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What Is Network Automation?

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What Is Network Automation? Network automation is the process of setting up software to automatically plan, deploy, operate, test, configure, and optimize physical or virtual devices within a network. When a network is automated, it amplifies efficiency in large companies and frequently reduces the operating costs and human error related to manual management.

Network automation refers to the practice of using software tools, scripts, and technologies to automate the configuration, management, and operation of computer networks. It involves creating a systematic approach to managing and controlling network devices and services, reducing the need for manual intervention and improving operational efficiency.

Network automation encompasses various tasks, including but not limited to:

Network automation tasks

1. Configuration Management: Automating the process of configuring network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls. This involves deploying consistent configurations across devices, ensuring that they adhere to defined policies and standards.

2. Provisioning and Deployment: Automating the provisioning of new network resources and services. This can include automatically setting up VLANs, virtual networks, and other network components.

3. Monitoring and Management: Automating the monitoring of network health, performance, and security. Network automation tools can trigger alerts and responses based on predefined thresholds or patterns.

4. Troubleshooting and Remediation: Automating the identification and resolution of network issues. This can involve running diagnostic scripts, analyzing logs, and implementing corrective actions.

5. Scaling and Load Balancing: Automating the process of scaling network resources up or down based on demand. Load balancing can also be automated to distribute traffic evenly across available resources.

6. Security and Compliance: Automating security measures such as updating firewall rules, applying security patches, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

7. Backup and Recovery: Automating the process of backing up network configurations and data, as well as facilitating efficient recovery in case of failures.

8. Orchestration: Automating end-to-end workflows that involve multiple network devices and services. This can include complex processes like setting up a new network for a new application or service.

The benefits of network automation include improved efficiency, reduced human errors, faster response to changes, better utilization of resources, and enhanced overall network reliability and performance. Network engineers and administrators can focus on more strategic tasks and innovation instead of being bogged down by repetitive and time-consuming manual operations.

Network automation benefits

Network automation can be achieved through a combination of scripting languages, automation frameworks, configuration management tools (e.g., Ansible, Puppet, Chef), software-defined networking (SDN), and application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by networking devices and platforms.

Automating networks has become increasingly necessary as the digital world evolves. Modern networks are extremely complex, and attempts at handling them manually rapidly deplete resources. If network tests and daily functions are automated, the network service’s accessibility improves.

API-based automation replaces manual CLI (command-line instructions) to configure each networking device. The APIs can be triggered directly or funneled through a programming language like Python or Java.

Network Automation is also delivered as part of solutions to automate an ecosystem, e.g. Cloud, SD-WAN, Security, using schedulers or orchestrators.

Modern network automation includes an extensive list of tasks, ranging from updating software to providing insight into reports. It also offers additional benefits for cyber security concerns, as it can help alert network operators to security breaches such as DDoS attacks, phishing, malware, and other network-threatening occurrences in real-time.

Ensuring end-user ease-of-use is one of the primary considerations of network automation, as many users these days specifically expect their networking between devices to “just work.” Automated networking makes this demand an easy request for networking providers to fulfill.

Network automation can range from simple access management solutions to more complex deployments designed to capture considerable usage data for scalability and analysis concerns.