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Practice of Cloud System Administration, The: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2 by Christina J. Hogan, Strata R. Chalup, Thomas A. Limoncelli

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Chapter 12. Automation

Progressive improvement beats delayed perfection.

—Mark Twain

Automation is when computers do work for us. The desire for automation historically has been motivated by three main goals: more precision, more stability, and more speed. Other factors, such as increased safety, increased capacity, and lower costs are desired side effects of these three basic goals. As a system administrator, automating the work that needs to be done should account for the majority of your job. We should not make changes to the system; rather, we should instruct the automation to make those changes.

Manual work has a linear payoff. That is, it is performed once and has benefits once. By comparison, time spent automating has a benefit every time ...

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