In my two previous blogs I compared deployment automation to build automation and release management automation respectively. Build automation tools automate the building of software while deployment automation focuses on deploying the software after it has been built. In the other blog I explained that release management tools manage the release process of software but don't do the actual work. In this blog I will compare deployment automation to server provisioning automation and here the distinction is harder to make. So please bear with me!

Let's start by defining server provisioning. We can look at the ubiquitous Wikipedia definition or at the one from wordIQ. They tell a similar story; Server provisioning is about making a server ready for service. It usually involves activities such as: