Network automation is a buzzword that everyone is talking about. But what exactly is network automation?
Network automation is about using software to automatically configure network devices so they can be easily deployed, managed and tested in your infrastructure. An endeavor that can bring your company many benefits. But there are often many questions before you take the first step. We answer the most frequently asked questions in this article.
Why should networks be automated?
“automate” – definition: operated by largely automatic equipment.
Moving from manual network management to automation eliminates a significant amount of human labor. This gives you two solid reasons why you should consider making the switch today:
Increase of your network quality
Managing the network is faster and more flexible because it can be checked, diagnosed and adjusted regardless of location. The quality of inputs and calculations also increases, because you can bypass the error potential of manual work. Automation makes outages less likely, increases your connectivity, and allows your network to work together more efficiently.
More time for your core business
With automation, you are more time efficient than continuing to drive manually. You save manpower and personnel. You have more resources available to drive your core business forward. Your employees can spend more time on more ingenious tasks, placing their knowledge and skills in the right places and thus ensuring progress instead of just maintaining the network.
Network automation and the corresponding processes are always designed individually of the existing and planned company processes. Various factors must be taken into account for the automation concept. Industry, company size, number of connections and network stability are important here.
There are therefore also many application and design options in the field of network automation to ideally meet the requirements of your network management. One special use case, for example, is Network Security Automation. Those who know their own motivation for automation can benefit the most from implementation.
In cooperation with the experts from COCUS, it is possible in the planning phase to take into account both the current status and requirements as well as future wishes.
What solutions are available for network automation?
There are many Network Automation solutions that make it possible to simplify the management and operation of networks. All of them have in mind to improve scalability and reduce human errors. Some of the most popular solutions that COCUS can also implement for you in your system are:
Ansible: Open source platform for automating IT tasks, including network configuration and management.
Cisco DNA Center: Network management and automation solution for network design, deployment, monitoring and optimization
Juniper Networks Contrail: Network automation solution based on Software Defined Networking (SDN) and network virtualization, automation and orchestration for data centers and cloud infrastructures.
VMware NSX: Network virtualization and security platform provides automation, programmability and centralized control for virtual networks and security services
Apstra: Intent-based network automation solution, for simplified network operations and network provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting.
VMware NSX: Adaptive Network Automation platform, provides dynamic network documentation, automated diagnostics and visual analysis tools
Puppet: Open source software for IT automation, configuration management and automation of network tasks
Chef: Another open source tool for IT automation, configuration management and automation of networks
Terraform: Infrastructure automation solution and automation of networks in cloud environments
Automation of the network components
In network automation, various components are important to ensure smooth and efficient operation. Here are some key components to consider in network automation:
So before the network can be managed fully automatically, there are some questions that need to be answered individually. This is where our network experts from COCUS come into play. We are happy to advise you on specific questions about the possibilities and advantages for your automated use case!
The benefits of network automation
Every company has different reasons for using Network Automation. The most common applications are for efficiency improvement, cost savings and error reduction but can also cover other automation use cases such as:
Efficiency improvement: Network automation makes it possible to automate recurring and manual tasks, increasing the efficiency of network management. This results in faster provisioning of network services and improved response time to events on the network.
Cost savings: By automating network tasks, companies can reduce labor costs. Employees can focus on strategic tasks while routine tasks are automated.
Error reduction: Manual network tasks are prone to human errors that can lead to network outages and security issues. Automation reduces these errors and increases network reliability and security.
Scalability: Network automation enables businesses to easily and quickly expand or shrink their network as needed. This helps improve business agility.
Compliance and security: By automating network security policies and configurations, organizations can ensure they meet compliance requirements and minimize security risks.
Improved network performance: Automated monitoring and analysis of network traffic helps organizations identify and resolve bottlenecks and performance issues, ultimately leading to improved network performance.
Time savings: Network automation saves time in configuring, monitoring and managing networks. This allows IT teams to focus on strategic projects and innovation.
Easier integration: Network automation makes it easier to integrate network services and applications, resulting in greater flexibility and adaptability.
Why network automation is important
Network automation impacts the efficiency and security of a network. Well-configured network automation helps make networks more efficient, secure and scalable. By doing so, you enable your business to focus on growth and innovation instead of manual tasks and network management. That’s why network automation is a critical factor for business success in today’s increasingly connected and digital world.