Embracing a Change and Learning to Automate
For many companies, we typically see a dedicated group of engineers who handle the infrastructure side of the house, then we have another dedicated group of engineers who handle the development side. This has been the norm for many years and each group has felt comfortable taking care of their respective function.
In today’s hyper-evolving business environments, we as engineers have to learn how to bridge the traditional functional silos as mentioned above. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the network engineers have to become developers and vice-versa, but it does mean that both sides have to start to move a little out of their comfort zone to remain competitive in the market and to bring the best value to their organizations.
Let’s talk about an example from a traditional infrastructure engineer’s perspective. Traditional infrastructure engineers are responsible for designing, configuring and maintaining pathways between devices that provide some kind of service, whether that’s providing access to a cluster of servers offering up a CRM application, or just providing secure internet access. They may also be responsible for managing a function such as the virtualized server environment. There are many ways this can be done, which may mean logging into individual devices and manually entering or copying commands, manually creating virtual machines and security policies. Traditionally speaking, those methods are slow, inefficient, do not scale well and can introduce errors.
Nowadays, everything is about automation. If we can automate the process, then we have the ability to bring business value to the table, because we speed up the time that it takes to serve up resources, which in turn allows an organization to offer some kind of service for their customers to consume, and to do it at the speed that businesses require today.
Let’s look at a basic example: An infrastructure engineer could learn and then utilize an orchestration and automation engine to speed up many infrastructure tasks, but let’s take it a little further. What if we there was a way to automate those processes as well? While there are many viable options available, the infrastructure engineer has to step outside of his/her comfort zone and start utilizing them. An example would be using VMware vRealize Automation and VMware vRealize Orchestrator to deliver XaaS services. We could also utilize Terraform to automate the process of creating infrastructure and then coupling GIT to keep track of version changes. If done correctly, this could speed up the time to provide infrastructure services from days, weeks, or even months, and cut it down to minutes or even seconds.
In the upcoming weeks, we will dig a little deeper into the actual process of using automating processes with solutions such as using VMware vRealize Automation and VMware vRealize Orchestrator, Terraform, GIT and others. Until then, Happy New Years and have a wonderful day!