Check out the powerful network automation tools for improved efficiency and better user experience.
Present-day IT infrastructures demand automation for success, and it is also true for network management. Network automation not only makes management easier but also saves you money as you scale up.
Organizations need to use reliable applications for network automation. They should also have a clear idea about the working process of the automation and useful features of the applications.
Read on till the end to learn more about network automation.
What Is Network Automation?
Network automation means using software applications to automatically manage the processes such as configuration, testing, deployment, and operation of network devices. The devices can be physical or virtual.
However, in all cases, medium and large enterprises can improve their network efficiency with it. The technology also reduces human error and operational costs associated with manual management. This automation helps admins and network engineers map, configure, and discover devices efficiently.
It can also configure and provision network infrastructure and assists you in planning for network scale-up. This automation process could be script-driven or software-based. The relevant network automation tools can eliminate almost all manual tasks.
How Does Network Automation Work?
For network automation, you need to perform programmable logic on the command line interface (CLI) of the devices. Thus, the nodes can automatically perform the actions such as network filtering, bandwidth control, and port control.
The drawback of this method is its inability to scale up. For better results, most modern networking infrastructures have a centralized control panel to connect and manage all the networking devices.
Also, automation tools and solutions can automate repetitive networking tasks. In addition, bandwidth usage and analysis, network inventory management, dynamic provisioning, data backup, changing configurations, and access points control are also possible with the solutions.
Network Automation Tool and How It Works
Network automation software is the solution that supports the process of network automation. It can help enterprises gain substantial growth at a lower operational expense.
With the right tool, an organization can achieve ideal network performance and automate crucial functionalities such as backups, compliance, tracking, and management. With all these, it provides improved productivity and reliability.
Network automation tools locate the most proficient approach to managing a network through mapping, configuration, and provisioning. API-based automation solutions can configure each networking device through direct invocation or using programming languages like Python, Java, and Go.
These platforms monitor network resources during provisioning and verify whether a network can handle a configuration request.
Features to Look for in a Network Automation Tool
#1. Single or Multiple Vendor Support
The tools can be vendor specific, or they might be compatible with all networking platforms. As customers, organizations need to choose the tool that suits their present and future needs.
#2. Platform Support
While traditional automation tools only work on-premises, many companies want to select a SaaS tool for rapid deployment and ongoing updates. You can choose any of these models, or you may want to try the hybrid tools.
#3. Security and Compliance🛡️
The contemporary scenario demands you put IT and security operations together. Hence, your network automation tools need to ensure strong data security against all possible threats and show that they meet compliance regulations.
Often, companies have to change other infrastructure elements, like firewall settings, when they change the network devices. For this reason, the automation software should have orchestration capabilities so that it can trigger other automation frameworks to change devices.
Your network automation tool should integrate with other tools you use. However, you may not get all the features in API. While choosing a tool, you must not ignore this feature.
If your software has the reporting feature, it can provide you with visibility into every network lifecycle phase.
Now that you have learned about the top features of a network automation tool, here are some applications where you can get them. You may not find all features in one solution and need to locate which one offers the maximum value against the pricing model.
SolarWinds offers a comprehensive solution that can manage, monitor, and integrate the network automation system even in a large or complex environment.
It keeps track of your network performance while reducing network outages and detecting performance issues for a quick solution. The software can analyze traffic and bandwidth so that you can collect granular data for optimum performance.
Using SolarWinds, you can also monitor network device configurations for any manual or automated errors. It also ensures high availability against OS crashes, app failures, and database availability problems.
Moreover, you get features like IP address management, WAN performance monitoring, switch capacity monitoring, and endpoint device tracking from this software.
Itential is a network automation solution that is ideal for converting your manual processes into self-service automation and orchestration. This leading platform for NetDevOps teams offers support for both network and cloud infrastructure.
As a result, enterprises can reduce manual operations and make network management simpler even from the first day of deployment. The application comes with a low-code API that helps companies manage and configure their hybrid cloud networks.
Itential also has pre-built integrations and workflows that you can use to adopt network automation quickly. The solution is highly-scalable, and you can use it to automate any network.
Micro Focus enables automated configuration and security compliance for companies with ease. It also facilitates cost-cutting by automating time-consuming manual tasks related to compliance and configuration.
