When it comes to large enterprise networks automation is key. Automating network tasks can save time and money while improving efficiency and security. But how do you go about automating your enterprise network? This article provides an overview of the benefits of enterprise network automation and offers tips on how to get started.
The urgency of enterprise network automation
As enterprises continue to adopt new technologies and move toward digital transformation, the network edge is evolving. To keep up with these changes, enterprises need a network edge that is adaptable, flexible, and secure.
The traditional network edge was designed for a world in which enterprise networks were largely static and applications were hosted on-premises. However, today’s networks are much more dynamic, with applications and data often residing in the cloud. This requires a new approach to networking, one that is built for the cloud-first world and enterprise network automation.
How to enable enterprise network automation
Most businesses will have to go through a journey to enable increased levels of network management agility in their companies. However, no matter where they are, there are certain core stages in this journey:
The ability to see what is happening on a network is a critical foundation for operational network management and automation. High-level, network-wide insights provide metrics into the overall performance of the network, while granular, device-level identification provides information about specific users and devices.
This visibility is essential for automating tasks and ensuring security. Without visibility into the network, it is difficult to automate tasks or ensure that all devices and users are properly secured. As a result, visibility is a key building block for easing operational network management and implementing greater levels of automation.
One good place to start automating is with tasks that are currently being done manually. Examples include deployment, configuration, patching, updating, and compliance checking. These are all important tasks that must be carried out consistently across a heterogeneous network environment, involving multiple vendors and technologies. Automating these tasks can help ensure conformity and improve performance. Ultimately, automating repetitive tasks frees up time and resources that can be better devoted to other priorities.
As businesses increasingly rely on automation to manage their networks, it is important to remember that there is an important step beyond automation which is making sure automation has been executed correctly. You should create a complete automation feedback loop by gaining insights, automating tasks, and ensuring successful execution.
Confirming the successful execution of automated tasks is vital across all points of network management because businesses can ensure that their network automation is truly effective and helps them to achieve their desired outcomes.
Once organizations are comfortable with initial automation exercises, they can explore ways to optimize the environment. One way to do this is by expanding automation across more points in the network or across multiple sites. This can help to improve efficiency and productivity. Another way to optimize the environment is by customizing network controls and policies.
Benefits of Network Automation in enterprises
As enterprises strive to improve their operational efficiency, business continuity and reliability, and employee productivity, they are increasingly turning to enterprise network automation. Automation can help to ensure consistency in the network, which in turn improves the performance and security of the network.
Automation can also free up IT staff to focus on tasks that enable the business, rather than managing the day-to-day operations of the network. In this way, enterprises are realizing that advanced network management tools can help digitally transform the entire business.
Enterprise network automation has the potential to bring a wide range of benefits to businesses of all sizes, but it is not always clear how best to enable it. Our team can help you assess your network and make recommendations on the most effective ways to automate your enterprise network. Contact us today for a free consultation!