What is Cloud Automation?

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What is Cloud Automation?

Cloud automation is a blanket term that is often used to denote specialized software, tools, and operations that help us reduce the manual effort when it comes to deploying and maintaining cloud-based IT infrastructure. Simply put, it is automating tasks programmatically.

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Did you ever wonder what happens when you place an order for a new VPS via the Liquid Web Manage Interface? Cloud Automation is behind all of that. Let’s dig in a bit deeper to learn what Cloud Automation is.

One key reason why automation is so widely embraced and used almost everywhere is that automation reduces the manual effort and intervention needed to deploy a set of tasks. Again, let’s take ordering a VPS as an example. When we placed our order before automation was in place, someone would have to manually allocate both the hardware and software resources. We would then install the OS, cPanel/WHM, and the other default server software, and we would test to make sure everything is working correctly.

Today, we can make an initial selection of our configurations based on the cloud environment of our choice, and so gain the ability to perform multiple complex tasks with a single click.

Benefits of Cloud Automation

Benefits of cloud automation are many, but I’ll list some of them so that you can get a better understanding of what Cloud Automation can do for your business and why it is a must-have if you are running an enterprise.

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  1. Agility: Businesses can scale quickly to better adapt to changing needs
  2. Speed: Increased deployment speed of cloud infrastructure and management
  3. Control: Better administration and centralized management of existing environments
  4. Security: Graduated levels of security provide more granularity when controlling permissions and access rights
  5. Resiliency: Downtime is revenue lost. The continuous monitoring of cloud services and automatic response to issues keep business processes running smoothly
  6. Change Management: Improving the CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery) method ensures a better overall process cycle while lowering the possibility of software errors or a failure which increases development stability
  7. Cost: The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of our IT infrastructure is often significantly reduced

Once we have our automation system configured and ready for the delivery of programmed tasks, we will be able to deploy, integrate, and manage our systems quickly and effectively. Now that we know what cloud automation is and some of its benefits let’s talk about Cloud Orchestration.

Cloud Orchestration

We like to imagine Cloud Orchestration as Cloud automation evolved.
Using cloud orchestration, we can execute automated tasks at an exact time across multiple nodes. We have task A, task B, and task C. You need to run task C before B, and task A after B. Automation can handle these tasks automatically. Orchestration allows us to perform them in the correct order, in a specific timeframe with better fault-tolerant behavior.

Cloud orchestration is an ideal solution for enterprises that need to orchestrate and manage processes across hundreds of domains, systems, and teams. Now that we know the difference between automation and orchestration, it’s time to discuss some common uses of cloud automation.

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Cloud Automation Usage

Load balancing

Load balancing is the process of routing web traffic across multiple servers to ensure that resources are utilized in the best possible way. This can limit delays and improve the overall responsiveness of a site or application. Moreover, if one of our servers in a cluster goes offline, the website or application will not stop, as the rest of the servers in the cluster will take up the work for the server that went offline. Additionally, a new server can be restarted to replace the down server or service almost immediately.

Development and Testing

In today’s world, everything around us is continually evolving and changing. Think about your favorite software. Every update that comes out has to be tested in advance on multiple environments and platforms. In many cases, whole teams of developers are testing new updates. They need new settings generated directly, and this is where automation comes into play and shines. Developers can set up new environments with an OS, browser, and other tools that they need in a blink of an eye.

IaC (Infrastructure as Code)

IaC is actually one of the most common uses of automation. This process is what manages and deploys VM’s, cloud storage volumes (when you order new CBS or Object Storage platform, for example), networks, load balancers, and many other available components and services. Basically, we create templates to manage all of these functions and services and allow IaC to oversee these processes. Now that we have provided some examples of automation and its usage let’s review some of the most common cloud automation tools.

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Cloud automation tools

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a widely used open-source system for automation used to manage containerized workloads and services. Today, all major cloud providers are offering their own branded versions of Kubernetes, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, to name a few.

