On perusing the IT models today, it won’t be long before we figure that only a small percentage of software development teams have an absolutely hands-off automated deployment process. While some teams have partial manual deployment systems, the others are still stuck living the statement like above, incompetently staying off the grid, believing the overhead of creating, setting-up, configuring and maintaining an automated deployment system is not worth the benefits it would bring about? Is this true? Not necessarily!
How Manual deployments slow you down:
This is because enterprises today spend a lot of their time manually resetting passwords, updating patches, enabling application deployments, performing asset management and churning out software deployments. This is not just time-consuming and inefficient, but also resource intensive and error prone. Taking for a small example, a service desk staff, he or she relies on expensive resources from resolver groups, even for issues such as server reboots, restarts, disk alerts, etc.. In all, manual deployments are based on outdates instructions and non-maintainable scripting, causing frustrations and delays.
The automated deployments, the better option:
This makes automated deployments the true protagonist of the time, giving IT a reason to automate repeatable tasks quickly and efficiently based on the best practices every time, unburdening the deployment responsibilities off the shoulders of developers and testers by providing a self-service, secure capabilities. Automated deployments allows software developers to deploy, rollback and upgrade complex applications and enable configuration with a click of a button. In brief, automated deployment:
Why Automated deployments?
The importance of automated deployments have direct positive turn-outs in terms of time, revenue and efficiency. To look at the same, more in detail, automated deployments allows for rollbacks without the need to develop a script or workflow for applications independently. This means that the need to installing components on every single targeted systems is not a mandate any more.
Automated deployments diminishes the wastage of valuable deployment cycles on developing scripting as new middleware versions. In other words, automated deployments come with out-of-the-box deployment profiles for most middleware stacks, which lets teams focus more on non-standard applications.
Automated deployments are designed with extensibility in mind. This lets teams easily hook up legacy deployment scripting to get the applications up and running spontaneously. Automated deployments can plug-in interfaces to add support for additional middleware and other deployment targets and join the worldwide community of plug-in contributors without difficulty.
Benefits such as simple, self-service interfaces allow testers and developers to deploy their applications to newer environments with the click of a button. This means that they can enable access without going through target systems. Also eliminating middleware and operations teams’ backlog of deployment requests, allows them to focus more on other important tasks.
The Solution Approach:
That being said, automated deployment requires a particular solution approach that needs to be followed to churn out the best results. This model involves:
Capturing the data – All the necessary data for top recurring issues have to be extracted first, using comprehensive monitoring and ITSM tools.
Analyzing the data – After the data is extracted, the teams need to follow a right processes to enable automation. This can be done through a thorough review of application deployments, patching, disk alerts, password resets, service restarts, etc.
Choosing the right tools and platforms – Once the data is analyzed, teams need to go through a process of selecting the right combination of tools and platforms inbuilt from product companies and vendors, specialized in providing workflow.
Once the tools are decided, deploying them as per the requirements is to done. For example, to patch the workstations and servers, the deployment of SCCM in the environment and configure as per the enterprise requirements can be enabled.
Once the tools are deployed, existing manual break fix and deployments are to be mapped to create intelligent workflows thus orchestrating the customer processes.
Enabling automated deployment would put your time, energy and resources to better use, optimizing operations and enhancing efficiency to a whole new degree. However, this requires a holistic view of things at large, better knowledge of the tools, superior scripting, timely attention to troubleshooting and sound technical knowledge of various applications, without which the automated deployment can backfire and affect the organization’s confidence.
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