How Open Source Automation Technologies Help Streamline Your IT

IT for business

Open source automation technologies for Information Technology (IT) can be highly cost effective for your small business and helpful to your IT workforce. They help automate repetitive tasks that system administrators perform manually. IT automation solutions link up your business’s disparate systems and software so that they become self-regulating.

For example, an automation technology can be something as common and simple as an email spam filter; it can integrate a form into a PDF that is automatically sent to the correct parties, or it can provide automated provisioning or monitoring of an off-site back-up system.

With more new businesses working in Cloud environments every day, there is a greater demand for automation as a practical solution for providing quick and effective resolutions to common IT issues. Here are two open source automation software technologies that will help you reap economies of scale from your IT workforce.

Puppet from Puppet Labs

Puppet Open Source, licensed under Apache 2.0, is a self-defined model-based approach to automation, allowing you to adapt your business’s infrastructure to Puppet using their configuration language. In other words, you can use your own desired model for IT and redefine it with open source software. Puppet automatically installs your chosen services based on this configuration language. It automates repetitive IT tasks so that your IT workforce can focus on more challenging projects or issues that impact your company.

This open source software runs on Linux distributions and supports a variety of operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and Unix platforms, including HP-UX, AIX, and Solaris. Pricing is based on the number of supported nodes with options for both standard and premium levels of support. Puppet is a great solution for businesses with a slightly smaller budget that want solid, basic support for IT.

Chef from Opscode

Chef from Opscode is a high-quality automation solution that focuses on addressing the more difficult infrastructure challenges in the IT industry. It provides fast and efficient service and is even used by large companies such as Amazon and Facebook, but it can work just as well for small businesses managing as few as five servers. It can also work with your network, whether it is in the Cloud, on-site, or a hybrid solution.

Chef transforms your infrastructure into code, providing greater system flexibility. It provides vital features including centralized reporting, constant activity monitoring, access control based on administrator roles, and management console, and is available for installation on your company’s premises or as a hosted service. This is the ideal solution for businesses that want more flexibility with their automation technologies.

It is a wise business decision to take advantage of these open source automation technologies not only because they automate mundane IT processes, but because they are so readily available and easy to adapt to your company’s needs. According to an article from, “it’s only with the availability of easily accessible open source automation tools that more IT professionals have begun [using automation to manage] distributed systems.”

Automated systems help IT administrators manage system resources across multiple data centers as volume of data to be managed increases. If you want to try it before you buy, both of the above solutions offer free trials so you can see if it’s right for you. Using an open source automation tool for your business can make running your company more efficiently overall, so you can focus on serving your customers and growing your business.

Sarah Teczar

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