ZTP stands for Zero Touch Provisioning. And, as a quick google search will quickly reveal, many other things as well.
Back to our ZTP. ZTP is the process by which new network switches can be configured without much human involvement. Notice that I said “much” and not “any”. ZTP is not it’s not truly zero because something (someone!) needs to put the first components of the network together in order for the rest of the network to be built in a ZTP fashion.
Where provisioning many switches could have quite a while through ZTP processes it’s down to a matter of minutes. Switches can also be updated automatically with any need for physical intervention.
The beauty of ZTP is the continued march towards more and more robust automation solutions. Delightfully, once folks aren’t mired in the repetitive manual work they can move onto tasks that bring innovation to businesses and, more importantly, make jobs more enjoyable. We also can’t ignore the fact that it renders moot a lot of the specialized skills that traditionally defined the role of a network engineer. If you’re interested in hearing more about that debate I highly recommend reading the excellent piece by Tech Target exploring how this shift to greater automation isn’t removing the need for network expertise but rather evolving what those skills are to fit a world of ML (machine learning), AI and of course IOT.
Want to learn more? Check out these sources:
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