Friday, December 29, 2017

Improve IT Service Delivery Quality with Automation

This post is part of blog post series focusing on how a company might kickstart their automation or cloud journey.
Part 1: Improve IT Service Delivery Quality with Automation (this post)
Part 2: Build a Case for Infrastructure & Operation Automation Initiative

I delivered a session during VMware vForum 2017 Indonesia back in November 2017 about how a company can kick start their automation journey and get the value from it. Automation itself is a very extensive topic and one should choose what to automate carefully. IMO, it should start with repetitive tasks which will bring value to business if automated. Begin with something that is easy to automate, and along the journey, adds more tasks to further complete what requires to deliver a service. Quick wins built confidence. Do not try to automate everything in one go, as it will be complex, costly, and give you headache in supporting it. This post is a rewrite what delivered during my vForum 2017 Indonesia session, which would like to give ideas on where to start and what challenges it will solve by doing it.

There are 4 use cases that I presented:

  • Accelerate delivery and improve consistency of application environments
  • Manage VM sprawl by automated lifecycle enforcement
  • Providing secure access to 3rd party vendor
  • Continuous Delivery for apps and SDDC

Below I try to explain on challenges that each use cases try to solve, and how VMware can solve that challenges. The solution mainly powered by VMware vRealize Automation.

Accelerate Delivery and Improve Consistency of Application Environments 

  • Services delivered by IT is not standardized. Different IT team member use different way in providing services.
  • Manual tasks are error prone, many IT services delivered to user wrongly configured or missed one or two steps.
  • Waiting time and handover time between team caused long service delivery time. 
  • vRealize Automation delivered standardized services in timely manner.
    • Standardize services defined in the blueprint which will be the base for each service provisioning. Same steps in automated way guaranteed standardize error free service.
    • Automated provisioning remove waiting time and handover time due to human resource availability and speed up service delivery.

Manage VM Sprawl by Automated Lifecycle Enforcement 

  • Development team keeps asking for more VMs. They said it is for temporary, but once deployed we never able to retire those “temporary” VMs.
    • Each extension should be acknowledged by LOB manager.
  • We don’t want to be the obstacle for the development team’s work by not fulfilling their request in time. 
  • vRealize Automation provides a self-service portal to the development team.
    • Self-service portal provide easy access to consume IT resources the development team need.
    • Temporary VM will be deployed in leased mode. Automatic housekeeping will be enforced when due.
    • Approval workflow incorporated in the lifecycle to ensure governance.

Providing Secure Access to 3rd Party Vendor 

  • We have some applications managed by 3rd party vendor and we need to provide them out of band access to their VMs.
  • They should have access to their VMs only, and not other VMs or the underlying infrastructure.
  • vRealize Automation provides a self-service portal to the 3rd party vendor.
    • Self-service portal provide easy access to their VMs and no other resources.
    • Through the self-service portal, user will be able to have out of band console access, including other allowed day two actions.

Continuous Delivery for Apps and SDDC 

  • Our development team began to applying CI/CD. We are overwhelmed by all their requests to provide development environments.
  • Dedicated development environment that we have is not flexible to fulfill what our development team requires. 
  • vRealize Automation and vRealize Code Stream fully automate the process to deliver application artifacts including infra and app delivery - from dev to production.
    • Integrate with existing CI/CD tool chain.
    • Provide on demand development environment.
If the above challenges are relevant to you and you would like to discuss further, do not hesitate to contact me or leave your message in the comment box below. Thanks for reading.

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