MS Azure Cloud Automation — Things to Consider and Best Practices
Cloud computing is one that is driven by APIs. In simple terms, cloud computing is largely an internet-based development model that can increase and accelerate the pace of development. The ease with which it redefines the enterprise software embeds automation. Organizations can drive significant benefits from technology only if they knew how to use it.
What this suggests is that in order to unleash the true potential, one must own the ability to use it in the best possible way. When we talk about cloud computing, a term that frequently catches the attention is Microsoft Azure. It is an excellent platform that utilizes the power of cloud computing to automate end to end business solutions.
Microsoft Azure has built-in tools that facilitate streamlining tasks to reduce the workload of redundant tasks and free them from the burden of executing the same. Azure automation being of these is designed to render specific features and functionalities. However, not everyone benefits just by adopting the Azure platform. At times, leaders who aren’t adept in the technology or don’t have a certain level of exposure to cloud automation, tend to commit blunders. These have a detrimental impact on organizational efficiency and overall productivity.
To help you with the above, we outline some of the best practices you must consider when deploying Microsoft Azure for cloud automation.
Things You Need To Consider When Embedding Cloud Automation
- Invest In Azure Automation
The first and the most important thing you need to do is, look up for Azure automation. In the first instance, you will realize how extraordinary the platform is and how beautifully does this enables your IT team to ward off their menial tasks. As the name suggests, Azure Automation is one such tool that manifests automation within an Azure infrastructure.
The core concept of azure automation is based on runbooks. These have a set of predefined tasks that guide the software to work in a specific manner. You can make two runbooks talk and communicate with each other dictating the order in which tasks need to be done. Also, these books are customizable and your IT team can build private ones to handle a set of tasks.
- Embed the feature of tagging
Working with the cloud, there are tons of data produced each day. We are well aware of the fact that data today holds tremendous potential and can be very helpful when it comes to making predictions about the application. In order to make use of this, we must organize and segment the same. And this is where the idea of tagging comes in.
It is regarded as one of the most important elements of cloud automation. Microsoft Azure’s tagging feature gives you the ease to gather metadata and share reports that would be beneficial for the organization. One must implement the right strategy to decode the key-value pair to make these tags multidimensional.
But how do you create tags? How will an admin segregate the tags in a universal manner? This makes things a bit complex. But wait, let me shed some light. When you need to know anything about the stages of an environment, say, you wish to know where a particular environment stands, you can assign an environment tag. Similarly, if anything about the development process is to be known, one can put up the development tag and so on.
One thing to note is that you must follow stringent protocols and policies when applying or implementing these tags, else it would lead to a mess.
- Replicate Apps
No doubt, Azure automation is an exceptional, cost-cutting automation tool. However, you can expect it to do anything. True that it brings automation and to a very good extent but you cannot go on and say your team to automate the entire app interface. It’s not that the idea is vague but for now, there isn’t a tool that can clone the entire app environment.
What you can do here is embed infrastructure as a code template to create and clone your workarounds. While replicating the entire seems irrelevant, we suggest you use this cheat code method. All you need to do is move to the Azure Resource Manager, click on the resource group and then navigate to the Automation script. Down this file and then edit to execute a different task.
Though the above seems pretty difficult as you need manually declare resources but given the long term benefits, it is worth the effort. Once you have created or duplicated the existing automation script to run on a different instance, you can automate plenty of tasks within a single click.
- Be aware of the serverless options
What happens here is that the cloud provider entitled to the job of managing and monitoring the server or the infrastructure embedding a layer of abstraction. It is one of the most feasible forms of workload automation and can help the IT team get off the burden. However, here again, diligence and fastidiousness are required.
There are a plethora of offerings that give the developers leverage on automation. The key lies in using the right tool at the right place and for this to be executed, the admin must have a crystal clear idea on the workflow. Unless the admin is sure about how would things work, integrating serverless facilities is a total waste.
One instance could be:
Start with assessing your application and determining whether the triggered actions are based on your own logic or are that the same is guided and dictated by someone else.
In case, your application is based on your logic, the best serverless offering would be Azure Function. It would help you attain notifications on tasks and other events. You can also use Azure Storage or Azure Block Storage within your self-guided applications. In case your organization has high scalable workloads, Logic Apps can be implemented for front end processing.
Another excellent serverless app is Event Grid. It helps process serverless applications and then attains signals and queues.
In the end, remember that it is not the automation alone that manifests productivity or work efficiency. Instead, the manner in which the same has been applied to streamline the workforce that helps make the most out of the cloud arrangement. Two organizations with the same end goal, implementing cloud automation through Microsoft Azure might not drive similar benefits. In fact, it might so happen that one attains better results while the other struggles with the integration. So, if you are about to automate your workload, make sure you follow the aforementioned practices.