4 Reasons Why Network Automation Is A Game Changer
The Requirement for Better Security and Availability
As networks grow, the demand on the network - and the supporting IT team - to deliver service and maintain a secure posture increases significantly. While legacy networks were simpler and easier to secure, hybrid modern networks encounter rapid change, on-the-fly deployments and must also face zero-day attacks. Network management solutions to accommodate these requirements must rely heavily on increased automation to reduce risk.
Embracing Network Automation
IT Networking and Infrastructure teams should strongly consider how to embrace automation in 2022.
First, what is Network automation?
The best way to describe network automation is the use of software to automatically perform tasks formerly performed manually by network engineers. In other words, the granular work of provisioning, configuring, updating, and backing up of firewalls, switches and routers is done automatically.
Why You Need a Network Automation Strategy
The potential impact of not properly managing a network is significant. When a network is not well managed, it experiences difficulties ranging from poor performance, compliance violations and major security breaches. The resulting fallout will likely damage your business’s reputation and could have a financial impact. Even highly skilled teams can make configuration mistakes or other errors that could be greatly reduced with automation. Having a network automation strategy will drive compelling operational efficiency gains and ensure a better security posture.
Define Your Automation Strategy in 2022
You most likely have some level of automation in place already, but the myriad of devices and required configuration, compliance mandates and security challenges are the very reason you and your team should consider the best strategy to add to your automation arsenal. How can you best increase your use of products and services that bring the power and leverage of automation? Doing so will enable your team to deliver better service to your business and free them to tackle more strategic activities, such as enabling growth.
Benefits of Network Automation
Enhancing your automation strategy will shift the network team’s role significantly and empower them to do more and gain control of the complexity. Here are some of the additional benefits for you and your team to consider:
Free your valuable IT Staff for higher-value tasks. If they are not yet relying on automation, almost all management, maintenance, troubleshooting, and monitoring tasks are handled manually by IT staff. This is tedious, time-consuming, requires a lot of training, and is error prone. By removing repetitive tasks from IT’s plate, network automation will allow your team to focus on strategic initiatives that improve productivity, identify new opportunities, and drive business improvements and innovation. Not only will your team make a greater impact with this resource shift, you will also realize significant cost savings
Automation brings the ability to instill repeatability across your team and network. With standard processes implemented throughout the network, complex tasks, such as upgrades become near-effortless, and potentially troublesome situations within the IT infrastructure are avoided. Turnover and skills shortages are always unexpected, but automation eliminates or at least greatly reduces the impact, and enables newer, or more junior staffers to execute on par with more experienced staff members.
Scalability and Resilience
Network automation can help boost your IT infrastructure’s ability to scale and perform consistently. Optimal network performance is achieved through proper configuration, automated updates and changes that are undertaken regularly and without fail. This same automation allows rapid deployment of new services, devices, and applications based on reliable and reusable processes. A benefit of automation is that your network will handle increased usage demands before they impact performance. This scalability would not be possible with manual efforts without significant investment in time and manpower.
Configurations can become like snowflakes, but having each device configured differently is a recipe for disaster. By leveraging automation to store and use a repeatable best practice “baseline configuration” will enable teams to securely configure critical devices and detect even the slightest deviations which could create a vulnerability.
The Case for Network Automation
Network automation can be a game-changer for your business. It’s not hard to see the benefits that come with automating processes like network management, but it can take some time and practice before you reap these rewards. If you don’t know where to start or what your “playbook” should look like - we’d love to help. BackBox Intelligent Network Automation helps global companies - from telcos, energy, financial services companies and MSPs - leverage automation to drive transformational change.