Itential Frequently Asked Questions

What is Itential Automation Studio?

Itential Automation Studio is an application that enables network practitioners with no programming experience to quickly build powerful end-to-end network automations in a low-code, drag-and-drop canvas. Within the platform, customers have the ability to download from a freely available library of 100+ pre-built use cases, adapters, and transformations to help teams run their first automations within days instead of months.

Automations are built in Automation Studio using a low-code, drag-and-drop canvas. API integrations with different IT systems and networking controllers are presented as tasks that can be dropped onto the canvas with logical paths and operations, linking tasks together into a logical workflow. Automation Studio includes the ability to build pre-check and post-check templates, input validation forms and data transformations, and use these in the automation workflow. A background in programming is not necessary to use Automation Studio.
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Can automations be reused in a modular fashion?

Yes, the ability to run separate, distinct automations as a child job is available within a workflow. This makes it possible to build automations that focus on a specific function, like opening a change request ticket in an ITSM, and reusing that as a child job in other automations. This allows multiple teams to work within Automation Studio to build and manage automations that are specific to their domain. Network teams can focus on building automations related to networking tasks and leverage automations that another team builds and maintains for processes like opening and updating change request tickets, or communications notifications to different teams.

Does Itential support closed-loop automation?

Yes, Itential supports closed-loop automation with event triggers (Kafka, RabbitMQ, NETCONF, etc.) or through API webhook triggers to start any automation. Any data made available through these triggers is available to be used within your automations or as input to any pre-existing automation script (BASH, Python, etc.) or Ansible Playbook.

How does Itential expose network automations to more departments by allowing specific roles to execute certain tasks, start/stop or schedule recurring automations?

Automations built in Automation Studio can be published and made available through Automation Catalog. In Automation Catalog, teams can define which users and groups can run or manage an automation and schedule it to run once or on a recurring basis.

How does Itential support automation with CLI-based network devices?

The Itential Automation Platform supports both traditional CLI-based networking devices as well as API-based networking services and building automations across either follows the same methodology in Automation Studio.
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How does Automation Studio support pre-check and post-check processes?

Automation Studio includes tools to quickly create pre-check and post-check functions using Command and Analytic Templates for CLI-based devices. CLI commands can be defined and executed, and the output of these commands can be captured and parsed. These templates do not require any form of code. Additionally, any API tasks that are available through integrated network systems, or any network automation scripts can be used in a workflow to build the most robust pre-check and post-check process needed.

Can pre-existing automations, like Python Scripts or Ansible Playbooks, be used in the platform?

Yes, they can. Instead of throwing away any existing automations your team may have invested in, Itential supports the ability to integrate these valuable automations by onboarding them in Automation Gateway, where they can be decorated and made available through an API interface. Automation Gateway supports nearly any script that can be run from a Linux command line, and has additional integration support for Ansible, Terraform, Nornir, and Netmiko. Automation Gateway also serves as a system to organize, test, run, and publish scripts across the entire network team and helps foster the ability to collaborate and share automations together.
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Do you provide any pre-existing automations that a customer can use in the platform?

Yes, Itential provides a freely available library of automations that cover a variety of popular use cases for both traditional networking and cloud networking. These Pre-Built Automations are complete and come bundled with documentation, workflows, and any other assets needed to get running quickly in the platform. The full library of Pre-built Automations, Adapters, and Transformations are integrated into the platform so you can easily search and install them as you need them.
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How does IAP support self-service automation?

IAP supports multiple methods of providing self-service capabilities for an automation. Any automation created in Automation Studio can be made available in Automation Catalog. Automation Catalog provides the ability to define the individuals and groups who can manage or run an Automation from within the platform. For self service capabilities outside the platform, an automation published in the catalog can also be accessed through a RESTful API so it can be integrated into other systems and processes, if so desired.

What is Configuration Manager?

Configuration Manager is an application within the Itential Automation Platform that enables networking teams to schedule the backup of device configurations and manage those configurations. Using those configurations, the application can ensure compliance across both traditional and cloud-based networking infrastructure. Configuration Manager provides a simple way to create a configuration standard for both CLI and API managed devices and services.
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Does Configuration Manager support detection of configuration drift, compliance validation, and auto remediation?

Yes, compliance reports can be generated manually or scheduled, and if any configuration drift is detected remediation can occur manually or automatically using an automation workflow.
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Does Configuration Manager support network device onboarding and lifecycle management, including configuration compliance against Golden Configuration?

Configuration Manager is focused on providing configuration compliance across all network devices and services. Onboarding of devices and lifecycle management are features within the Itential Automation Platform and work in an integrated way to provide full device onboarding and day 0 through day N lifecycle management.

How does Configuration Manager support on-demand and scheduled compliance checks against targeted device groups?

Configuration Manager allows networking teams to run compliance checks manually (on-demand) or to schedule compliance checks on a recurring basis. These compliance checks can be run across any portion of a Golden Configuration tree to support the targeted devices.

How does Configuration Manager support compliance of API-based network devices and cloud services?

The Itential Automation Platform uses APIs to integrate with networking systems or cloud services. The API methods are then made available as tasks, which can be used in Configuration Manager to provide configuration details on a particular network service. These configuration details are presented as a JSON object, which can be compared to a Golden Configuration standard defined for that device or service.

Which network vendors and device types do you support in Configuration Manager?

For CLI-based devices, we have support for a variety of devices from Cisco, Juniper, Arista, F5, A10, and Aruba. Users can add additional device types by leveraging the Extensible Device Support Wizard.

For API-based services, we support any services which make their configuration details available through an API method. This would typically include a vast majority of networking services today.

How many devices do you support in Configuration Manager?

There is no upper limit based on number of devices that can be supported. Any limitations will be based on resource constraints of the hardware that is running the Itential Automation Platform.