One of the primary functions of information technology is task automation. The number of man hours computers and related devices have saved by task automation is truly mind-boggling, and nearly all futurists believe that the trend toward automation of tasks of all sorts is really just in its infancy.
Task automation in the context of the database sector means minimizing the amount of time database administrators have to spend managing routine database operations. Database Guru John Sansom points out that thoughtful task automation is the key for DBAs to avoid getting stuck in “firefighting mode” where they never have time to deal with important looming issues as they are too busy dealing with immediate problems.
The best advice is to automate as many tasks as you can with a reasonable effort. Automation is especially useful in minimizing the time spent in backing up databases.
Methods for task automation include SQL Server Integration Services and PowerShell or your preferred scripting language, but there are also other possibilities. Some DBAs write their own Java Apps to automate a variety of administrative tasks.
Task Automation vs Process Automation
Most database professionals think of task automation for repeatable operations and daily tasks. Process automation, on the other hand, is typically more conceptualized as relating to organizational level and blueprint usage automation.
Idera, the industry leader in server management solutions, has just released Idera SQL Elements 1.0. This new SQL Server automatic discovery and inventory solution is specifically designed to “make IT tasks easier through automation, resulting in greater efficiency and less time spent on server management.”