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Four Use Cases for Optimizing Your Cloud Operations With PagerDuty® Runbook Automation

by Madeline Zemer April 6, 2022 | 5 min read

The cloud is easy and powerful—until it’s not. Once companies have customers, commitments, and compliance concerns, they often have to create cloud operations teams to manage the cloud on behalf of their fellow employees. Often, organizations that migrate to the cloud find themselves hampered by inefficient cloud operations if they haven’t standardized their IT procedures for operability. Less mature operations manifest as highly manual procedures, slow ticket queues, and less-than-impressive resolution times. These companies typically see longer incidents, lower productivity, and high staff costs. System availability goals are achieved at the expense of innovation velocity as too much staff time is spent on toil versus engineering.

How are you running your cloud operations? Are you operating in ticket time and losing the agility of the cloud? Or are you extending cloud automation to the operations task level? The trick to maintaining your cloud agility is to create operational APIs, and it calls for your teams to run at their speed, not languish in ticket time. The good news is that PagerDuty® Runbook Automation is here to help. PagerDuty® Runbook Automation is a SaaS that helps businesses accelerate cloud operations by safely delegating automated IT workflows. Now you can operate faster by standardizing and safely delegating automated IT workflows to stakeholders. These workflows automate procedures in runbooks for resolving incidents, and fulfilling IT requests. 

PagerDuty® Runbook Automation is new to the market, but we’ve already seen some interesting use cases from our early access users. Here are some promising use cases:

  1. Self-service Automation for Cloud Ops

PagerDuty® Runbook Automation lets DevOps engineers and SREs get started on building automation immediately. Engineers can create workflow automation and deliver reliable automated runbooks to end-users. This is especially useful for automating requests from developers to the Cloud Ops team for things like provisioning and deprovisioning instances, creating data sandboxes, copying data from production systems to development and test systems, and querying production data for things like user logs.

In addition to ensuring that system requirements are met and costs can be controlled, developers can start coding right away, instead of having to waste time on repetitive tasks or waiting for the platform team to do the same.

2. Drive Better Efficiency and Better-integrated Workflows 

Many IT Ops and Tech Support Ops tools are now available as SaaS but the infrastructure and production infrastructure they need to connect to is still behind a firewall or VPC. These SaaS tools may not be able to invoke “on-premises” automation from a SaaS product because company policy doesn’t allow inbound webhooks. 

Automation is most valuable when more people can use it. However, because there are a limited number of people that have access to environments behind the firewall, there are only a few who can utilize the automation that touches these environments. Delegating automation requires new approaches for connecting traditional automation to these cloud-based tools.

PagerDuty Runbook Automation’s approach for standardizing workflow automation can help you develop a congruent strategy for connecting front-office systems to back-office systems. Easily hook your SaaS tools into PagerDuty Runbook Automation to execute automation without requiring an inbound webhook through the firewall. Now, end-users can work more efficiently by invoking delegated automation where they work. This includes CRMs like Salesforce, ITSMs like ServiceNow, Github Cloud, Jira Cloud, PagerDuty, and more.

Maybe a financial planning and analysis analyst needs to grab inventory data about IT infrastructure for capacity planning. Instead of filling out a ticket for the Ops team they can pull this data themselves using a prebuilt workflow in Runbook Automation, possibly triggered from JIRA. Customer service agents can also benefit. For example, say a customer wants to change their SaaS portal subdomain, which is only possible by making API calls to “internal” API endpoints. You could empower your customer service agents to make these changes on behalf of a customer by invoking an automated workflow right from Zendesk that changes the customer’s portal name. See a demo of this use case here

3. Self-service Cloud Operation Across Multiple Accounts or Products 

PagerDuty® Runbook Automation can safely delegate access to automated tasks that work across cloud accounts, making it easier to consistently manage infrastructure in multiple cloud accounts. With PagerDuty® Runbook Automation’s AWS Systems Manager integration, operators can view and manage their global EC2 footprint in a single interface. This means faster execution and accuracy for tasks such as configuration management, patching, and deploying monitoring and security tooling agents.

This can be very useful for service providers who manage cloud infrastructure for customers. For example, customer success engineers can easily support customer environments without needing detailed knowledge or direct access to infrastructure resources. Because PagerDuty® Runbook Automation provides sharing of credentials in the context of operational processes, support reps and support teams have outcome-based jobs at their fingertips.

4. Improve Cloud Ops Compliance 

PagerDuty® Process Automation is great for optimizing security and compliance since secure setup and configuration are ensured by automation, and all access and executions are logged. The same is true for Cloud Operations. 

It can be time-consuming for someone to have to gather all the logs needed for audits across a sprawling number of cloud accounts and services. Runbook Automation logs every job execution inside the platform, which provides auditable history more directly aligned with business activity. This makes it easier for cloud engineering teams to meet compliance requirements.

Runbook Automation’s SaaS-based architecture makes it easy to trial! Start using powerful task automation in minutes. Contact us if you want to try Runbook Automation today. Learn more about Runbook Automation here.