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Taken as a whole, today's IT solutions are growing more complex and difficult to control. So, it's a good day when we can find places to simplify individual functions through automation, reducing operational costs to maintain a complex IT solution while increasing efficiency.

Automating any function can be a detailed, labor-intensive process that's best done in baby steps, considering the countless data center interactions it affects. But once up and running, the effort invested in automation can pay off significantly as organizations leverage the full value of data, reducing human error, time to execute and mundane tasks.

One WWT technology partner for whom simplicity is a foundational pillar is Pure Storage, innovators in all-flash data storage hardware and software solutions. As one of the first manufacturers to introduce 100 percent flash storage products designed for simplicity and ease of use, Pure Storage is a recognized leader in resilient, easy-to-use storage innovation. A key dividend of Pure's novel approach to storage is that it helps simplify the process of automation.

Effective automation gets easier with Pure

Organizations that embark on an ambitious push to automate soon learn: you can't boil the ocean. It's a deliberative process best done in stages, focusing on the areas where it can deliver optimum value. Storage is one of those prime areas.

This is where Pure Storage adds significant value, helping eliminate complexity by offering a simpler storage solution to automate. Here are a few of the aspects that make Pure Storage's solution unique:

  • A single-minded commitment: keep storage simple. Pure Storage's founders envisioned simplicity as a central tenet of their new company, asking: why does storage have to be so hard? Their goal was to simplify modern storage, building something easy to consume. The result was one of the world's first all-flash storage solutions with an open API to allow for easy integration, enabling users to perform basic tasks with fewer steps.
  • Simplifying storage by reducing steps. Before you can automate a process, you first need to understand how and why it works -- and how that process interacts with countless other processes. And, if you minimize the number of steps involved in a certain task -- like storage provisioning -- the simpler and faster it is to automate. For example, a task that may take up to ten steps for traditional storage solutions can be reduced to perhaps three or four, shortening the path to automation and reducing TCO.
  • Freedom of choice with integration into automation tools. Pure's commitment to simplicity also means not locking customers in to certain proprietary automation utilities. From Day One, Pure Storage made its API fully open, and is integrated into a wide variety of third-party automation tools such as Ansible to provide customers with an easier automation path.

Ease the path to automation 

Pure's foundational principles drive simpler storage solutions that are easier to implement as well as automate. For its part, WWT helps customers build the DevOps skills needed to achieve automation and effectively drive down operational costs while enhancing value.

Organizations often have limited resources to field a highly skilled automation team, so the people doing the automating typically are front-line staff who have been in the trenches performing storage operations manually and are now trained up to bridge the gap from storage administration to becoming DevOps professionals. But it takes time to learn and become proficient at automation.

The skilled and dedicated automation team from WWT assists organizations of every size in implementing an automation strategy, introducing the essentials of storage automation. WWT's mentorship program helps our customers:

  • Navigate the process by probing areas of the data center infrastructure to formulate important questions that need to be considered.
  • Define overall goals, identifying the most valuable targets for automation that will generate the greatest return on investment (ROI).
  • Work as a team to implement the most cost-effective solutions that break free from silos and automate mundane tasks.
  • Manage cross-team coordination in creating strategies that resolve potential concerns and promote a pervasive teamwork approach.

To that end, WWT hosts a Value Stream Mapping Workshop in which participants are trained and empowered to define areas of process improvements to drive business outcomes: prioritizing workflows to align with business objectives; analyzing those workflows to identify performance and quality issues; developing a future-state process map; and creating and implementing an intelligent automation strategy.

In this fashion, WWT and Pure maximize their respective talents to simplify every customer's move to automation.

Discover how Pure Storage can simplify your move to automation

WWT is continuously focused on the Big Three benefits of IT modernization: greater efficiency, increased return on investment and lower total cost of ownership -- and automation is an essential contributor to those.

Storage automation in particular, implemented wisely and managed well, can go a long way toward achieving IT and business goals. Pure Storage accelerates the process, bringing simplicity and speed to storage, making it easier for organizations to embrace and adopt automation.

Visit the WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC) for labs, demonstrations, workshops and other resources for experiencing Pure Storage solutions in action.