Puppet

Puppet is one of the oldest tools in use today for use in IaC. When we are looking for a server cluster and management automation tool, Puppet meets that need. It is also an open-source software but does have an available enterprise version.

Ansible

Ansible is an IaC friendly tool developed by Red Hat. The enterprise version of this tool is called Ansible Tower, and it is capable of performing automation and orchestration tasks. We will conclude this article with Ansible.

Docker

Docker is a containerization software that is used for automating the deployment and management of applications within an isolated environment. This software allows us to “pack” and ship an application, along with all of its needed files, libraries, and dependencies, into a “docker container“. That container can then be easily ported to any Linux system that contain cgroups support within the kernel, and provides a container management environment. Docker is one of several containerization implementations (not to be confused with virtualization) based on this cgroups mechanisms built into the Linux kernel.

These are just a few of the essential tools used in cloud automation, but we have merely scratched the surface of the available devices and utilities available to us.

Overall, Cloud automation is a winning choice for many businesses if a stable, continuous, and permanent management of infrastructure is required.

Our Support Teams are replete with talented Linux technicians and System administrators who have an intimate knowledge of multiple web hosting technologies, especially those discussed in this article. If you are a Fully Managed VPS server, Cloud Dedicated, VMWare Private Cloud, Private Parent server or a Dedicated server owner and you are uncomfortable with performing any of the steps outlined, we can be reached via phone @800.580.4985, a chat or support ticket to assisting you with this process.

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What is a Dependency?

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Introduction

Let’s review what dependencies are and why they are required. We all have, at one point or another, most certainly seen a message from our system when we were installing software regarding “missing dependencies.” This error denotes that a required part of the software package is outdated, unavailable or missing. Let’s review how to address those issues when we come across them on Ubuntu.

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How to Install Wildfly on CentOS 8

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What is Wildfly?

WildFly is a Java runtime application server and software management platform implemented in Java. It is primarily used to provision Java applications and services on a Java-based platform. It is currently developed by Red Hat as open-source software (apart from the community forums) and was better-known as JBoss AS previously. While the WildFly software remains open-source, paid support can be purchased from RedHat if needed. RedHat continues to implement a separate version of this software under the JBoss EAP name.

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Introduction

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In this article, we will review the Nmap software program and multiple commands. Nmap is an open-source mainstream tool used by network administrators to scan ports and map networks. Nmap commands are primarily used to identify which ports certain software is running on our system. It is also used to discover available hosts and what services they are offering and detecting potential security risks. Using Nmap, you can check a single host or a complete network. In this tutorial, we will cover several basic as well as advanced Nmap commands in the “Pro Tips and Tricks” section of the article.

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How To Install WildFly On CentOS 7

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Introduction

In this tutorial, our objective is to install WildFly on an unmanaged CentOS 7 server. WildFly is a managed application runtime server and Java software platform used to provision Java applications and services. It is an open-source software which is consistently being improved by its user community. While the WildFly software remains open-source, if paid support is needed, it is provided by Red Hat who currently develops the software (apart from the community forums). Some may be more familiar with WildFly’s previous name, which was JBoss AS. RedHat continues to develop its version of this software under the JBoss EAP name.

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How To Install The Latest Kernel Version

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In this tutorial, we will learn how to install the latest kernel version on multiple Linux distributions. 

What Is A Kernel

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First, let’s define what a kernel is defined as. The Linux kernel is basically the brain of your hardware. Its main purpose is to facilitate communications between your hardware and software. As an example, if an application needs to make a change (say switching the screen resolution of your monitor), the software submits a request to the kernel, and the kernel uses the available video driver options to modify the resolution. 

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What Is Istio?

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The Best Free and Paid Web Application Testing Tools

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Today, we have multiple tools at our disposal when it comes to web application testing. Sometimes, it can be challenging to make the right decision when it comes to choosing a web application testing tool that fits your specific needs. There are endless factors that come into play when inspecting, verifying, and assessing code as multiple factors come into play that depends on the type of platform being used (e.g. a server cluster or virtual cloud-based system), the programming language being employed as well as the purpose of the web application itself.

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