Organizations today constantly seek greater agility and speed in their IT operations. They’re looking to seize market advantage by innovating with new technology and quickly responding to shifting market trends. Meanwhile, IT teams seek higher levels of simplicity and automation – and more efficient allocation of limited resources – in order to support these larger business goals.
Why Businesses Need Network Automation
A major roadblock many organizations face in the drive for efficiency is that their enterprise network is far more difficult to manage than ever before. Distributed workloads and distributed IT resources have led to extremely complex configurations and poor visibility across the environment. To make matters worse, much of the management work on these networks has traditionally been performed manually, via command-line entry. That’s proved to be tedious, costly, unnecessarily rigid, and prone to error.
Industry reports find as much as 40-80% of network failures are the result of human error
Network outages are of course a large pain point in enterprise networking, but there are certainly others. Complex, hard-to-manage networks are hindering business innovation, making critical security improvements more difficult, and driving up costs. This set of drawbacks has naturally led to a search for better approaches.
And yet, there’s also opportunity driving change in networking practices: the rise of DevOps has shown us that application development and deployment can be managed in software and highly automated, so it’s reasonable to ask why networking (and security) can’t also enjoy the same speed and efficient operation? With the advent of network virtualization and automation, that sought-after speed and seamless consistency is now within reach.
There are a great many benefits to be had from network automation. Once we understand all the ways we can drive business value from virtualizing and automating the network through automation, the case for capitalizing on it becomes a no-brainer. Let’s briefly touch on the key benefits.
7 Benefits of Network Automation
- Eliminate manual tasks. Automating your network replaces manual tasks with predictable, repeatable network changes. That raises IT productivity, since you’re able to focus on strategic opportunities that drive business growth.
- Accelerate service delivery. A critical benefit: provide key data services faster, optimize network performance, and speed rollout of new services and applications.
- Standardize processes with templates. Leverage standardized templates to drive efficiency among network stakeholders and streamline network changes.
- Make changes faster. More frequently execute network changes that previously you rarely performed because they were manual, time consuming, and resource intensive.
- Build a reliable network. Utilize an infrastructure-as-code approach to maintain the state and configuration of your network – from data center to edge – in much the same way that developers manage source code.
- Gain network visibility. Access wide-ranging performance monitoring capabilities to pinpoint performance issues, spiking resource utilization levels, and errors on the network.
- Analyze and resolve issues. Rely on network analytics for insight into performance, utilization, security, and resource allocation that help resolve issues far faster than via manual techniques.
This is quite a basket of goodies for your IT environment. So, if network automation holds out the promise of faster, more efficient service delivery at lower cost – while at the same time freeing IT teams to focus on strategy and innovation – what’s not to like?
For more on all the advantages of network automation and how to implement network automation for your organization, download Network Automation for Dummies Guide.