Business process automation saves the day
Rackspace business automation offers the capabilities you don't see, which make the difference in your support, monitoring, and, most importantly, your business security and compliance.
Which of the following elements drive Rackspace Fanatical Experience™?
Our offering bundle
Our professional services
The thousands of Rackers delivering Fanatical Support® and service delivery
The short answer is that all of these contribute to that experience and the Rackspace core values.
But this post doesn't focus on those things or try to sell you a product or service.
The secret sauce
This post shares a story about one of the ingredients in the secret sauce behind all of those pillars that make Rackspace the #1 Managed Cloud Company—automation driven by world-class process engineering.
This diagram highlights the ecosystem that enables our Automation team's Process Engineering Group (PEG) to execute world-class vulnerability management, device end-of-life (EOL) automation, and in partnership with our Global Data Center Infrastructure teams, world-class physical migration services.
By the end of 2019, the PEG team automated 270,540 hours of previously manual work and provided other support capabilities that we couldn't hire enough people to deliver.
Capabilities that we automate
Rackspace's automation never sleeps. The following capabilities would otherwise require customer interaction and Racker intervention:
Vulnerability and EOL management
In 2019, automation protected customer devices at scale, saving 179,696 hours without customer intervention, including the following cases:
Spectre meltdown remediation: 12,000 hours saved
Cisco® ASA code stage and reboots: 166,000 hours saved from 2018 through 2019
Customer firewall and load balancer reboots alert tickets: 604 hours saved 2018 through 2019
Dell™ Remote Access Controller (DRAC) firmware updates: 1,092 hours saved in 2019
Business process input templates
Our business process input templates (BPITs) enabled managed hosted customer self-service saving 3,336 Racker hours through 2019, including the following cases:
Manage operating system (OS) users for Windows® and Linux®, such as disabling user accounts on Windows and Linux Servers
Consolidate VPN actions for firewall templates
Provide VPN automation and customer self-service to support NetSec operations—you can remove, modify, and view VPN users from our customer portal.
Offer a significant ROI that represents 14,881 NetSec tickets annually, which provides a huge reduction in the annual cost-to-serve for Rackspace.
Operation efficiencies enable Rackers to focus on business-critical issues faster:
93% of monitoring tickets fully resolved through automation end-to-end, from creation to close without a human touch.
More than 230,000 Racker hours saved through auto-remediation.
168,000 Racker hours saved in 2019 via smart-ticket diagnostics.
Fleet management automation tooling offers troubleshooting, patching, and mean time to resolution (MTTR).
- Windows: 28,000 hours saved
- Linux: 31,000 hours saved
- Maintenance: 12,000 hours saved
The preceding efficiencies are just the surface of the eight million events that Rackspace Business Automation processes every month. But that's not the end of the story.
The rest of the story
Our Data Center Automation team (DCX), which manages all of our dedicated OS, IP addresses, provisioning, and more, works in conjunction with the Business Automation team so that PEG's lifecycle automation has full functionality.
To provide stellar automation capabilities, PEG does the following:
Use APIs that handle real network device interaction, which is critical for automating customer devices throughout the lifecycle.
Handle over 1 million calls daily.
Manage device lifecycle needs.
Take advantage of the Rackspace switch infrastructure.
Guarantee configuration consistency with a high rate of success.
Provide DCX Network services (DCX-NS), which is a central point of control for the massively distributed non-transactional data store that governs all Rackspace network traffic.
To deliver Fanatical Experience, PEG:
Aids operations across several platform variations of four major hardware vendors.
Supports operations in many regions.
Meets the requirements of different groups of customers, including new features and custom tailoring for sales and support.
Manages lifecycle needs, including assuring you that we remove you configurations before you reuse a device.
On behalf of the teams comprising Rackspace Business Automation, I'm proud to share their success story.
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