The hybrid cloud has gone mainstream. Enterprises committed to digital innovation have made the transition. This is because public cloud providers have made it easier to bypass years of legacy technology, process, culture, and thinking. But, at the same time, most companies do not want to lose control, so they opt for a hybrid setup.

And this freedom to work with both legacy and the public cloud is fertile ground for genuine digital innovation. At the center of this cloud revolution is automation and orchestration. So, what role do cloud automation and orchestration play in the hybrid cloud matrix?

What is Cloud Automation?

Cloud automation is the tools and processes enterprises use to reduce the manual effort required when provisioning and managing workloads. Cloud automation is applicable to public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.

Tools, such as Chef and Ansible, make cloud automation a more intuitive process. They allow DevOps/CloudOps teams to automate cloud infrastructure by writing infrastructure as code. Cloud automation tools allow you to connect to different clouds in a hybrid setup. You can seamlessly automate across public cloud providers.

Examples of what cloud automation allows you to do:

  • You can automatically provision more cloud servers whenever you hit a resource constraint.
  • You can automate the setup of new cloud architecture teams when you have a new project.
  • You can create virtual networks in your cloud for external parties.
  • You can implement a continuous deployment pipeline at an enterprise level.

Takeaways: Cloud Automation Is a Key to a Mature Cloud/DevOps Model

  • DevOps is the cornerstone of innovation in the cloud. Cloud automation is the cornerstone of DevOps.
  • DevOps is reliant on automated infrastructure as code, tight feedback loops, and continuous delivery – they all rely on automation.
  • Automation reduces the variability and complexity of your enterprise’s infrastructure and tech stack. It also scales these attributes across the whole enterprise in a repeatable, sustainable way.

Cloud automation provides the best starting point for building an efficient CloudOps/DevOps pipeline. Each automation addresses a particular issue in the pipeline. This means that automations can be disparate. That is – there is no coordination from an overall perspective. Cloud orchestration helps solve this problem.

What is Cloud Orchestration?

Cloud automation and orchestration are complimentary. Cloud orchestration is the automation of disparate automations across services and clouds. It connects automated tasks to create a cohesive workflow that helps the enterprise achieve its goals. In short, cloud orchestration is the automation of automations.

Here’s an example of cloud orchestration:

You can spin up a fully functional test environment, run all software tests, and, then, report and shut down the infrastructure when you’re done. This is an example of a cloud orchestration template. It’s repeatable (reused for similar projects), efficient, and helps save on cloud resources since it terminates all processes itself.

Takeaway: Cloud Orchestration Is Critical to Managing the Big Picture

Cloud orchestration brings together a series of lower-level automations. It’s the bigger picture of automation. Cloud orchestration tools can help you perform this complex task.

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