“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
– Mark Twain
For Cloud-minded organizations, automation of operational processes and tasks is the obvious solution that has been used since Clouds were first developed, for increasing operational effectiveness and efficiency. In Secure Private Cloud and Unisys Secure Cloud, we used uOrchestrate as our automation engine. uOrchestrate has been part of Unisys Real-Time Infrastructure for years. The Cloud development team takes automation for granted. So much so, that the team has moved to work on other exotic Cloud technologies and features. We assume everything should be automated. Unfortunately, many of our IT customers remain on the other side of the automation knothole, wondering how to get through it.
Automation has a long history at Unisys beginning with when it was first deployed in Unisys mainframe systems in the 1960s. Today those systems are referred to as ClearPath systems. Unisys ClearPath teams (both MCP and OS 2200) have a proven track record of designing, delivering, and operating secure, reliable, compatible computing systems that are architected to be highly maintainable and performant. Unisys systems, from their inception, were designed to support multiple users and applications, utilizing unique automation techniques to monitor and manage customer workloads within the mainframe environment. Unisys engineers have continued to innovate by applying automation to solve many operational issues of the system and ease application development while lowering on-going operational costs.
Unisys ClearPath systems are leaders in using automation to deliver reliability at very low operational costs. ClearPath systems have an extremely high Mean Time Between Software Stops (MTBSS) in excess of seven years. This is achieved in part by applying automation to reduce administration and operational errors. ClearPath databases can be managed and reorganized while remaining in production use, thus improving availability to support business processes. ClearPath systems provide fully automated disaster recovery and ‘lights out’ operations. The embedded, intelligent management of workload priorities can be utilized to limit resource bandwidth to ensure backups in such a way that lower priority work doesn’t interfere with mission-critical work. All of these are due to automation.
When Unisys engineers approached the development of Cloud technology, it was only natural to use these skills while constructing the Unisys Secure Private Cloud product and services for virtualized Windows and Linux/Unix workloads. Windows/Linux Clouds face the same security, reliability, compatibility, maintenance and performance problems that ClearPath teams have solved over the last five decades. While Windows/Linux Clouds are based on different technologies than ClearPath systems, Unisys teams have used their Clear Path expertise, design principles, software engineering and verification processes to create the Unisys Secure Private Cloud offering, which addresses many of these problems today.
We have used our experience and creativity with Secure Private Cloud and services to make automation accessible to customers. We have created a ‘Jumpstart’ version, focused on bringing up an initial ready-to-use Cloud on customer premises with automated operational mechanisms. We can move in a step-wise manner from the initial Proof of Concept to a Pilot phase where we can start integration of the Cloud into customer’s operational environment, and eventually move to the production phase as capabilities are proven. We think this stepwise approach will enable our customers to learn and move forward as the system and operations are able to take on work. Let’s get ahead. Let’s get started on automation together.