Escaping Tech Debt: The Need for Modern, Integrated Network Management
The leading healthcare insurance provider in North America sought to refresh their technology ecosystem after a merger left them with many disparate tools and systems for managing their network infrastructure. They aimed to simplify their toolset while ensuring maintenance of all data and avoiding any lapses in service, all while upgrading their capabilities.
One of their main priorities was replacing their legacy tool HP Network Automation (HPNA), a point solution for the configuration management of traditional network devices. HPNA was built several years ago, and it hasn’t kept up with modern networking needs. It provides only limited vendor CLI support and no API support, which prevented the company from leveraging any device type, controller, or third-party system they chose for their network. Also, any automation of configuration management with HPNA requires custom code, which greatly increases the required investment and slows down automation adoption – not exactly the effort and time savings that automation promises.
With backups required for over 2,500 devices across 6+ device types and a network that is both global and mission-critical, it was key that any migration to a new solution had to be seamless: it couldn’t involve any loss of data or problematic outages. In sunsetting HPNA, they knew they needed a tool that could replace key backup and storage capabilities while also enabling additional comprehensive network management and integration with the rest of their ecosystem and allowing easier access to automation.
Why They Chose Itential for Automated Configuration Management
The Itential Automation Platform has two key advantages over both HPNA and alternative solutions: integrations and API support which enable configuring any device type, and the ability to automate configuration changes without development expertise. Itential is the only solution that enabled their network team to maintain all relevant data over the HPNA migration while enabling management of every device across their network via integration with any tool and platform in their ecosystem.
With Itential, their network team can scale their configuration management, device backup, and storage capabilities to meet their evolving network through our:
- Seamless migration of device backup and storage capabilities from HPNA to Itential and integrity of associated data.
- Extend device backup, storage, and configuration capabilities to new device types with Itential’s built-in support for different types of CLI- and API-based network devices.
- Single applicationto efficiently manage device backups, federate inventory, and automate changes to CLI-based physical devices along with API-based cloud networking services across any vendor and any OS.
- Automated remediationof all their devices that are out of compliance in minutes, not hours or days, mitigating config drift.
- Simplified management across a disparate technology ecosystem due to Itential’s integrate-with-anything approach and our library of over 300 Pre-Built Integrations.
Automated Configuration Management
I think that Itential is everything we want to do that HPNA couldn’t do right out of the box.
Reduced Backup Time From Hours to Minutes & Expanded Configuration Management Across Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
By adopting Itential, their network team was able to migrate device backup and storage capabilities away from HPNA while increasing their automation capabilities and upholding data integrity. Itential’s ability to automate the remediation process of network devices has increased the efficiency and reliability of their network. With Itential’s robust southbound integrations for any CLI type or any API managed solution, the team was enabled to expand their configuration management capabilities across their hybrid cloud infrastructure.
With Itential’s integration focus, the network team was able to simplify their post-merger toolset and migrate all necessary network activities to a central orchestration platform, allowing for more robust configuration management capabilities that help drive their network change processes now and in the future.
Building an Automation Roadmap with Itential
This first foray into network automation really got the ball rolling for their team – once the HPNA migration was up and running, the network team quickly implemented a BGP reroute automation use case. As their automation confidence grew, they were able to go faster, and now the team has expanded their automation with Itential across dozens of other use case for what were once repetitive daily tasks, with a dozen more on their immediate roadmap. Now, automation is central to their infrastructure strategy because, according to a senior Network Engineer, “Itential just works. It wasn’t a heavy lift and is very easy to use.”