Infrastructure Management

Large enterprises and small spend tremendous amount of money and efforts in managing their infrastructure be it Virtualized infrastructure or Physical. Every business has a different perspective of how they manage their infrastructure. There are many Industry best practices but there is no one architecture fits all solution. 
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Managing multiple test environments vs Production environment is always the topmost topic of discussion for engineering teams. Traditionally, these environments are provisioned as silos and were disconnected silos where development team would create the application and literally Toss it over to operations for deployment. When the inevitable problems occurred, fingers start pointing at one group or another complaining about poor code quality, poor infrastructure and that is a vicious cycle.

Some of it can be mitigated with proper assignment of responsibilities with RACI for managing your environment. This is where ITSM processes will fill the gap. Clear definitions of SLO(Service Level Objectives) and SLA(Service Level Agreements).

I think the DevOps was directly a solution to bridge the gap between Development and Operations. Instead of pointing fingers at each other. Development and IT operations work together, collaborate and deliver.  Successful DevOps requires all the teams within an organization to coordinate and play significant roles at different phases of the application lifecycle. It may not solve the problems with silos but collaboration will help.

Infrastructure should be managed in such a way that reduces the overall administration effort, time spent to manage them, maximizes productivity and reduces bugs that affect the infrastructure. 

The modern operations is going to be interesting with businesses moving their infrastructure to Cloud. Operations will be automated through code, QA will be automated, deployments will be automated. Infrastructure as a code is a reality, it is possible today.

Accelerate the standardization and consolidation of the infrastructure and application environment. It is extremely important to standardize the existing infrastructure before planning to automate it. Read Infrastructure automation here.

Using the historic data as well as predictive analysis, Infrastructures should be enabled to be smart which can scale up when there is a business demand and scale back down after that. Thats something we covered here.

Automating Infrastructure as a piece of code which can be configured, tested, deployed, measured, versioned, refactored just the way other software source code is treated.

Even if businesses don't have roadmap or a vision to reach there, Standardizing their existing physical or virtual infrastructure has advantages in itself.

With proper use of technologies, businesses can reduce operational cost, manual labor, enable faster time to market, lesser time to deliver products, Efficient, reliable and scalable Capacity management.

For operations team, infrastructure should be one silo rather than a silos defined by number of test environments in an organization. Of course their SLAs would defer but that is something which can be managed at the Service layer and support layer.

Assess the existing infrastructure, optimize it to match the best practices and your needs and monitor along the way. Capture metrics and repeat until the Infrastructure is standardized enough.

Assess -> Optimize ->Monitor -> Report ->Manage