In the last decade, the cloud has overcome various self-made obstacles and misconceptions. The use of cloud infrastructure continues to validate the forward thinkers. In fact, the cloud enjoys unprecedented adoption, which has resulted in the creation of our most ubiquitous – and chaotic – IT infrastructure environments. This shift requires a new level of infrastructure orchestration to manage the complexity of evolving hybrid environments.
While the cloud has proven it’s here to stay, very few companies have graduated from their use of on-premises infrastructures. In reality, most enterprises are knee-deep in managing both legacy on-premises and cloud infrastructures simultaneously.
The transition from on-premises-only to a cloud infrastructure is fraught with obstacles. This hybrid IT approach requires IT operations teams to manage a much more complex overall environment. As a result, infrastructure leaders have quickly learned that what worked to manage on-premises environments won’t necessarily apply to the flexible nature of the cloud.
The good news is that the best infrastructure orchestration tools provide a scalable solution to solve your hybrid chaos. By managing on-premises and cloud infrastructures together from a single solution, you are able to achieve the scale necessary to drive digital transformation.
Service orchestration and automation platforms (SOAP) are designed to help you manage hybrid infrastructures. SOAPs centralize control of automated jobs, tasks, and workloads across multiple on-premises and cloud instances. Using a series of workflows and automation capabilities, SOAPs allow IT Ops, DevOps and other stakeholders to manage infrastructure in any environment from a central platform.
Of course, SOAPs go beyond infrastructure orchestration management. This enterprise-class software category is designed to help orchestrate many types of IT processes, including data pipelines, workload scheduling, DevOps lifecycles, and much more.
When looking for a service orchestration and automation platform, here are a few tips to keep in mind. You can find the rest of them, along with more detail about how to manage a hybrid infrastructure, within this whitepaper: 7 New Ways to Orchestrate Your Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure.
Deliver Cloud Infrastructure as a Service with Infrastructure as Code Tools
Business users have historically relied on IT to manage infrastructure orchestration and automation for specific tools and platforms. By contrast, SOAPs allow non-IT staff to turn cloud infrastructure on and off while IT maintains central control. Instead of opening a ticket for every request and waiting on the helpdesk or cloud service team to manually create a cloud instance, end-users are empowered with automated workflows that spin up infrastructure on-demand. This level of automation is a win-win for end-users and ITOps. Users gain speed, and IT centrally controls which cloud provider and how much cloud infrastructure is used while gaining visibility into the whole process.
Alleviate ITSM Pain with Service Automation — Creating Citizen Automators
To reduce the burden on IT service management (ITSM) resources, SOAPs equitably empower a new breed of IT resource consumers who are different from the traditional IT automation power users. Current and emerging consumers of automation include analysts, data scientists, developers, and a new generation of a line of business end-users. These citizen automators expect such features as simple drag-and-drop workflow creation, the ability to trigger workflows by event, and complete visibility into workflow status/progress. In addition, they do not want to wait for manual intervention or action from the services team, so real-time access to automation is an important feature.
Empower End-Users with Code, Low Code, or No-Code Access
Another benefit of a modern SOAP is the ability to allow citizen automators to access workflow automation by preference or skillset. In a world where not all end-users want or need to know scripting and coding, SOAPs allow flexibility between using code or no-code depending upon the end-user's preference. For example, SOAPs empower end-users to access and use automation from familiar tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and ServiceNow. And, of course, developers or more technical team members can dive right into the scripts and code within the platform itself.
Unify DevOps and ITOps Priorities
SOAPs help close the gap between DevOps and ITOps with centralized control and better visibility across complex workflows — essential attributes for improved collaboration. Nothing collapses operational silos like a common solution and framework, which is why SOAPs can bring Developers and ITOps teams responsible for cloud architecture and infrastructure together. SOAPs offer DevOps agility and independence, which is much appreciated by the developers used to living and working in the fast lane.
For ITOps, the benefits come down to the decreased levels of service-ticket volumes, real-time alerts for proactive responses when needed, and the ability to drive actionable insights from the embedded analytics engine. All this, while keeping the Dev side happy and productive with self-service automation. By centralizing management and orchestration of the DevOps toolchain and supporting the DevOps lifecycle, SOAPs also help eliminate random acts of rogue automation.
As organizations move beyond their legacy roots, infrastructure orchestration solutions become critical to achieve scale. There are multiple ways to approach managing complex infrastructures, but one of the leading approaches is to leverage a service orchestration and automation platform. SOAPs are built for hybrid IT environments and will help you absolutely dominate everything from a multi-cloud environment to your legacy on-premises tools.