Network automation simplifies existing infrastructures, enabling businesses to expand and grow. Additionally, it increases agility and reduces operational costs.
Before implementing network automation, ensure your team is ready by focusing on training and defining roles. Then, start small and take an incremental approach to ensure success. Begin by identifying the most important use cases for network automation:
Network automation tools are proven to improve business agility and competitive advantage. It frees up NetOps teams, reduces operational costs, and helps businesses respond more to customer needs.
Long, complicated manual processes can be error-prone, even with highly trained staff. Automating these processes means that changes are carried out correctly every time. It can also help to avoid problems arising from manual changes, such as conflicting configurations or unintended security implications.
Many automated systems can also detect devices and access points that human workers might miss. This is especially important in larger networks where there are a greater number of connections between different devices.
When implementing network automation, planning carefully and considering how you can get the most out of the technology is important. Working with a trusted managed services provider who can fully assess your networks and determine the best approach for your unique needs is also helpful. Ultimately, network automation can lead to significant cost savings, improved service delivery, and increased network reliability.
Network automation provides a range of monitoring capabilities that help teams detect problems, analyze the impact and anticipate future issues before they become major problems. Monitoring also allows operational teams to understand better their networks and how they function, which helps them perform more efficiently and ensures service-level agreement (SLA) compliance.
Unlike bespoke processes assembled to meet immediate needs, network automation yields standardized configurations and management methods that can be replicated across the organization. This lowers the risk of human error — responsible for 80 percent of network failures — and improves visibility, security, performance, and scalability.
Automated monitoring and alerts reduce the time to diagnose and resolve issues, which enables teams to fix issues faster, deliver basic services more reliably, and launch new applications more quickly and stably. Closed-loop network issue resolution, powered by low-code and playbook-driven workflows, can enhance operations efficiency. This enables teams to deliver on their SLA promises with greater confidence and reliability, making it easier to meet customer demands.
In addition to simplifying network architectures, automation can reduce the required manual processing. This includes creating and sending out reports, which can be time-consuming when done manually. An automated reporting tool can eliminate the need to re-key information each time a report is created or sent, reducing rework and improving overall productivity.
Network automation aims to enhance the productivity and capabilities of IT teams by automating repetitive tasks, freeing up their time to focus on more valuable work. Depending on your organization’s networking complexity and requirements, various tools and methods can be employed to achieve these advantages.
It helps keep the first few projects simple, low-risk, and fast to implement when using network automation. Ideally, the first projects should only report on discrepancies and not make any changes to your network configurations. For example, you could begin by comparing device configurations against your configuration templates. Doing this lets you quickly identify any potential issues that could affect performance.
The complexities of today’s networks make it harder for IT staff to perform simple management tasks. These problems impede company innovation, slow down crucial security enhancements, and increase expenses. This is why network automation is so critical to success.
With standard processes implemented and automated, IT teams can focus on more strategic initiatives that drive business performance and growth. This frees them from time-consuming manual tasks, such as documenting configuration changes on the fly, and helps to ensure consistent operations.
In addition to streamlining processes and reducing downtime, automation tools can help identify issues quickly by providing better network visibility, making troubleshooting easier. In the past, troubleshooting typically required speaking with operators and engineers, reviewing data trends, logging in to each device (often remotely), running test commands, and examining a co-relation between events for more precise problem identification. With automation, this process is streamlined by eliminating the need for specialized skills and tools to log in manually, search, test commands and analyze the results. This significantly reduces the MTTR in emergencies and saves valuable time for the NOC when a problem occurs.
Besides lower errors and risk, network automation can also free IT workers to work on strategic projects that enhance productivity, find new possibilities, promote corporate development and innovation and create more job prospects. Instead of mundane tasks, employees can work on critical projects that help the company thrive and increase its bottom line.
Moreover, integrating collaboration tools into your network automation workflows allows remote teams to communicate with each other and stay up-to-date on network status. This eliminates the need to manually send emails and broadcast messages to keep team members informed.
Overall, automation helps reduce costs by eliminating manual interruptions, enabling the quicker rollout of devices and services that use the same frameworks, improving access, visibility, and security, and making it easier to scale. It also makes your network more resilient by lowering downtime, eliminating costly mistakes, and reducing power consumption by cycling underused devices off during low-usage periods. This also frees IT staff to work on other high-priority issues and provides the capacity to meet SLAs.