Network Configuration Management for Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Modern configuration management for accelerating network automation across all network infrastructure.

Redefining Configuration Management Across Hybrid Cloud Networks

The increase in moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud has made enforcement of network configuration standards nearly impossible. Typical organizational structures in which network and cloud teams are working in siloes has only exacerbated the problem. In fact, 73% of enterprises have experienced security and compliance issues because of poor collaboration between the two groups. This hybrid cloud world requires a new, modern approach to drive configuration compliance of which traditional NCCM tools and automation point solutions are unable to address.

White Paper: Building Trust & Compliance for Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Networking

The Cloud Networking Configuration Complexity

Managing cloud-native network infrastructure requires networking teams to navigate multiple cloud dashboards to make simple changes in something as common as a virtual private cloud (VPC) or virtual network (VNet). As the number of VPCs, VNets, and other cloud-native services grow across multiple cloud platforms, networking teams need a way to normalize configurations across all types of infrastructure. This means equipping networking teams so they can discover and manage cloud-native network services and treat them as if they were traditional network devices, empowering teams to translate complex configurations into a simple standards-based formats.

Business Impact

Significant security risks created by ad-hoc cloud network deployment.
Poor application and service performance due to inefficient cloud network design. Lack of cloud network visibility, hindering troubleshooting during outages.

Cloud simplifies consumption but complicates network compliance.
Cloud services make the consumption of networking easy for customers, but because cloud applications are often managed outside of the network team, network configurations will likely not be in compliance with the company’s policies and requirements.

download an analyst report from 451 research: automating compliance across physical, virtual, and cloud networks

Diverse environments add complexity.
Cloud services, on-premises datacenters, and colocation have individually managed, complicated networks because each environment has its own networking features, capabilities, and management functions. Ensuring that proper network configurations are in place in such a highly diverse environment is extremely complex and difficult.

Cloud services need to be actively managed.
Cloud services continually make new networking features and services available to customers for use without having guardrails that allow IT to limit their use. The easy and rapid consumption of these services can take networks out of compliance unless they are actively managed.

Cloud networking requires network oversight.
Teams making their own decisions about network architecture could lead to disruption in connectivity and will certainly take the network out of compliance from a predefined policy. In this case, many hands make extra work to validate the overall network configuration and bring the network back to a predefined architecture.

Itential’s Modern Approach to Network & Cloud Configuration Management

The Itential Automation Platform is the only product built for modern network and cloud configuration and compliance automation.

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  • Full Network Visibility with One Application
    A single application to efficiently manage device backups, inventory, and changes to CLI-based physical devices along with API-based cloud networking services across any vendor and any OS.
  • Flexible & Resuable Golden Configuration Templates
    Dynamic and flexible Golden Configuration templates for any device and any service across network and cloud infrastructure.
  • Integrated Validation
    Quickly create and publish self-service automations that include validating changes before they are made to ensure guardrails when automating.
  • Automated Remediation
    Automate the remediation of devices and cloud services that are out of compliance in minutes, not hours or days.
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Itential’s Configuration Automation Capabilities & Use Cases

Robust capabilities and use cases to support automated configuration management, ensure compliance, and mitigate manual operations.

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Multi-Vendor & Multi-Domain Network Device Inventory & Backup

Easily automate device inventory and backup for any device type, vendor, and cloud service.
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Configuration Diff Comparisons & Rollbacks

Quickly compare backups to the live, running configuration on any network device. Differences in the two files are highly visible and easy to understand and if changes are detected, Itential can provide an intelligent rollback to the configuration standard.
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Software Upgrades

Achieve consistent software upgrades, along with automating network configuration and compliance across physical, virtual, and cloud-based networks.
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Creation of Golden Configuration Templates

Easily build Golden Configurations with the ability to assign groups of devices to the Golden Configuration tree and generate a compliance report for every device in a single click. If any devices are out of compliance, automated intelligent remediation of the device is available when the network team is ready to make changes.
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Configuration Validation

Implement traditional compliance checking along with modern configuration validation to ensure that the entire network, not just a portion, is configured and operating properly with consistent compliance, end-to-end across the entire network.
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Compliance Reporting & Remediation

Support for both CLI and API network devices and services, regardless of whether they are physical, virtual, or cloud-based, and quickly create Golden Configuration standards for every one of these network elements so that network teams can generate compliance reports and automatically remediate devices.
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Integrating IT Systems in with Configuration Process

Integrate with any network controller, orchestrator, IT system, or source of truth by leveraging Itential’s library of Pre-Built Adapters available for integration with commonly used systems without writing code. Easily integrate any of these systems into the configuration compliance process with point and click ease, and quickly build data transformations with drag-and-drop simplicity, to ensure data passed between applications is always complete and formatted correctly.
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How Itential Operationalizes Configuration Compliance Across Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Networks

In the cloud world, software development principles have evolved to build a system to develop, test, validate, and deploy new software projects. As networking migrates to a cloud model and networking technology becomes more software-driven, a way to manage this process is necessary to operationalize cloud networking. The process of validating, testing, and executing network connections needs to mimic the cloud model of request-validate-execute.

timeline of modernized network configuration change management process that starts with request, then validate, then execute

By automating validation of network connections, cloud networking systems can be tamed. The key is using software to coordinate networking elements, including both CLIs and APIs, to enable programmability. APIs are the foundation of cloud automation because they enable systems to be programmed and configured with software. Proactive and reactive compliance methods apply to both CLI- and API-based infrastructures, and both methodologies will still be required going forward. To successfully manage the transition, teams must move to a proactive approach to validation that allows automation to be implemented with more confidence.

By automating validation of network connections, cloud networking systems can be tamed. The key is using software to coordinate networking elements, including both CLIs and APIs, to enable programmability. APIs are the foundation of cloud automation because they enable systems to be programmed and configured with software. Proactive and reactive compliance methods apply to both CLI- and API-based infrastructures, and both methodologies will still be required going forward. To successfully manage the transition, teams must move to a proactive approach to validation that allows automation to be implemented with more confidence.
On-Demand Webinar: How to Get Proactive with Compliance Validation

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