One of the challenges of building more automation into your infrastructure and operations is the wrapping your head around the concepts and technologies that IT automation involves. “Automation” can have a vague and buzzword feel when thrown around without definitions or context. Coming to the subject as IT pros, we should have the same basic questions raised by any unfamiliar subject:
What exactly do you mean when you say “IT automation”?
What does IT automation involve?
What fundamental concepts are important to getting a solid skill set?
What tools are available for implementing better automation, and how do I use them effectively?
To help answer these and other questions, we’ve created a free email course, “IT Automation 101”. The course consists of daily emails direct to your inbox, each an in-depth lesson on automation techniques and tools. No classroom, homework, or pants required – just grab some coffee and pop open the daily email lesson.
What’s included? Here’s a preview:
This lesson lays the foundation for the course. The goal is to get clear on what exactly “automation” means as it applies to IT pros, and how to think about it. Topics covered:
What is automation?
Benefits of automation
How automation increases consistency, reduces complexity and makes life better
With the proper motivation in mind, it’s time to dig deeper into what exactly we’re talking about – when you picture IT automation, what should you see? Topics in this lesson:
Think process, not tools
Stepping away from the keyboard
Manual vs. Automated architecture
Examples of manual/automated approaches to IT
The distinction between isolated tasks and end-to-end processes
Next, we unpack some key concepts and take the buzz out of the buzz words. This provides a foundation for “learning the language” of automation. Some highlights:
Imperativevs declarative approaches
Runbooks / workflows / scripts
This lesson gets into the technical level, looking at the technologies and tools available to the automating IT pro. The goal is to survey the landscape and get an idea of what should be in your tool belt. You’ll review:
With concepts and tools in hand, this final lesson offers some tips for getting started with automation efforts. The main message is: start slow and small and work toward bigger efforts. Key points:
Think like a process engineer
Learn a scripting language
Document and standardize
Learn a runbook automation tool
Learn by doing
Ready to start? It’s as easy as dropping an email address below. You’ll get lesson 1 right away, and the others will automatically follow each day. Enjoy!