IT Automation

Each year sees an increase in the amount of IT tasks and operations that can be automated. 2011 will be no different, according to Ennio Carboni:

As the number of networked devices inside and outside the enterprise continue to explode – both in infrastructure (e.g. routers, switches and systems infrastructure supporting video, and wireless app delivery) and end point devices (especially mobile handhelds, tablets, and netbooks) – higher automation is necessary to maintain control of management costs. Equipment vendors, software publishers and end user IT organizations are embracing automation in many ways – building and deploying more intelligent network devices, using virtualization-led dynamic provisioning and configuration to meet variable demand profiles and attempting to build closed loop management systems that can react to infrastructure changes. We’ve seen this coming: technology replacing humans in the workplace – case-in-point, HP laying off 9000 workers from their datacenter services unit.

Configuration Management and IT Security

However, the rapid growth in the number and complexity of network devices does have its drawbacks. As networks grow, so do the vulnerabilities associated with their configuration and security. Analysts estimate that more than 60% of network outages are caused by manual configuration errors at an annual average rate of 30+ errors per device. This has tremendous impact on maintaining IT security and compliance with internal and external regulatory policies. As a consequence, analysts predict that configuration management and IT security tools will continue to see robust growth in 2011 (Check out slide 4.)

If your network is undergoing the growth now found across the board and you don’t already have a configuration management tool in place, 2011 is the year to change that. A good configuration management tool allows you to automate the process and reduce your chances of an outage, while also notifying you when and where an outage occurs so it can be rectified quickly with little downtime.