Infrastructure automation is a process that uses various technologies to execute tasks. It aims to limit human interference in managing components of an IT infrastructure.
Infrastructure automation tools assist the process by installing, configuring, and maintaining the IT Infrastructure. It deploys hardware, software, operating systems, networking elements, and data components for the process.
Infrastructure automation tools reduce the risk of human error. It enhances the efficiency of IT operations and staff in an IT environment.
Top 9 Infrastructure Automation Tools
- Infrastructure automation tools are important for IT orchestration, efficiency, and an organization’s digital transformation. The tools increase agility, improve productivity and reduce manual errors.
- Infrastructure automation tools help organizations achieve goals and objectives. It helps organizations become efficient and scalable by building a more reliable IT infrastructure.
- Infrastructure automation tools help reduce allocation time for VMs, storage, and networking devices. Manually it may take weeks or months, but with infrastructure automation tools it is possible within hours or even minutes.
- Infrastructure automation solutions work with multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments. It enables smooth automation and orchestration of tools and technologies in an IT infrastructure.
- Infrastructure automation tools also help reduce cost by enabling the proper and complete use of the components in an IT infrastructure. It eliminates manual processes saving cost on labor while maintaining and improving the quality of IT operations.
Infrastructure automation tools help turn data centers into private or hybrid cloud infrastructures. It evolves the data center according to its provider and the objectives of the organization.
Infrastructure automation tools help clusters in an IT infrastructure to manage and support their functions automatically. It allows the clusters downtime and offers higher availability to users.
The tools help increase self-service automation for many public cloud platforms. It includes Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platforms.
Network Automation is another process that is automated using infrastructure automation tools. It allows the faster deployment, full life-cycle automation of applications, and networking of security services.
DevOps for Infrastructure:
Infrastructure automation tools enable DevOps to replace software as physical infrastructure. It supports, orchestrates, and automates Infrastructure as Code (IaC) instead of manual processes.
Now, IT infrastructure is no longer physical. There are various tools, software and solutions replacing the physical platforms.
Infrastructure As Code employs software development principles and practices to codify and manage IT infrastructure platforms. It allows developers and IT teams to automate deployment, workflow, monitoring, provisioning, and configuration.
It reduces manual efforts to configure hardware devices and operating systems. Infrastructure as Code introduces programmable software as an entire IT infrastructure.
Wikipedia defines IaC as, “Infrastructure as code is the process of managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.”
Issues solved by Infrastructure as Code:
- IaC reduces manual efforts and automatically manages an IT infrastructure and its components.
- It reduces cost by automating processes and eliminating the use of engineers and technicians.
- It resolves issues related to scalability and availability which improves productivity in the long run.
- IaC also increases visibility for monitoring performances. It manages components and structures for optimum results.
Ansible is an open-source infrastructure automation tool. It automates functions to deploy, configure, and orchestrate IT components in an application.
Ansible is one of the best DevOps tools used for infrastructure automation. It does not require additional software on servers because of its agentless architecture.
Puppet is an open-source infrastructure as code tool used for automation. It has its own language which is the eponymous Puppet.
It automates manual script-driven changes for other DevOps programs. Its configuration management tool syntax is decoupled from the basic application’s OS and syntax.
SaltStack is a high-speed infrastructure automation tool. It optimally manages, configures, and orchestrates an IT infrastructure.
SaltStack has a master-slave architecture that implements the instructions by the Salt Master. The master is the daemon that monitors everything and the minions play slave daemons installed for all managed systems.
Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code automation tool. Hashicorp developed the tool in 2014 to create and deploy IT infrastructure using IaC.
It collaborates well with cloud providers like AWS, Azure, GCP, etc. It is often used by companies to manage their Kubernetes clusters.
Docker is one of the best infrastructure automation tools used for containerization. The platform helps execute multiple applications on a single server without affecting each other.
It isolates containers as separate hardware setups. This helps implement the application in the same way as a server.
Docker is one of the popular infrastructure tools as its components quickly assemble applications. It provides high availability to optimize resources and reduce conflicts.
Chef is one of the best ruby-based infrastructure automation tools used for configuration management. It uses the client-server architecture based on the Ruby DSL (domain-specific language)
The tool attains the speed, scale, and consistency of an IT infrastructure. It approaches Infrastructure as Code to help users swiftly adapt to any enterprise changes.
AWS CloudFormation is one of the most popular cloud-based infrastructure automation tools. It makes it easy to model and set up AWS resources using infrastructure as code.
It manages resources and monitors applications on AWS to save time and effort. Its provisions and configures resources by using templates to create, update and delete stacks.
It helps scale IT infrastructures globally. It also meets safety, compliance, and configuration regulations across all AWS accounts and regions
Jenkins is one of the fastest integration automation tools for application delivery. It is a java-based orchestration tool used as a version control system like GitHub or SVN.
It is no longer just a CI tool and is used for building pipelines for provisioning and deploying applications. It recently introduced pipeline as a code feature, which lets users attain the CI/CD pipelines as a complete code.
Monit is an open-source and one of the simplest infrastructure automation tools. It is a “watchdog” that monitors and recovers errors in the infrastructure.
It conducts automatic repairs and maintenance to execute meaningful causal actions in error situations. The tool provides packages for FreeBSD and OpenBSD.
Most Unix and Linux distributions include Monit. It also provides packages for platforms like macOS and Solaris.
Infrastructure automation tools are a requirement for IT teams. It is important to select the right set of infrastructure automation tools to automate monotonous tasks and enhance efficiency.
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