Besides new technologies such as Cloud and SDN that provides the promise of a programmable and flexible network infrastructure.
Many organizations out there are still stuck dealing with baggage of the day-to-day operations of legacy devices that powers their network.
The result is a reliance on manual processes that is often costly, time-consuming, prone to human errors and often the driver for our inability to fulfill business requirements fast enough.
Automation is the key to addressing these challenges.Whether you have 5 or 5000 nodes in your network, the benefits are unbeatable.
With little to no upfront investments, Network Automation can improve your organization’s operations in the following areas;
- Configuration Management – Efficiently automate repetitive manual operational tasks. This will help you get rid of those “copy and paste” exercises from notepad to CLIs. Computers (not network engineers) are very good at mundane work. Free your staff for more strategic work !
- Infrastructure-As-a-Code – You will be able to describe the physical and logical components of your infrastructure in human and machine readable format. Colorful Visio Diagrams are great for human but not machines.
- Service Assurance (Policy enforcement) -Policy enforcement is achievable through validation of existing network state and continuous compliance to check for configuration drift.
Not everything can or should be automated in the initial stage. Repetitive or regularly scheduled tasks with clear success/failure outcomes are good candidates for the initial phase of automation.
Repetitive tasks should be automated using simple, human-readable language that anyone in your IT organization can understand.
In the next blog, we’ll review a sample roadmap to automation using Ansible, a multivendor agentless open source tool. Ansible is radically simple and is fast becoming the de-facto alternative to home grown or commercial tools. Additionally, Ansible works seamlessly with cloud environments like AWS and Microsoft Azure. we’ll show a quick setup that we used at 3T to create or terminate AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC), EC2 instances etc in a subsequent blogs.