Network Automation- At a time when the world is struggling with a massive health crisis that has sent market economies into a tailspin and disrupted untold lives, it’s hard to think about anything other than maintaining business continuity and returning to normalcy. How do enterprises avoid additional furloughs and layoffs and keep the lights on with a workforce that’s largely unable to leave home due to sweeping shelter-in-place orders?
As a CEO of a technology company, I want to share some thoughts on application delivery automation – an emerging approach designed to assist NetOps, DevOps and SecOps teams in their core missions and to deliver compliance and business agility via low-code network automation. This is done via visual workflows and self-servicing to manage critical IT and security infrastructure, even when employees can’t physically be in the office.
For starters, connected devices seem to be growing faster than the population. Manual infrastructure management is no longer a viable option.
The modern enterprise-defined data center is a collection of multivendor components that are often hosted on a combination of public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. It’s a blend of brownfield (legacy technology) and greenfield (virtualized, containerized microservices, CI/CD, agile, open and programmable) deployments.
According to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report, in just three years, the number of devices connected to IP networks will outnumber the global population 3 to 1, with 29.3 billion networked devices by 2023, up from 18.4 billion in 2018. That’s nearly four devices per person, all relying on extensive infrastructure that requires high-touch provisioning, configuration, security, servicing and monitoring to keep things running.
Today’s application engineers are typically not experienced coders and don’t possess extensive knowledge of the complex connections between available networks, firewalls, routers, switches and security certificates that enable enterprise applications to work. Most app delivery users are trying to push configuration changes through individual manufacturer-provided device GUIs/consoles, command lines, in-house tools or various islands of automation involving IT service management, scripting or an assortment of configuration management tools.