Using Opalis to automate Standard Operating Procedures

We use the term Run Book Automation as part of the description of what Opalis does.  This is a very good description as it encapsulates very precisely what Opalis is all about:

“Run Book Automation (RBA) is the ability to define, build, orchestrate, manage and report on workflows that support system and network operational processes. A run book process can cross all management disciplines and interact with all types of infrastructure elements, such as applications , databases and hardware”

I would also introduce the term Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when talking about Opalis, because in every day life, every business, every IT Pro and most people perform a task that is by definition a SOP:

“A set of instructions covering those features of operations which lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss of effectiveness”  

And really these two together I think show what is possible and what you should be concentrating on when you think about gaining some efficiencies and consistency in your tasks.  By automating IT processes, what you are doing is 4 key things:

  • Removing the '”human” element, the PEBKAC if you will. 
  • Introducing consistency by completing the task the same way, every time.
  • Introducing compliance through logging, change management and approval mechanisms
  • Speeding up the process

Now there is an inherent requirement here.  When you look at automating IT Processes, you should drill into the process and validate what it does.  Take the opportunity to rationalize your processes.  A poor process that is automated is just a faster poor process.

Opalis is an awesome tool for automating IT Processes and Integrating systems across the Datacenter. Think about all the things that are done within every IT environment every day.  Creating accounts, deleting accounts, providing access to information, reacting to events, responding to requests, building out capacity, the list is endless.  Nearly all of these things can be automated and orchestrated by Opalis in conjunction with the greater System Center (or alternative products if you have existing solutions in place), and you can be reaping the cost and efficiency gains within a very short space of time.

We have built out a set of examples and samples to help you get going, and keep an eye out for further information about getting started with Opalis in the very near future!