What is automation?

Automation, automaton

Engineers really hate doing monotonous, repetitive tasks. Automation really excels at those.

Define Automation

Automation is when a task is executed without human intervention. If you had to kick it off, it isn't automation.


"But what will happen if no engineer is watching it run?"

It will perform whatever task it's been instructed to do. A well written automation is one that includes the steps for backout should anything unexpected occur.
Notice here the criteria is 'unexpected', not 'errored'. Anything unexpected IS an error.

Comparing a Human engineer to automation

How to do Automation Correctly

There are a lot of reasons why efforts to incorporate automation into operations fail. The most prevelent issue is the lack of specific skill sets in the effort. The main issue here is that you can't let the engineers do the automation because they aren't software developers.
And you can't let the software developers do the automation because they have no idea what needs to be done or how to do it.
You need both.

The other common problem is the use of incorrect, untested, unsupported, or damaging tools.
A common situation is where an "automation system" is brought in that supposedly does everything for everybody and all you have to do is learn that system. And then that system changes, or goes out of business, or you turn on the "Automated Discovery" and it DDoS's your network from the inside.

Let's not do that anymore, shall we

Just because the software was written by a large company and has myriad staffing to support it...

Simple example of an automated task: Take the Inventory of the network, everything currently 'on'

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