Much of the work in IT consists of repetitive, routine tasks that are repeated on all servers or at regular intervals. Doing this work manually is time consuming and takes operations staff away from more valuable work, as well as risk-prone due to typos and incorrect data entry. Automation tools on Azure lets you transform these manual tasks into scheduled scripts that can be validated and then rerun without error repeatedly.
Use Cases for Automation on Azure
There are many scenarios for automation on Azure. Some of the most common include:
• VM management. Use Azure automation to deploy VMs and schedule the startup and shutdown of instances. Identify idle servers from completed development and test projects and release their resources and shut them down. Scan for missing patches and apply them.
• Configuration management. Use Desired State Configuration on servers to enforce consistent settings across instances. Apply security policies across machines.
• Log management. Rotate log files or delete them when space becomes tight. Run log analytics and generate reports.
• Database management. Truncate databases and perform scheduled exports and backups.
• Import nightly data loads. Schedule data feeds that send data between applications. Transfer the data files and run the extract, transform, and load procedures needed to import them into cloud systems.
• Security management. Verify and apply security settings across servers.
• Event management. Automate the response to an event alert based on the detailed information in the event. This allows you to rapidly respond to unexpected VM shutdowns or intense CPU utilization.
Automation in Azure can help both with the routine tasks you perform every day as well as the once-in-a-while tasks that are error prone because of their unfamiliarity. Runbooks can be easily created using Azure’s graphical editor; you can also write Powershell scripts or write Python code to leverage Python’s libraries.
Prescient Solutions IT consulting and managed services help Chicago and Schaumburg businesses get the most from their IT. As a Microsoft partner, we’re expert in Azure. We’ll help you use Azure automation to minimize the manual work needed to maintain your Azure environment. Contact us to learn more.