Why is it called automation?



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    If we do the car analogy an automatic transmission will shift whenever it sees fit depending on input from the cars speed, how much the engine has to work, what you do with the gas pedal etc. A manual transmission requires you to shift gear when you see fit, using a clutch to disengage the engine from the drive train etc.
    If we had a button that activated a script that would shift gear on a manual transmission would this make it an automatic transmission? No, it would not. It would still be manual.
    But if we had written a script that would change gears when it wanted depending on certain criterias then we would have an automatic transmission.

    So.... how is that unlike Salt, Ansible, etc.? Like an automatic transmission, once set up, it drives for you. Even steers. So your example seems to be showing how, since you don't need to press a button, it is automated.

    Also, automatic transmissions have overrides for when their automation isn't good enough.



  • Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    But it had to be setup to do so in the first place.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    If we do the car analogy an automatic transmission will shift whenever it sees fit depending on input from the cars speed,

    Based on input from the driver of the vehical, applying more or less pressure on the accelerator or brake.

    So yeah, you're still telling the system "what you want it to do".



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    So.... how is that unlike Salt, Ansible, etc.? Like an automatic transmission, once set up, it drives for you. Even steers. So your example seems to be showing how, since you don't need to press a button, it is automated.

    It's unlike the "automation" tools because they don't do anything by themselves.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    So if the factory isn't setup that a dump truck can't drive up and just unload a bunch of metal onto a magical belt and the factory can't sort it out it's not an automated factory?

    Your logic here makes no sense.

    Some intervention is always required, just like with your car analogy that proves you're very clearly wrong.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    So if the factory isn't setup that a dump truck can't drive up and just unload a bunch of metal onto a magical belt and the factory can't sort it out it's not an automated factory?

    Your logic here makes no sense.

    Some intervention is always required, just like with your car analogy that proves your very clearly wrong.

    Most factories have some manual processes yes. Those parts of the factory are then not automated. If it was fully automated the dump truck would have to be automated too.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @DustinB3403 said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    So if the factory isn't setup that a dump truck can't drive up and just unload a bunch of metal onto a magical belt and the factory can't sort it out it's not an automated factory?

    Your logic here makes no sense.

    Some intervention is always required, just like with your car analogy that proves your very clearly wrong.

    Most factories have some manual processes yes. Those parts of the factory are then not automated. If it was fully automated the dump truck would have to be automated too.

    So then you understand that in order to get a car to move, you have to build the engine in a manner in which the pistons can be moved, the spark plugs fire, the brakes and accelerator all work.

    The same thing with something like salt or ansible, you have to build the car or factory, from there it'll do what it's programmed to do.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    Right, but again, just like Ansible or Salt. You seem to be arguing that they are automation with each example.

    And that factory is run by.... just a script. That's what does that automation there.



  • @JaredBusch said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    But it had to be setup to do so in the first place.

    Yes, true. That the job of automation engineers in that case.

    An automated assembly line for instance would have robots working on it. Someone has to program them initially.

    If it was humans working on the assembly line it would not be an automated assembly line.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    So.... how is that unlike Salt, Ansible, etc.? Like an automatic transmission, once set up, it drives for you. Even steers. So your example seems to be showing how, since you don't need to press a button, it is automated.

    It's unlike the "automation" tools because they don't do anything by themselves.

    What? They do EVERYTHING by themselves. That's their purpose. What do you mean that they don't do anything? Everything you are describing - having them do all of the work without human input, is exactly what they are for. Anything else and you are misusing them.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    An automated assembly line for instance would have robots working on it. Someone has to program them initially.
    If it was humans working on the assembly line it would not be an automated assembly line.

    Even automated robots need to be put into mode by humans. They don't just up and move on their own whenever they want. Like @scottalanmiller said earlier, they would have to be sentient otherwise. All automated processes have to be started somehow.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @JaredBusch said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    But it had to be setup to do so in the first place.

    Yes, true. That the job of automation engineers in that case.

    An automated assembly line for instance would have robots working on it. Someone has to program them initially.

    If it was humans working on the assembly line it would not be an automated assembly line.

    Right, exactly like Salt or Ansible or Puppet. Set it and away it goes. You only need to get involved if you want to modify the automation.



