Data Center Management: The Question of Full Automation

One consideration enterprises should discuss with their managed services staff is full automation. This refers to whether enterprise management would prefer to see data center functions operate on a fully automated basis or if they would prefer the software to deliver alerts and notifications and then leave human IT personnel to deal with those alerts in the most appropriate way possible.

In a fully automated model, the software managing the data center not only dynamically identifies issues to resolve, but also takes steps on its own to apply IT solutions to the issue.  An example of full automation of this type can be seen, for example, when VMware is used to handle virtualization loads in an enterprise.  The VMware software constantly scans virtual server use and determines when one or more servers are carrying a load that is more than optimal for the computing functions being demanded.  VMware can be set up to manage the loads efficiently on its own without constant hands-on human intervention, whether that intervention is on-site or delivered remotely.

In other situations, however, enterprise management may feel more comfortable if an IT expert is the one making response decisions when issues arise in a data center.  This is something that each enterprise must decide on its own in consultation with their managed services provider.  Many enterprises choose to begin with remote management that has a large human element, and as they gain confidence in the technology, decide to move closer to a fully automated model.


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