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10 Time-Consuming IT Tasks You Should Automate Today

10 Time-Consuming IT Tasks You Should Automate Today



Download this guide to find out the top 10 commonly performed IT activities you can easily automate to increase efficiency and free up resources.

Download this guide to find out the top 10 commonly performed IT activities you can easily automate to increase efficiency and free up resources.



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    10 Time-Consuming IT Tasks You Should Automate Today 10 Time-Consuming IT Tasks You Should Automate Today Document Transcript

    • 10 Time-consumingIT Tasks you shouldAutomate Today!..and free up your scarce resources
    • Introduction Quite often, IT automation is feared with the notion that it’s complex, requires resources and large investments. The solution is simply to start small – gain quick wins in automating repetitive tasks, before expanding automation into more complex processes. In this eBook we assembled 10 IT tasks that you should easily automate to free up resources and launch new IT process automation projects. Enjoy, Ayehu’s Founder and CEO il.linkedin.com/in/gabbynizri Share this eBookPage 3 www. ayehu.com
    • Table of Contents 1/ Password Resets/Unlock Accounts 5 2/ Free up server disk space 6 3/ Shutdown remote computers 7 4/ Monitor Files and Folders 8 5/ Restart Windows services 9 6/ Automate SQL Queries 10 7/ Change service account password 11 8/ Monitor Windows Event Logs 12 9/ Automate VMware tasks 13 10/ Incident Escalation Process 14 Share this eBookPage 4 www. ayehu.com
    • 1 Password Resets/Unlock Accounts/Change Passwords How much time does your IT team (and Help Desk group) spend on Active Directory password resets and locked accounts? This can sum-up to According tens of hours on a weekly basis, to the Burton Group, depending on the company size password management and number of user requests. can cost $250 per Frequent password resets, user, per year. coupled with a complex password policy, lead to repeated account lockouts. In some cases, IT support personnel handle password reset calls for almost 40% of their working day. The procedure for each call includes phone authentication, execution of reset, confirmation, and documenting the call closure. Share this eBookPage 5 www. ayehu.com
    • 1 Password Resets/Unlock Accounts/Change Passwords Automating password reset alone can drop helpdesk queries by more than 30% The automated alternative: An automated workflow that handles the entire process. Users initiate the resolution through a self service portal. The workflow then reset the password or unlocks the account and sends it back to users. Optionally, it may first request a staff confirmation via SMS. The results of such process reduce support calls and reduce end-user downtime. Admins can view and control user actions, and have more time to focus on more valuable tasks. See the ‘Active Directory reset password’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 6 www. ayehu.com
    • 2 Free Up Server Disk Space One of the most frequent causes of unscheduled downtime for applications is a critical disk space shortfalls. In fact, insufficient disk space on one of your SQL Servers, IIS applications, or Exchange can be more disruptive than any other system or network failure. Disk Space is A simple issue, such as fast-growing probably on every log files that consume disk space, can IT or system cause a server to crash. If such a administrator’s simple task is neglected, it can lead task list, yet it to an expensive downtime and hours continues to be a of lost work. major cause of outages. Share this eBookPage 7 www. ayehu.com
    • 2 Free Up Server Disk Space Monitoring and proactively maintaining your servers with disk clean-up jobs is a repetitive, time- consuming task. You can make it easy for you by just automating it as you wish. The automated alternative: An automated workflow that: • Monitors servers for low disk space • Archives, deletes or moves any logs or temp files to a different location Robots cleanup pools • Sends notifications about disk space automatically. • Can be scheduled to run on regular What about your basis, or to be initiated based on a server disk space? trigger See the ‘Free up disk space’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 8 www. ayehu.com
    • 3 Shutdown remote computers Regardless whether ‘going green’ is a social trend or not, you can take simple actions to significantly reduce energy consumption and cut IT operational costs. Ford, the US-base car manufacturer, estimated that 60 percent of its global employees did not shutdown their computers at the end of a Average energy working day. Doing so, according to savings per Ford, would save 16,000-25,000 computer over 12 metric tones of carbon dioxide a year month period can reach $36. Do the and $1.2M in energy costs. math! Share this eBookPage 9 www. ayehu.com
