Tag

Management

Revolution Or Evolution? The Path Forward For Network Automation

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There are two approaches to the next steps in automation that we will make in the near future. One of revolution or one of evolution. Let’s look at each of these and lay out why evolving what you have today is a much more rational approach, in my opinion. Revolution: 1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government of political network automation system by the operator people governed. First of all, I did take some liberties with the definition of revolution above, but clearly this is how a lot of people are looking…

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The Right Way To Automation

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It is a pretty well-known fact by now that the internet outage on Nov 6 was a direct result of a configuration error. What is not known is just how such a common occurrence in the network, a config change, could have been allowed to happen at a time and in such a way that it caused such a massive problem across the country. Every time an engineer touches the network using the common processes and techniques in place today this kind of thing can happen. That doesn’t mean that every…

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Intent Based Automation Is Complex, But It Shouldn’t Scare You

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In the last year the SDN/NFV hype peaked and people moved on to an automation focus in general. It always comes back to automation eventually, but this time a new term has gotten hot. Intent Based Networking, which is something I discussed in a blog about 2 years ago. The beauty of the emergence of Intent Based Networking as a hot topic is that it is a byproduct of automation done correctly. Now, what do I mean by that? If you do automation correctly you are moving to a model-based approach….

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Hype Machine: NFV/SDN Versus Automation – Are They The Same Thing?

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Before I waste any time let me go ahead and answer the question in the title with a resounding NO…now let’s get into why that is the case. A recent Light Reading article on the “cost of automation” says, “…automation is the end game for virtualizing network infrastructure and services using NFV and SDN.” While the article doesn’t outright say it, it pretty strongly implies that the way to automate your network is to virtualize it. The problem with this mindset is that virtualization in and of itself does nothing…absolutely…

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Does Methodology Matter?

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The debate of agile-based methodologies versus waterfall-based methodologies is one that has been raging for what seems like forever. With the evolution of network management into a software-like, programmable discipline it will soon find itself front and center with an audience that has never had to care about it before. Are we there yet? Not quite, but the time to learn about this and make some key decisions is BEFORE you get there. Old school development shops will swear by the waterfall approach. This means a series of very specific phases that…

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The road ahead – Facing the reality of the network operations journey to automation

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Automation has long been the goal of every operator and seen as a required capability to support network evolution and technology advancement. Many of the service innovations that are being promoted (white-box, NFV (Network Function Virtualisation), cloud, edge-computing, etc.) require automation ‘as standard’ as part of the offering to realise the justification for investment. However, the industry has struggled to remove the operational costs from Network Operations due to the limited capabilities of SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) & CLI (Command Line Interface) which, in turn, has inhibited innovation and…

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Ops Automation: A New Year, Same Old Challenges…With New Answers

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As we move into a new year some things have become very clear. Some of these are things we have known for a while, some are revelations from working with clients, and some are things we SHOULD have known all along. There are many efforts going on within service providers and enterprises alike at the moment. There is the work to maintain legacy operations and service offerings under the weight of declining, or at best stable, revenue with a constant, and sometimes increasing, cost of maintenance. There is the effort…

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Where The Magic Happens: What You Need…

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It is common for a vendor to espouse all of the virtues of their software, regardless of whether it is something you actually need right now or not. I am positive we have been guilty of that at Itential as well…we all are sometimes. I wanted to focus a little bit on not what Pronghorn CAN do, but on the things that you NEED to be able to do and how Pronghorn fits into that picture, along with other systems you may already have from other vendors. Every customer we…

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The Secret Sauce of NFV? Operations, With A Side Of Automation…

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This is probably not what a lot of the technology vendors want you to know. They want you to keep thinking that the secret is that new controller they offer, or maybe containerization of their cool new VNF. All of those things, and more, do indeed matter, but they are not what is going to make or break your NFV implementation. An article the other day by Scott Raynovich on SDx Central points this out, and does a pretty good job of backing up the core message we at Itential have been trying to preach…

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Operational Challenges Abound, and Not Always Tech Related

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This is a topic I have written on a while back, but it is so important it seemed to deserve a revisit, with a slightly different view than I approached it from before. In the last few weeks we have been discussing with a client this very issue. This client is nearing the launch of a production trial of their NFV environment with a small group of friendly customers. We have worked with them on processes, the issues they can expect to see, and what they should do if/when each of…

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