Why It’s Time to Consider a Top-Down Approach to Network Automation

by | August 29, 2018
Why It’s Time to Consider a Top-Down Approach to Network Automation

“Network automation is not just a single discipline; it is a collection of protocols, tools, and processes that can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.” – David Barroso, creator of NAPALM

One of the key reasons we see organizations continue to avoid tackling their network automation problems is that they have yet to see any meaningful success from it. This is mainly due to the mere volume of knowledge and skill required to tackle network automation from a bottom-up approach which is not just overwhelming, it is undefeated in the network arena.

While some level of automation can be achieved by practicing the bottom-up approach, it constricts engineers to optimizing at a local level rather than meeting global objectives in collaboration with their IT and Application Development groups. This approach also narrows the scope of what is possible and lengthens what should only be a 3 to 6 month long effort into years. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a better approach.

Instead, consider a top-down approach where you recognize the end goal of full end-to-end automation. A top-down approach takes into consideration your future requirements and goals, such as intent-based networking, and begins to lay the foundation for success, while still achieving significant return on your network automation efforts.

Sound too good to be true? The key to enabling a successful top-down approach lies within a network automation framework with an intelligent workflow engine at its core. By connecting and leveraging your existing tools into a unified management interface, where the capabilities of each tool are exposed into a low-code environment, users can easily create network automations in a visual, drag-and-drop environment. Imagine having the ability to drag tasks onto a canvas and interconnect in a way that involves triggers from your network monitoring systems, orders from your CRM, tickets from your change management and trouble systems, and even details about your customer from the billing system. Not to mention tasks that allow you to push the required changes to the network (any part of your network), including physical and virtualized components that exist across multiple domains.

Itential’s Intelligent Network Automation solution is powered by a Network Intelligent Workflow builder that provides out of the box integrations to many systems, as well as the ability to quickly interconnect other systems in a matter of days to weeks, instead of months to years.

Get a more in depth look into developing your end-to-end network automation strategy in our recent white paper with Heavy Reading or schedule a quick demo to see how Itential can power your network automation strategy from the top-down.

Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore served as the Director of Network Automation Strategy at Itential where he was responsible for managing the delivery of services to implement network automation for clients leveraging both Itential products and custom developed solutions before his passing in 2019.

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