    • 3 Shutdown remote computers The automated energy saving alternative: A workflow that turns to standby mode all network-connected idle computers or servers, based on rules and policies. The switch to standby mode is preferred to a forced shutdown, as it eliminates complications and the need for long wait for boot up each morning. We are saving over $2000 per day with a simple automated workflow that switches all our PCs to standby mode. - IT Manager at a large bank See the ‘Shutdown remote computers’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 10 www. ayehu.com
    • 4 Monitor Files and Folders Change may be a good thing for the world, but not necessarily for the Sys admins. How many times you had some issues with users deleting or changing files then claiming they never touched them? If you have users trying to blame you for their system errors due to file changes you should start monitoring them now! Knowing that a change You need to have monitoring on your occurred mission critical app’ files and folders, for is important any change or to check data integrity. But as knowing this is not the only reason why you should who made the do that! a hint - IT security and change in the Compliance. first place. Share this eBookPage 11 www. ayehu.com
    • 4 Monitor Files and FoldersThe automated alternative: A pre-defined set ofworkflows that automate daily routine tasks onyour mission-critical files and folders:• Monitor changes, file deletion, file size, last modified• File parsing and data integrity• Handle any change or errors with automated alerts notifications and remediation tasks as needed.• Delete, Move, Archive, Compress files etc… to maintain system availability “If you don’t need it, why keep it?” See the ‘Monitor file and folder’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 12 www. ayehu.com
    • 5 Restart Services Remotely How many times a day do you find yourself having to restart a service remotely because of frequent changes to application configuration files, service crashes, or the need to release system memory? And there is always a backup or email service that stops working just when you are having a night out or watching your favorite game. Once again, you need to remotely connect to the server, restart and check service availability, this can take a while! Don’t you want to make this easier for you? Share this eBookPage 13 www. ayehu.com
    • 5 Restart Services Remotely The automated alternative: Setup a workflow that is either scheduled or automatically triggered via alert. The workflow should: • Monitor Windows/Linux services, backup, antivirus, spooler, email, app services • Diagnose and troubleshoot events • Send an alert (email, SMS) in case a service failed Automating service restart • Perform semi-automated can reduce risk remediation - either restart the and application service automatically, or wait first downtime by for a human decision received via 90%! email or SMS See how to ‘Restart services remotely’ using a workflow Share this eBookPage 14 www. ayehu.com
    • 6 Automate SQL Queries and results via email Do you find yourself repetitively executing SQL queries to extract data for IT and business use and then emailing the results? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could automate this process? Instead of you or a DBA becoming a bottleneck for simple, but time-consuming data retrievals in a variety of use cases, automation can help you expand your data provisioning with faster service and even let the users access to do that SQL hands-off your databases!. Share this eBookPage 15 www. ayehu.com
    • 6 Automate SQL Queries and results via email The automated alternative: An automated workflow that connects and retrieves data from an SQL database, generates the retrieved data to an output in a text format or in excel file and sends it via email or SMS to designated user. The workflow utilizes several actions and also includes email notification to the admin on error. It can be either scheduled or run on-demand per user request (via email or SMS), without the need to involve DBA or highly skilled IT guy to do this simple task. See how you can ‘Automate SQL Query’ using a workflow Share this eBookPage 16 www. ayehu.com
    • 7 Change Service Admin Account Password Many Windows servers use shared domain admin accounts to run applications. Security compliance regulations and best practices suggest that administrator account passwords used by Windows services must be changed every 30 to 90 days. Normally, the credentials used by A typical manual Windows services must be manually change takes about updated for each service on every five minutes per server. While the password update service. With 4-6 takes place, the service is essentially services per server, off-line. this amounts to ~20 You can get this done quicker! minutes for changing each server manually. Share this eBookPage 17 www. ayehu.com
