Network Automation: Make IT Work for You Instead of the Other Way Around

What is Network Automation?
With the ever-changing IT networking technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualization, companies are optimizing their infrastructure to take make these technology innovations work for them. However, these technologies introduce challenges on the existing systems such as complexity of administration, rapid on-demand growth, and interoperability with existing network setups. There’s a growing need to automate these network processes in order to make IT work for them and not the other way around. Network automation is a methodology in which software automatically configures, provisions manages and tests network devices. Let us list some of the benefits of network automation.

Changes Faster, More Reliable and Scalable
Computers do not get tired and they can execute the same kind of code anytime without any need for human interference, as long as they are configured correctly. They do not get bored repeating the same repetitive tasks over and over again. These are all the traits that humans do. We get tired, careless and bored in contrast to computers. With this, network automation allows IT systems to change rapidly without sacrificing reliability. Combining these two allows for more scalability because network engineers can execute on thousands of devices on the computer and the computer won’t complain at all.

Network and Business Agility without vendor lock-in
Network automation allows for more business agility without getting vendor locked in. There is specialized IT automation software that works seamlessly without dependencies on vendors or manufacturers. Take Ansible, an IT automation software, for example, when you try to tell Ansible what to do to a particular network box that you have a control on. In Ansible, you operate a controller where you are specifying this. This controller is called the PlayBook and it is independent of the vendor it is operating on whether it’s a Cisco, Arista, Juniper or any box. You are actually changing that playbook versus changing lines of config on your box. Without automation, There is always a risk of interoperability issues when you have to replace an existing network equipment with a differing vendor for whatever reason such as device reaching end of life or grew out of capacity. With automation, all you have to do is change the PlayBook on the controller and the programming will do the configuration part after you upload the equivalent core module of the vendor. Once you specify your business logic in your Playbook it gives you that flexibility to swap out your network equipment and get you closer to having complete agility.

Enable seamless communication between network systems
Even when a network is well-allocated, administration processes can stifle the smooth connection of virtual networks between servers, racks, and data centers. Automation can refine the flow between these infrastructure components by removing the requirement for repetitive tasks and time-consuming activities. Adding a new server usually means you need to configure the networking part on the intermediary devices as well but with the aid of automation these two actions can be made to provision automatically as soon as the server gets deployed.

Proven to be Cost-effective innovation
Automated and integrated computer systems will not only improve your network’s performance but also prove to be a value-added service reducing your expenditures on network administration and maintenance. For eliminating tedious and manual processes, you will be able to allocate resources on more important endeavours.

Mitigate loopholes and errors
Automating boring and manual tasks will drastically improve IT staff happiness and productivity while mitigating the number of errors and help the system run smoothly. In addition, many automation software has features that analyze and troubleshoot network issues without the need for human interface thus improving infrastructure resiliency and guarantees employees have access to the resources and applications they need whenever they need it.

Allow more opportunities for growth
Through network automation of tasks like troubleshooting simple issues, deploying new network protocols, companies enable IT staff to focus on more fruitful work, and innovative ways to make the network more high-end and streamlined. And by giving more rewarding assignments, companies will greatly improve the culture of their organization and their employees’ overall happiness. With the way that technology is headed, network automation is really the way to move to the future.

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