/CD and agile development, can only be fully realised with some degree of automation. Businesses that embrace it will not only find immediate profit from doing so but also set themselves up to be significantly more capable of meeting future requirements.

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