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Runbook Automation

What is runbook automation?

Runbook automation uses special software tools to examine the operation procedures and processes on a given IT structure and study them in systematic ways. This includes building, managing, defining, and reporting on workflows.

A properly updated and maintained runbook is essential to keeping an enterprise working at its best. Effective runbook automation is accurate, accessible, verified, and adaptable.

What is a runbook?

A runbook is documentation that includes an amalgamation of all of the regular operations and procedures carried on by a system administrator in DevOps. These runbooks are used as a reference source and may be either electronic or in a tangible book (or other paper) form.

A runbook usually encompasses all of the procedures that must be used to have an effective IT department including how to start, stop, and rid any bugs from the system.  This helps keep IT processes running smoothly and allows computer scientists to effectively manage a system. Runbooks conquer common problems by providing a roadmap of what needs to be done and how glitches can be fixed efficiently. A runbook is typically separated into routine manual processes and routine automated processes and is essential to ITOps.

Runbooks that contain specific how-tos on how to manage more complicated issues can be incredibly valuable to an enterprise as part of its Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

Why is runbook automation important?

Using runbook automation is a great example of automation and human symbiosis because using this tool allows people to solve certain problems properly, yet efficiently using modern technology. Runbook automation enables IT teams to reduce mean time to repair (MTTR), increasing mean time between failures (MTBF), and automates the distribution of IT resources. In short, using this tool can save time, money, and other resources.

Runbook automation makes an organization more self-sufficient. This can be easily shared with anyone in an enterprise who needs access to this type of information, so it is not siloed in a way that only a few experts can utilize this tool. With runbook automation, more people could possess and access the know-how to fix many common problems efficiently.

Since runbook automation is becoming the norm, enterprises are looking to find the best of these programs that will suit all of their ever-evolving DevOps needs.

What are the benefits of having runbook automation software?

As a runbook gives you a step-by-step guide on what you should do if and when something goes wrong, runbook automation makes this process even easier by having certain things happen automatically when a software system encounters a specific situation.

Having the proper tools in place to methodically go through possible challenges systematically helps an enterprise to cover all of its bases and use previous successes and failures to mitigate problems in a common-sense driven, yet still expedient way. These benefits make employing runbook automation a good idea for most businesses.

What are some runbook automation software best practices?

Utilizing runbook automation has been proven to save enterprises time and money. However, in order to get runbook automation working at its most optimal levels, it is essential to audit your current environment and have your team identify and document the strengths and weaknesses of your system. They also should create a checklist of dos and don’ts for all things that typically happen in most ITOps situations for this specific organization.

The people who work on this need not only need to be able to decipher which problems commonly occur and how are they solved using the least amount of time and resources by mapping the architecture, but also must understand and be able to explain how each component is connected to another. Runbook automation requires human ingenuity, cooperation, and adaptability in order to be successful.

By having your team discover how each person can work together with technology to make an already good IT system better by understanding how each part works together, and how you can be sure to keep this information up to date, you are using the best practices to ensure the success of your runbook automation.

 

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