Use Case

Self-Service Provisioning

The Problem

Life in operations involves being on either end of provisioning requests. These requests can be anything including spinning up new environments, making network changes, deploying schema updates, opening firewall ports, change monitoring configurations, allocating storage, scaling capacity up/down, and more.  If you are the one making these requests, you find yourself filling out tickets and then waiting for someone to help you. If you are the one that fields the requests, you have to drop everything and figure out what the requester wants and then clear any red tape or other hurdles to fulfill the request. Often you’ll find yourself on different ends of different provisioning requests and your days consumed by both interruptions and waiting.

 

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All of that waiting and the interruptions is frustrating and impedes productivity.  We know we want to eliminate as much as possible. However, we still find ourselves stuck in this inefficient way of working. Part of the problem is specialization. Only specific folks have the knowledge or current context to do certain tasks. Access is another part of the problem. Because of security or compliance standards — or just a manager’s fear that someone will make a mess — we are blocked from access or making modifications to specific environments or parts of the stack. In either case, self-service would be a big improvement. No more delays. No more slow feedback cycles. No more interrupting colleagues. 

 

The Rundeck Solution

Rundeck makes it simple and easy to create self-service provisioning procedures. No more repetitive requests interrupting your flow. And then when you need something from your colleagues, you can do it yourself. No more waiting. 

 

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  • Quickly create workflows that span your existing tools, scripts, system commands, and API calls
  • Capture and collaborate around the knowledge of experts from throughout your operations organization
  • Use Rundeck’s built-in access control features to define the fine-grained permissions (use you existing AD/LDAP or SSO for authentication) determining who can run, modify, or view what jobs.
  • Build “guardrails” that make it safe to handoff the execution of procedures to others using built-in features like smart option handling (defaults, constraints, pick lists, dependent options, etc.), secure key/password store, data passing between steps, log filters, notifications, error-handling, and more.
  • Safely hand-off or delegate both diagnostic procedure (e.g. health checks, debug, or validation) or remediation procedures (e.g. restarts, resetting connections, deploying configurations, scaling, database procedures, or other tasks) 
  • Use read-only access combined with logging and notification features to give broad visibility into provisioning activity across your organization. 
  • Rundeck’s resource model learns details about your environment from multiple sources (Rundeck plugin points) so you automation can be parameterized and kept up to date

 

ROI Tips

  • Determine a baseline by counting the number of repetitive requests for provisioning and updating of resources. Be sure to look at both sides of the request. How much time does the person who made the request spend waiting? How much time is lost by those who field the request? (including the cost of context switching from and back to the work that was interrupted). Anecdotally, be sure to consider the negative ripple effects on schedules and productivity that the waiting and interruptions have on your organization. 
  • Determine the savings by counting how much of the time lost to waiting/delays will be regained through self-service. Also, count the time that will be saved by eliminating the interruptions that those who field the requests currently experience. 
More about Rundeck’s ROI