  • Okay, everyone hold up. The issue has to be that @Pete-S isn't understanding what these tools are and is thinking that they are remote access tools like MeshCental or ScreenConnect and isn't understanding that they are state engines which, by definition, are automation as there can be no human intervention in the state machine.

    So the discussion going on is going to go nowhere and just be an argument unless we address explaining that the underlying problem is that he's not trying to redefine automation, but doesn't know what Ansible and Salt are for.

    We are all trying to describe automation, but everyone agrees on what automation is. It's that Salt is automation is what is being missed.



  • So let's start with this... once SaltStack is set up, what does @Pete-S think that the role of a human would be?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    Right, but again, just like Ansible or Salt. You seem to be arguing that they are automation with each example.

    And that factory is run by.... just a script. That's what does that automation there.

    No, it's not the script per se that makes it automated. It's the behavior of the system.
    When you have set up ansible for instance you still don't have any automation anywhere. And you have nowhere to define automatic behaviors or responses.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    When you have set up ansible for instance you still don't have any automation anywhere. And you have nowhere to define automatic behaviors or responses.

    See... but that is the ENTIRE purpose of Ansible. All of it. Ansible is the "behaviours and responses" system. Without that, it doesn't exist.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    Likewise, in a factory that is fully automated thing will start and stop automatically. Things will happen automatically all the time. Not magically because there is obviously code behind it.

    If a person would have to press a button each time something has to happen it would not be an automated factory.

    Right, but again, just like Ansible or Salt. You seem to be arguing that they are automation with each example.

    And that factory is run by.... just a script. That's what does that automation there.

    No, it's not the script per se that makes it automated. It's the behavior of the system.
    When you have set up ansible for instance you still don't have any automation anywhere. And you have nowhere to define automatic behaviors or responses.

    FFS no shit.

    Because that is what the Automation Engineer is doing. Settingup Ansible.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    No, it's not the script per se that makes it automated.

    Do you agree that a script will produce the same result on different pieces of hardware that are running the same software components, repeatedly?

    If so, then you must agree that a script automates a process of some type. Install these pieces of software, configure these printers, do XY and Z.

    A script automates <something>.

    And by automate, it's installing or doing whatever you have the script configured to do.



  • It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    No, it's not the script per se that makes it automated.

    Do you agree that a script will produce the same result on different pieces of hardware that are running the same software components, repeatedly?

    If so, then you must agree that a script automates a process of some type. Install these pieces of software, configure these printers, do XY and Z.

    A script automates <something>.

    And by automate, it's installing or doing whatever you have the script configured to do.

    But a script doesn't just "come into existence" a script has to be created by an automation engineer. I was actually just wearing my AE hat about an hour ago.

    Ansible/Salt etc are an AE's workshop, it's where they create the scripts that they want to be run in the environment.

    You can have a building with machines in it, but unless the AE sets those machines up to be automated, they'd just be pieces of machinery sitting there waiting to do something.



  • @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would keep doing this, adding VMs, as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would do keep doing this adding VMs as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    Of course not. FFS

    That is the AEs job.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would do keep doing this adding VMs as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    Of course not. FFS

    That is the AEs job.

    No, you misread that.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would do keep doing this adding VMs as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    That is one level of automation. The script/process that monitors and issues the command to create/destroy.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would keep doing this, adding VMs, as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    But it is a totally different level of automaiton that configures and sets up the instance itself. That is the process/script being called by the process/script that monitors.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would keep doing this, adding VMs, as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    And that's what it does.



  • @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    But they don't do nothing on their own.

    They do everything on their own.



  • @JaredBusch said in Why is it called automation?:

    @Pete-S said in Why is it called automation?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is it called automation?:

    @bnrstnr said in Why is it called automation?:

    It seems like he's thinking about automation as, say, load balancing. Two servers responding to whatever variables on their own.

    Which Ansible and Salt will do 🙂 That's one of their use cases.

    But they don't do nothing on their own. If you could define in Ansible that you wanted it to automatically install a new webserver VM when the load on the current VMs are over 60% for 10 minutes and change a load balancer to start using the new host. And it would keep doing this, adding VMs, as long as it is needed and then when load is under say 10% for an hour it would go destroy the VMs one by one. That would be automation.

    But it is a totally different level of automaiton that configures and sets up the instance itself. That is the process/script being called by the process/script that monitors.

    Right either the automation is inside these tools, or they automate another tool. But the end result is end to end automation.


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