July 25, 2024
Network Automation

Network Automation: Transforming Network Operations A Glimpse into the Future

The Rise of Network Automation

As networks continue to grow in complexity, with more devices, applications, traffic flows and security requirements than ever before, manual network operations are becoming increasingly difficult and time-consuming. Network teams are struggling to keep up with the constant changes and demands on infrastructure. This is where network mechanization comes in – by automating routine tasks and processes, network operations can become more streamlined, consistent and reliable.

Streamlining Routine Tasks

Network Automation ¬†as allows many routine day-to-day tasks like configuration changes, software updates, provisioning new devices and security policy management to be automated. Rather than engineers spending hours manually configuring each change, automated workflows can deploy configurations instantly across hundreds or thousands of devices simultaneously. This frees up engineers’ time to focus on more strategic work. Automation also ensures consistency – the same configuration is reliably applied to all relevant devices every time. This reduces human errors and improves compliance.

Responding to Changes Quickly

As networks change frequently to adapt to new business needs, applications and users, the ability to respond quickly is critical. Automation helps networks keep pace with constant changes by enabling configurations and policy updates to be deployed in real-time rather than waiting for scheduled upgrade windows. If a new application is launched, automated workflows can instantly configure relevant firewall rules and provisions network access. This agility allows the business to innovate faster without network bottlenecks. Automation also facilitates rapid incident response – if an outage or attack occurs, pre-defined remediation plays can be automatically executed to restore services ASAP.

Improving Visibility and Insights

With more network activity and complexity than ever to monitor, gaining clear visibility is challenging. Automation enhances visibility by continuously collecting telemetry data from across the network – including configurations, health indicators, performance metrics and traffic flows. This data is analyzed to gain valuable insights, catch issues early and optimize operations proactively. Automated anomaly detection can also flag unusual network behavior instantly for fast remediation, improving security posture. Comprehensive reporting gives leadership a unified view of the entire network to make strategic decisions.

Reducing Human Error

Routine tasks performed manually on a daily basis carry a risk of human errors being introduced. Things like typos in configurations, applying the wrong policies or selecting the wrong devices are all possibilities. Automation eliminates these types of unintentional mistakes by ensuring reliable execution of predefined and validated workflows. Automated deployments are also much less prone to outages caused by errors compared to rolling sequent deployments. This consistency and reliability improve overall network stability and security.

Lowering Operating Costs

By taking over repetitive, labor-intensive tasks, network mechanization delivers significant operational cost savings long-term. Not only does it free up engineers for higher value work, it also reduces unnecessary truck rolls, travel expenses and overtime through centralized, lights-out operations. Less unplanned downtime means fewer disruptions impacting productivity. Over time, the cost of automating the network is recouped through these efficiencies. As networks continue scaling in size and complexity, automation will be essential to manage costs at a sustainable level.

Making IT Jobs More Strategic

Automation does not eliminate network engineers – instead, it transforms their roles by removing mundane tasks from their workload. This allows them to focus on more strategic responsibilities like designing network architecture, planning for growth, innovating with new technologies, overseeing security posture and advising leadership on network initiatives. Automation shifts the workforce to higher levels of skills and strategic thinking rather than repetitive manual labor. It enriches IT jobs and makes the career more engaging and impactful in supporting the business.

Choosing the Right Tools

With so many available automation tools on the market from various vendors, deciding which options are best suited becomes an important consideration. Key criteria include scope of supported platforms, ease of programming workflows, integration with other systems, scalability, security features, cost etc. Often the best approach involves using multiple point-solutions together to automate diverse tasks rather than relying on any single product. Open-source options also provide flexibility but require more internal resources. Choosing the right tools is as important as developing the right automation strategy.

as network automation rapidly in complexity, network mechanization has become imperative for efficient, cost-effective and responsive operations. It relieves engineers from mundane tasks, improves consistency, accelerates change management and enhances overall network health. While the transition requires investment, the long-term efficiencies easily outweigh the costs. Automation ensures the network infrastructure keeps up with business demands far into the future.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it