Network automation and zero touch provisioning are more than luxuries. They’re quickly becoming the powertrain of business, helping you meet growth demands and keep up with important opportunities. These technologies also prove invaluable to making sure everyday tasks don’t hold you back, regardless of the environment you’re using.
By adopting automation, you can quickly realize its time- and cost-saving benefits that transform your networking capabilities — whether you’re using a traditional client-server architecture, or a cloud-based configuration.
In this blog entry, you’ll see how Nodegrid accelerated one car company’s drive to the cloud, and how network automation helped them seamlessly shift gears.
But first, here’s a recap of network automation.
Network automation employs software to help eliminate manual management tasks. This can help with routine work, such as device discovery or firmware updates, to more in-depth processes that are part of configuration management jobs. Automation helps with every aspect of networking, including improving the test lab environment, streamlining deployments, and reducing the workload for ongoing support and maintenance.
The beauty of automation is that you can use it at any scale you like. This can mean implementing something as simple as a few workflow commands that assist with device discovery and mapping, or as extensive as automating configuration tasks for a zero touch provisioning approach.
Why are companies racing to adopt network automation?
Network automation improves business in the same way that engines improve transportation. This simple analogy highlights the benefits of automated network tasks and processes, so let’s break it down.
Without modern machines, we rely entirely on manual input to move from point A to point B. Stamina and endurance are crucial, and so is the ability to think critically in the event that unexpected adversity crosses your path (i.e. storms, injuries, bears). Even if you’re in tip-top shape physically and mentally, relatively short ventures can drag on because your input drives the entire trip. Everything seems like a marathon.
And this is how manual networking feels. Discovering devices, installing security patches, monitoring data usage, updating firmware — all these tasks and more rest on your shoulders, and it’s up to you to carry them to completion. There’s little time, if any, to do anything besides focus on your arduous (non)adventure.
When you introduce engine-driven transportation such as a turbocharged sports car or tuned up off-road vehicle, you can easily go anywhere. Your mechanized chariot of horsepower converts your most minor input into forces that lurch you toward your destination. As for your stamina, endurance, and time, you save it all — even as you power through torrential rains or traverse over rocky mountainsides.
Automation transforms networking in the same way. You no longer have to heavily focus on every task and process, and can instead set your gaze on what’s beyond the horizon.
- Deployment — Network automation lets you automate configuration tasks and set up zero touch provisioning. This means that you can save a ton of time and money getting new sites configured and online. Instead of having staff perform extensive manual provisioning duties, you can just install your devices and let zero touch provisioning build your network automatically.
- Support & OPEX — For ongoing network support, automation continues to deliver time and cost savings. You don’t have to manually address every patch installation, firmware upgrade, or other issue. This means fewer truck rolls and more time for staff to focus on critical business needs.
- Maintenance — Nothing helps you maintain uptime like autonomous networking. With automation, you can set up scripts for a self healing network, and create alerts & notifications that let you know when critical issues occur.
How does Nodegrid supercharge network automation?
Network automation brings you major benefits, and Nodegrid delivers even more. That’s because Nodegrid is an open platform that lets you take advantage of automation, regardless of which vendor solutions you’re currently using. This flexible solution helps you:
- Customize using third-party automation tools & solutions of your choice, including in-house scripts and software.
- Extend automation and zero touch provisioning to end devices, even those that don’t support automation.
- Control devices remotely — from anywhere — no matter which vendors or manufacturers you deploy.
Here’s how Nodegrid put an auto company’s migration on cruise control.
For a major automobile manufacturer, a private cloud network model was necessary to help them meet their business needs. The challenge, however, would be in finding a solution that could integrate with their automation-heavy environment. They also required a solution that could provide reliable and comprehensive out-of-band access to their data centers, along with tools that could support collaboration with their heavily involved NetOps & DevOps teams.
With an already fatigued IT staff, the traditional approach was a roadblock nearly impossible to pass. Manually migrating and provisioning would burn too much time and effort, and pull network personnel away from keeping everyday operations in motion.
But when the company discovered Nodegrid, they realized that they could put deployment and management on cruise control.
By deploying the Nodegrid Serial Console S Series, the auto manufacturer had a powerful engine to drive their private cloud adoption.