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Solving infrastructure sprawl with automation: a case study

Deploying automation against infrastructure sprawl can bring critical visibility to managing assets, and enable redundancies to lessen security concerns.
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After last week’s high-level overview of IP infrastructure automation, let’s dive deeper into real-life applications. Automation is not just an abstract theory but a real solution to real issues, like infrastructure sprawl.

The problem: infrastructure sprawl

Global enterprises, particularly those growing through mergers and acquisitions, are often plagued by what’s called “infrastructure sprawl” or “shadow IT.”

When companies acquire new assets, integrating them is always a big task. With networks, it’s even more complicated, because your responsibility is not only to integrate new assets but to adopt methodologies and processes that are sometimes different (or downright incompatible) with what you have.

Why is infrastructure sprawl dangerous

Infrastructure sprawl can grow highly damaging because it can go undetected for a long time. Lack of visibility leads to a lack of understanding, which in turn leads to vulnerability to both external attack vectors and internal runaway costs.

Infrastructure sprawl is a danger to business operations on every level. Vulnerable storage risks data leaks. Vulnerable computing resources can skyrocket costs. Vulnerable networks can bring the business down, halting it entirely.

The solution

Automation can eliminate many sources that feed infrastructure sprawl. In the context of IP infrastructure, automation can bring critical visibility and precision to managing assets, in addition to enabling redundancies that lessen security concerns.

Scattered locations, hyper-diverse network environments can be made whole through proper automation tools. Men&Mice has a customer, a global education technology publisher, whose rapid acquisition practice created dangerous infrastructure sprawl that we could solve.

Read the case study, and what made the solution work:

Coming up

Next week we’ll be examining the specific tools of IP infrastructure automation.

Check back on Tuesday and Thursday to learn about the REST and SOAP API controls. We will discuss their merits and shortcomings alike, along with examples of best practices.

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