Organizations can improve network security by detecting security vulnerabilities and fixing them before they can cause any harm. It also offers you proactive policy enforcement and reports on audit and compliance. As a result, you don’t have to worry about passing audit and compliance requirements.
Apart from these, Micro Focus prevents inconsistencies and misconfigurations that ultimately increase network stability and uptime. It also lets you find out if the performance issues are related by utilizing the configuration changes.
BMC TrueSight is the platform for agile organizations that facilitates fast, scalable, and secure network changes. Besides vulnerability management, it increases agility, accelerates network configuration changes, improves security, and reduces costs.
You get enhanced visibility with this platform that enables you to respond to threats across network devices. Its automated roll-back and change-tracking features are ideal for super-fast configuration.
Moreover, companies can use it to deploy new network devices (physical or virtual) and perform a compliance audit.
Network issues are the realities you have to deal with. But you can fix them real quick through the network monitoring and automation products of Fortra. This solution can create log files, back up data, restore failed services, configure networks, reconfigure device settings, perform provisioning, and send reports.
Its network mapping software allows you to visualize your network quickly and resolve any problems that might appear. You can also personalize it according to the real-life network. The suite also has a flexible, IP-based network monitoring tool for network performance tracking.
Also, there is a network management tool for managing and making plans for your IT infrastructure.
If you want to meet the demands of customers who expect agile, reliable, and secure network service, Juniper can help. With its assistance, organizations can see fewer human errors and achieve a predictable and sustainable network.
This solution offers an automated approach for simplified multivendor networks with its automation product range. As a result, you get assured quality service throughout everyday operations.
Using Juniper Automation, you can stay ahead of your business needs at all lifecycle stages. Moreover, it helps you maximize user efficiency and achieve end-user satisfaction. This complete automation suite is capable of managing WAN and Wi-Fi services while delivering ease of use, assurance, and cost efficiency.
With Motadata, organizations can make their networks reliable, smart, secure, and compliant at the same time.
This AI-powered network automation tool comes with a unified platform to help you visualize device distribution, recent backups, failed backups, failure trends, and many more. It also generates reports in PDF and CSV format.
You can use Motadata to deploy configurations, detect executable changes, make audits, and back up data. It also provides you with alerts on configuration changes. The application supports integration with network device vendors like HP, Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, D-Link, etc.
Do you need to deal with network testing, provisioning, incident resolution, and various configuration issues? Resolve helps you automate everything of the most complex networks with proactive network testing.
It lets you save hundreds of manual hours and resolve network performance and connectivity issues immediately. Thus, these issues are unable to affect your business. Speaking of incident resolution, you can achieve that many times faster, and that too at a lower cost.
Getting started with Resolve is quick and easy. Moreover, organizations can continue using it as they scale up the network infrastructure.
Red Hat Ansible
The lengthy and complex network automation procedure often causes delays in modernization efforts. Red Hat Ansible offers an automation platform that helps you manage complex network deployments on Ansible-powered environments.
This simple automation framework enables network admins to communicate easily with the rest of the organization. Also, you get native support for devices running on legacy and open network infrastructure.
Using Red Hat Ansible, you can manage the holistic application workload by including network devices and systems in the automation strategy of the organization.
Its additional benefits include a robust and agentless automation framework, community and vendor-generated playbook, and the ability to use a data model that works with heterogeneous network devices.
Micetro is another solution that facilitates unified network automation. This software allows you to customize your diverse networks and export data when needed. Also, it comes with a powerful API that can integrate multiple platforms and services effortlessly.
This API-driven tool can future-proof your network with its robust and modern features. Using this overlay solution, organizations can keep their network data on-premise or migrate them to various cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS, NS1, and Akamai Fast DNS.
Micetro also allows you to choose the communication method from JSON RPC, SOAP, and REST.
Highly-digitalized business environments need to adopt new technologies, and hence, sensible network automation is essential for them. The automation should be planned properly, and the right software is needed to facilitate the process.
The automation solutions should also focus on security and compliance to stay safe against threats and vulnerabilities. The applications listed above are powerful and popular, but you can compare these with your business needs to choose the right tool.
You may also want to read about task automation software and workflow automation platforms.