Throughout my many years working in the IT space, I have planned and executed more network installations and upgrades than can be counted. Despite the best laid plans, issues can and will arise and are usually attributed, in some capacity, to human error.
From configuration issues to simply “fat-fingering” a command or two, the possibilities for mistakes are endless. Thankfully, humans are intelligent, so eventually the installation issues are worked out and a successful solution is put in place.
Despite a successful resolution, there are always questions that should be asked to help reduce these issues and their impact on the business in the future:
- Could downtime have been better minimized?
- Does the configuration put in place comply with company standards?
- Is the entire configuration best practice, or is there a better way?
That “better way” does exist and often comes in the form of network automation.
What is Network Automation?
Network automation is a strategy by which software automatically configures, provisions, and manages network devices. Within the industry, network automation is one of the major components of Software Defined Networking (SDN).
Why Automate Your Network?
According to Cisco, the biggest issues facing network managers are the ever-increasing costs of network operations, the surge in managed devices, and the exponential growth in data. With up to 95% of network changes being done manually, IT departments are falling behind the lines of business.
What Are the Benefits of Network Automation?
There are many benefits of implementing network automation and include:
- Faster network rollouts
- Flexibility to centrally manage your network
- Easier network changes and tune-ups
- Standardized configurations by an automated process
- More stable and reliable networks
- Better network visibility
- Faster issue resolution
- Minimized risk
- Lower costs
In a 2020 white paper on the economic benefits of network automation, ACG Research found the following:
- Network automation can increase business agility and speed and reduce operations costs by 5x.
- Current automation technology can automate nearly 75% of manual effort.
- Automation with SDN enabled and virtualized network functions can reengineer processes to introduce new services at over 6x the current rate.
Devices provisioned by network automation offer industry best-practice configurations for optimized interoperability. With the risk to operations mitigated, automation makes network rollouts more reliable – which leads to faster issue resolution and reduced operating costs.
Finally, automation and increased network visibility reduce workloads on staff which allows focus on additional key business objectives.
How Can Core BTS Help You Along the Path to Network Automation?
As part of your path to network automation, Core BTS’ may recommend implementing Cisco DNA Center (DNAC). When fully deployed, DNAC provides an easy and smooth provisioning process for both local and remote data centers by offering the ability to do zero-touch provisioning (ZTP). With just a few clicks, an out-of-the-box device can be quickly and completely connected to the network. Following the connection, DNAC automatically pushes a complete configuration (including IOS updates) and is production-ready in minutes using Cisco’s best practices. Finally, DNAC offers Assurance to help your operations team monitor, troubleshoot, and resolve both user and network issues in a fraction of the time.
At Core BTS, we can meet with you to discuss ROI specific to your company. We can show how an investment in network automation can help you reduce operational costs, reduce staff workload to allow better focus on key business objectives, and provide consistently higher quality outputs for your organization.
Contact us today to start the conversation about implementing network automation at your company.