One fact is common across all network operators, whether in the enterprise or service provider space. Funds to automate the network are not unlimited. In fact, they are often extremely limited, if they exist at all. When expending resources whether they are time or money, you have to focus on the items that provide the most return on investment.
A no brainer, right? You would certainly think so, but that just isn’t the case.
A typical maintenance activity in the network from end to end can take there to five hours to complete. You typically check the state of the network pre-maintenance, which can take 30 minutes to an hour. You next execute the actual maintenance routine, which frequently takes 15 to 30 minutes, and then perform another one to three hours of post-maintenance checks that include comparing the pre-maintenance state to the post-maintenance state. The idea is to ensure that the network is in the desired state you intended to produce with the maintenance.
So, if the above is so blatantly obvious, why does everyone spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to automate that middle 15-30 minutes only to ignore the other four or more hours of work for each maintenance activity?
It is time to stop the madness of wasting of time, effort and dollars to automate the easy part of network management. Once you get down to actually running commands the hard part is over. Most of the time, this part is scripted anyway. So even human error is not as big of a concern as it used to be.
The answer is to look at the full end-to-end process. Consider the people involved and their skillset and expertise levels. Review the available tools and maintenance procedures that need automation. These two factors form an operational model that describes the full activity, not just 20 to 25 percent of it.
If you want to be serious about where and how you spend your money on network automation, this is the path to take. It is a core tenet of our unique approach to intelligent network automation. And it is a sure way to lessen the effort on your staff while simultaneously multiplying the output of their work. You can focus on the 1x benefits, or you can spend the same money (or less) and reap 10x the benefits.
Now that is truly something that is a no brainer!
To learn more tips to overcome the common barriers to network automation, check our upcoming Light Reading webinar.