A new way of delivering IT infrastructure services

By Tom Arentsen

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As a service organization specialized in automation, we try to do things a bit differently. Instead of compiling hundreds of pages of documentation we focus on defining the service and automate the implementation. The process is much quicker, agile and efficient. In this blog article I go into detail about our three-step process.

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The “traditional” implementation process

I have been a consultant for a long time tasked with architectural design in the virtualization and cloud computing space. When I look at the typical service engagements, they all kind of follow the same process.

1) Assess

During interactive workshops where the requirements, constraints and overall objectives of the project are discussed.

2) Document

Typically, this leads to hundreds of pages of documentation that need to be reviewed. Once everybody is happy, the implementation process can start.

3) Implement

During the implementation phase, consultants and IT specialists grab their keyboards and mouse and start installing, configuring and, ultimately, trying hard to follow the documentation.

Not only does the process described above take up too much time, it’s also redundant and useless. Documenting all the data is fine if you can make use of the documents you created. However, in reality, very few people read it because in most cases it doesn’t reflect the reality. Vendors are pushing patches and updates on software faster than ever before, meaning your documentation – extensive as it may be – is outdated even before it can be used.


The Nubera implementation process

Instead, we should embrace new technology and adapt to a new and more agile way of working. And that’s precisely what we aim to do at Nubera. Below you will find a rundown of the Nubera approach.

1) Assess

Having interactive workshops, is and will always form the foundation of the relationship you have with your customers, so nothing we can change here.

2) Define

As stated above, we don’t write pages and pages of documentation describing the installation and configuration of the services at Nubera. Instead, we focus on the conceptual design – no more than a few pages – and define the configuration and implementation details so that our automation tools can work with them. This not only saves us time but also ensures that the service will be implemented is exactly as we described it.

Flexibility is a keyword here. We design services with change in mind. If for whatever reason a configuration parameter in a design has to change, an update of the service definition triggers the change and carries it to the automation layer for execution. So at all times your service definition is your documentation and it will at any time tell you exactly how your service is implemented and configured.

3) Automate

Provisioning, managing and operating infrastructures and services are delegated to software systems, for efficiency’s and consistency’s sake. Traditional scripting languages like Shell, Bash and Perl have been replaced by configuration management tools such as Ansible, Puppet, etc. Where previously scripting knowledge was siloed, configuration management tools now offer a higher level of abstraction making it far more readable and accessible for larger audience.


Manage and operate IT infrastructures more efficiently

So the fact that we automate the implementation of infrastructure and services not only drastically reduces the time of the overall engagement, it will also increase the quality and allows customers to manage and operate their infrastructures and services as code going forward.

We believe that our way of working offers many advantages, such as offering better services in a shorter amount of time. Due to our efficient approach, we can afford to spend enough time on innovations, essentially leading to better solutions for our customers – which, in the end, is what it’s all about.

Learn more about our three-step process towards an automated IT infrastructure.

Towards an innovative IT infrastructure

 


By Tom Arentsen on 20 - 10 - 2016

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