Network operations are often executed manually, device by device using the command line interface. This strategy can work reasonably well for keeping the lights on, so to speak, but the manual entry of commands by humans often results in outages as a result of misconfigured network devices. Further, it can take weeks to make network configuration changes in order to support new applications. Change windows are restrictive and approval processes tend to be stringent.
The lack of network lifecycle automation and the inability of the network to align with IT operations and tool chains is the single biggest inhibitor to an organization’s ability to capitalize on digitalization. Network management continues to be highly labor-intensive without the right network automation tools.
The objective of networking automation is to generate autonomous processes, allowing your network to execute on essential activities without human intervention. In recent years, networking automation technology has reached new levels of maturity; it’s starting to become possible and feasible for businesses of all sizes to use network automation tools. Integrating automation into enterprise networking operations can accelerate workflows and automate manual processes, helping your networking team focus on more strategic projects. The benefits of network automation software include unified wired/wireless management, faster service initiation, reduction in human-error outages, and complete application visibility.
With the increasing size and complexity of enterprise networks, networking automation is the only way to manage the enterprise network, maintain availability, and allow the IT team to focus on other tasks. Many network automation software options are available on the market, and determining which one is right for your business depends on your needs. Some are open source and offer network automation frameworks, which usually include commonly used, repeatable workflows and commands. Others are proprietary, some of which are more rigid, while others are flexible and designed to meet the unique needs of your business and vertical.
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