The DevOps community is rapidly building tools and processes to automate more of the DevOps workflow. One key is to put engineers on the front line who can find root causes of problems and automate more of the common tasks. Here are the two key areas to focus on when automating operations processes.
Automate Your Most Expensive Tasks First
The first step is to do some analysis on where the team spends most of their time. You will want to know if they’ve done a good job around the tickets and how many requests of what type have they gotten.
After analysis, one company found it had more than 500 tickets a day for user access requests from users who were locked out of their account. This is a common problem, especially in midsize to large companies that are doing user management or account management and have very manual processes for onboarding and offboarding.
There’s a ton of money that can be saved by automating these processes. And there’s a whole host of tools for everything from full orchestration systems to pipeline stripping to make it possible. But the first step is to analyze where time is being spent on the repetitive, easily duplicated tasks and automating those.
Automating Monitoring and Self-Healing
There are a lot of different tools out there, and the amount of data that’s coming together is enormous. With the emergence of big data and machine learning, we have the ability to put all the different points of monitoring into one system and bring all the data together to provide a single picture of how everything is performing.
Data sources can include anything from systems monitoring tools to application performance monitoring tools to social media feeds such as Twitter and Instagram. In addition, it can and should include data from your IT service management (ITSM) tools. Once you’ve got that you can correlate your performance data with your incident data to actually predict when a problem is more likely to occur so you can fix the root cause or the underlying issue before it impacts your users.
There’s some really neat stuff that can happen with automation, whether that’s just a simple script that can save you time and money or advanced machine learning to actually predict issues and address them in real time. Take the first step to make your organization more efficient and effective.