General FAQ

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 IT systems and tools does Itential integrate with?

The Itential Automation Platform is built to integrate easily integrate with any IT System, tools, controllers, orchestrators, or services through APIs. Most modern systems have published API specifications that, in many cases, can be directly imported and used in the platform without requiring a restart of any process.

How does Itential integrate with other tools and systems?

The Itential Automation Platform is built to easily integrate with any IT System, tool, controller, orchestrator, or service through APIs. Most modern systems have published API specifications that, in many cases, can be directly used to create an integration in the platform.

What Scripts or DevOps/NetOps tools does Itential support?

The Itential Automation platform can integrate with any DevOps or NetOps tool and system using an available API. Automations created within IAP can be published through an API so that they can be integrated into a DevOps/NetOps process.

If there is an integration not listed, can I build my own?

Yes, every organization’s ecosystem of networking and IT systems is unique, and there is tremendous value in allowing our customers to quickly support automation across all of their system. We provide the ability to build integrations with these systems using API specifications that are published by the system vendors. Using well defined specifications like OpenAPI, Swagger, or Postman collections, customers can use IAP to generate integrations within minutes and start building automations with those systems.

What authentication and authorization methods are supported?

IAP supports integration with LDAP/OpenLDAP, Azure, RADIUS and Active Directory.

Does Itential support RBAC? How granular are the RBAC policies?

Yes, Itential supports Role Based Access Control within the platform. IAP supports a very granular policies that allows user and group access controls across applications, devices, automations, adapters, and integrations.

Does Itential support SSO?

Yes, SSO is supported within our SaaS Platform.

How does Itential ensure no single point of failure?

How do I configure the product to operate with high availability in a global level?

How does Itential support enterprise scalability and what are the maximum number of network device sizes it is able to support?

How much customization is possible by administrators, ex. non-developers?

Is it easy to onboard new devices?

Yes, it Devices can be onboarded quickly using Pre-Built Adapters or by generating integrations with network controllers, orchestrators, or gateways that have device inventories available. For customers who have traditional networking devices that do not utilize a centralized controller, Itential’s Automation Gateway can be used to onboard those devices.

Does Itential have developer reference, documentation, and community support available?

All of this is available online at Itential’s Developer Hub, located here.

What system reporting and alerts are provided, including updating/monitoring etc.?

Itential provides audit trail logs for all automations and for each app/adapter in IAP with various log levels. SNMP traps, events, slack messages, and emails can be set up to send alerts for user-defined conditions.

How does Itential gather data and report on workflow utilization?

In the Itential Automation Platform, users can view details, statistics and historical data on any workflows and automations that have run within the Operations Manager application. Additionally, Job Manager provides more granular, task by task data, for a specific job.

How are data validation checks, monitoring ,and alerting mechanisms measured and reported?

How flexible is the reporting module? Can you export custom reports?

How does the platform measure success tracking, reporting, and dashboards?

IAP provides a Job view of all completed Jobs and their run times, including all task level details. We store Job history metrics in a standard JSON format so that users can create dashboards and reports with whatever reporting tool they want.

Can audit trail on user activities and workflow execution data and records be logged (internally/externally) and does it support retention period of at least 7 years?

IAP supports syslog integrations, meaning logs can be written to external data stores if required. IAP does not automatically archive logs, meaning logs can be retained for whichever period of time is required by the customer

Is a customizable performance and compliance dashboard available to present historical and real-time performance, inventory, operational, and compliance status?

Yes

Does Itential have any off prem/cloud-based dependencies to function fully?

Itential offers multiple deployment options for the Itential Automation Platform (IAP). IAP can be consumed as a SaaS offering or as an on-premise deployment. For on-premise deployments, IAP does not require access for off prem/cloud based dependencies.

How is encryption handled for data in flight and at rest?

For in-flight data, all communications between client and server are across secured https connections using standards-based TLS.