What are the primary use cases for VM deployment automation?
To keep up with ever-increasing resource demands, use VM deployment automation to launch and configure VMs quickly and predictably.
Virtualization can improve resource utilization and enhance workload management, but the diversity and volume of virtualization processes can make it difficult to manually support virtualization. VM deployment automation can add speed and consistency to VM workload provisioning, deployment and management.
Automation offers two principal benefits for any task: speed and consistency. Automation enables you to complete repetitive — and often complex — tasks faster than an administrator ever could. Automation also completes tasks the same way every time, which brings more consistency and confidence to repetitive tasks. Speed and consistency are two crucial benefits, especially for anyone who must create and manage many VMs.
There are myriad use cases where deployment automation can improve VM delivery and performance.
The most common uses of automation tend to be VM provisioning and workload deployment. Creating a VM involves numerous steps, such as allocating vCPUs and memory, defining storage, and assigning network resources. VM deployment automation can speed the provisioning process and enable the creation of numerous identical VMs. Automation can also load workload images into VMs, apply configuration settings to the workload and launch each workload into operation.
Automated provisioning and workload deployment are often associated with user self-service. Traditional IT deployments require new workload requests that then require budgeting, hardware and software acquisition, and formal scheduling and deployment. VM deployment automation can enable users to request and receive new VM servers, workloads and other IT services almost on demand — and can even accommodate management or IT approvals if necessary before acting.
VM deployment automation enables modern software development
VM deployment automation is a key tool for modern software development paradigms such as continuous integration/continuous delivery and DevOps. Automation is critical because it shepherds multiple daily iterations through repositories, builds, debugging, build testing, configuration management and deployment to VMs. DevOps doesn’t work without automation platforms.
Automation can also support VM lifecycle management tasks. For example, automation can invoke protective tasks such as VM backups and snapshots. Automation can also couple with lifecycle management tools to automate the identification and cleanup of idle, unused or time-limited VMs — returning those resources to a common pool for reuse.
Finally, VM deployment automation has found acceptance as a means of business governance. Traditional manual processes of VM resource allocation, systems configuration management and workload deployment are fraught with errors and oversights. Such problems can potentially waste valuable IT resources, precipitate poor or limited workload performance, and expose critical systems to security threats and other unintended consequences.
VM deployment automation makes VM creation consistent and repeatable, which enables you to conserve resources and establish VM configurations in accordance with prevailing business and regulatory needs.