    • 7 Change Service Admin Account Password The automated alternative: An automated workflow that: Automating the • Extracts the server and service list service account from a text file, CMDB or any other change process, inventory) reduces time from • Changes the service account logon minutes to password for each of the servers and seconds, with services zero errors and • Restarts the service as needed meets regulation and compliance. • Documents the process and sends reports • It notifies upon success or failure of password change See how you can ‘Change Service Account Password’ Share this eBookPage 18 www. ayehu.com
    • 8 Monitor Windows Event Logs You are probably aware of the fact that at least 70% of security events that cause enterprises losses involve inside users. The Windows system generates log data throughout its operation, so that if theres a problem with your Windows system, it is probably listed in the Event Log. The problem is that manually tracking Monitoring event logs can alert you issues across all Windows event logs on security threats, can take time to find and troubleshoot. system or app Don’t wait, start automate! failure, create audit reports that saves you a lot of time finding historical information Share this eBookPage 19 www. ayehu.com
    • 8 Monitor Windows Event Logs The automated alternative: An automated process that parses the Windows event logs (application, security, system etc…) and alerts about critical events of mission-critical applications like Exchange, IIS, MS-SQL. The process will trigger an alert to notify the relevant person who can instantly respond to the event and take action with no delays. The process will also document every step in the workflow for future investigation and statistical reports. This process doesn’t have to be executed using any agent install on your machine, simply allow WMI on your remote server. See the ‘Monitor Windows event logs’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 20 www. ayehu.com
    • 9 Automate VMware Tasks – Create Snapshots Automating VMware tasks using scripting tools is possible but requires highly skilled personnel. Scripting tasks such as VM provisioning, deployment, creating snapshots and so on… might be more complicated than seems at first. A VM snapshot is a copy of the VM disk file (VMDK) at a certain point in Making Risky time. It preserves the file system and Changes system memory of your VM by If you plan to make risky changes in a VM, testing enabling you to revert to that new software, take a snapshot in case something goes snapshot before you wrong. begin to make those risky changes. Snapshots can be real lifesavers when upgrading or patching applications or servers. Share this eBookPage 21 www. ayehu.com
    • 9 Automate VMware Tasks – Create Snapshots So no matter if you are a newbie or PowerCLI expert, you better start Remember: automating this task: Snapshots can grow Start with creating a policy for VMware quite quick . As snapshots are snapshot. Then design a process that stored on the same creates and/or deletes snapshots. volume as the VM, the potential is The workflow process will be triggered there to run out of based on your backup policy and will: space quick. You • Read a list of target virtual machines should monitor for disk size and delete • Create a snapshot for each selected old snapshots as VM server in the list needed. • Delete snapshots so you keep space for new ones. make sure this task follows the VMware snapshots best practice See the ‘Create VMware snapshots’ workflow in action Share this eBookPage 22 www. ayehu.com
    • Incident Escalation Process10 It’s 7am and the phones are ringing in the IT department. The email system is down, and everyone from the CEO to the secretary is calling to say there’s a problem. Thanks to monitoring system, IT already noticed that something was wrong – but the number of calls clarifies the impact When you don’t of the problem. have escalation process in place, Because email is a mission-critical minor incidents system at your company, if the Level 1 can turn into a support engineer cannot fix the problem major outage quickly within the SLA, an escalation and long process should kick in. nightmare! IT departments, Help Desks, NOC team must have escalation processes in place at least for the mission-critical system failures. Share this eBookPage 23 www. ayehu.com
    • Incident Escalation Process10 The automated alternative: You should have an automated process An escalation that includes the following steps: process is a formal process for • Automatically captures alert from addressing IT monitoring system issues and • Notifies L1 to identify the issue problems when severity and priority and attempt to they arise. resolve it within the SLA • If problem is not resolved, escalate to L2, to fix the problem or escalate up to L3. • Close loop, update ticket, and notify relevant personnel about status and closure of that incident. Learn more about ‘Incident escalate Incidents’ process Share this eBookPage 24 www. ayehu.com
    • Automate YourTime-consuming tasksAutomate repetitive ITtasks in less than 5 minuteswith pre-defined templatesthat can be customizedeasily to your needs. Download Ayehu eyeShare free 30-day trial