A little bit about what I work with

Right now, currently at my workplace we're in the process of setting up automation, had we been a Linux shop this would have been done far quicker (and be more fun) but we're working mostly (say 98%) and on top of that like I mentioned in the first post, we're a managed servide provider.

What does that mean in terms of automation? It means we get to be creative! All of our clients span geographical locations and their networks have no knowledge of each other as they're all individual companies, so applying a single policy of automation to do everything for all of them just isn't an option as they're all unique in their own way. That said, it does mean we need to establish a baseline, there must be some similarities between each of them - this is where we currently stand.

Most servers will be running the same sort of software for the most part, despite being a variation of versions, mostly Windows Small Business Server 2011, much to my dismay, but that's based on Windows Server 2008r2 so I just assume that and lump them all in that category, with a bit of care of course. There's quite a few Windows Server 2012 and 2012r2 boxes, and then the remainder is usually Windows Small Business Server 2008, we've knocked out all of the older Server 2003 based boxes that were under our care. Outside of that, there's not many more servers. Desktops span from Windows XP Home to Windows 10 Professional, so that's a decade and a half of different Windows versions.

So the fun part of all this will be getting all of these, splitting them into two groups (workstations and servers to begin with) - automating certain aspects of what they do day to day, for example, updates and reporting faults back to our helpdesk, then figuring out the quirks on a per-site basis, creating groups that fit X and Y criteria and then automating that aspect - who knows!

All I know is I'm looking forward to increasing the efficiency at the MSP and hopefully making some of the more mundane tasks automagical.

~R