With increasing digitization, more connected devices and services, and growing complexity of business networks, enterprises today face an unprecedented challenge to manage their IT networks more effectively. In this blog post, we explore the automated network and service management (ANSM) and its potential in the modern network operations. What is Network Automation? Network automation is the process of automating workflows, tasks and processes that support organization’s core IT goals on a day-to-day basis. It extends beyond just end user software like Microsoft Office or SharePoint that are commonly used to automate workflows in a typical environment. Instead, it involves using software programs and protocols to create automated workflow solutions that run across systems and applications beyond the user interface. Some of the common examples of network automation include: – Using software programs such as PowerShell for automating tasks over network devices like switches or routers – Using APIs for applications such as Microsoft Graph for interfacing with other applications through APIs. Below are some more details about how it works:
How Network Automation Works?
As the name suggests, automating network operations can involve automated methods to create, update, configure and destroy network devices. In layman language, it is equivalent to having an army of engineers behind your network devices and manipulating them using software. This can be done by using network automation tools that act as remote control for engineers. These tools can help them create, update and manage network devices such as routers, switches and firewalls. It can also create, modify and destroy network configurations such as routing tables and ACLs. Network automation is a way to automate operations such as creating, configuring, and deleting devices as well as changing configuration. It can also be used to automate other tasks, like monitoring devices and managing policies.
Key Benefits of Network Automation
Automation of operations – In a traditional network operations center, engineers manually perform most of their day-to-day tasks. This is often time-consuming, requires consistent attention and is not scalable for large operations. With automation, engineers can focus on high-value tasks, like policy enforcement or troubleshooting issues. This in turn, allows for scalability and consistency in operations. One can also re-direct engineers’ attention to new projects and opportunities to expand business or improve operations. Saving time – Network operations can be very time-consuming. Replacing a network device can take one person several hours. Similarly, modifying a network device configuration can take one or more engineers several hours. With automation, engineers can reduce their time spent on these tasks. Decreased cost – Automating operations can also help businesses save costs. For example, engineers can take advantage of automation to lower their operational costs. They can also implement automation to reduce their operational risks by reducing human errors. Improving Quality of Service (QoS) – Automating network operations can help businesses improve QoS in their network. Businesses can use automation to ensure that their applications receive high-quality service.
Key Advantages of Network Automation
Increased productivity – Network automation is one of the key ways to increase productivity in operations. For example, a network engineer can create an automated task to test connectivity between two devices and create an alert in case of any issue. This task can be assigned to a team member who can then focus on other tasks without having to manually test connectivity between devices. Increased efficiency – Another advantage of automating network operations is that it can help businesses to achieve higher efficiency. For example, engineers can create an automated network flow that uses network devices like switches and routers to create traffic flow between two network devices.
This task can be used for VoIP or telecommuting applications. Better security – Another advantage of automating network operations is that it can help businesses to improve their security. For example, engineers can use automation to create an infrastructure monitoring solution. This solution can collect data from a variety of devices and provide a single dashboard for analysis. Enhanced availability – Automation can also help businesses achieve enhanced availability. Engineers can create automated tasks, for example, to monitor network devices for device health. If any of the devices experiences an issue, it can be detected and fixed automatically.
Disadvantages of Network Automation
Increased effort – The good things about automation don’t come without their own set of challenges. For example, engineers can implement automation, but they are still required to perform manual tasks like creating scripts, testing your automation solution and troubleshooting issues. Limited scalability – As automation can help businesses to achieve high productivity and efficiency, it has the potential to drastically improve operations. However, as the number of engineers increases and complexity of business grows, automation becomes less scalable. Cost of investment – Another disadvantage with automation is that it costs money to implement and maintain. Similar to traditional networking, the growing need of automation has led to the emergence of a wide range of networking automation tools. These tools have been designed to automate various network tasks, like network device configuration, device management, service delivery and network flow.
StableNet is a network automation tool that provides network engineers with a remote network device management platform. It helps IT teams to reduce manual work and time.
Network automation has become an integral part of modern networks. It has helped organizations to automate their operations and save time and money. Network automation tools can automate many operations and tasks, which can be challenging to handle manually. With proper implementation, automation can help organizations to attain high performance, scalability and consistency.