The Five Things You Need to Do to Avoid Network Automation Failures - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
7/21/2020
11:30 AM
Ravi Chandrasekaran, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Network, Cisco
Ravi Chandrasekaran, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Network, Cisco
Commentary
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The Five Things You Need to Do to Avoid Network Automation Failures

Areas that have been automated must be checked and updated to ensure they are continually evolving with the network and properly performing their intended function.

Today’s networks are too complex and important for them to remain manual, but network automation remains one of the most challenging tasks for enterprises to achieve. Automating the network brings numerous benefits as increases in data and devices start outpacing IT capabilities. Gartner found that organizations that automate 70% of their network change activities reduce outages by 50% and deliver services 50% faster.

Automation tools have evolved from operating point products into tools that manage policy and orchestration. For automation to be effective, it needs to encompass the entire network to streamline management. There are five key areas to avoid costly automation failures that enterprises should focus on.

Visibility

First, IT needs to create end-to-end visibility into all the existing devices on the network for secure and successful automation. This includes the automatic discovery of switches, routers, access points, controllers, and appliances. Achieving this level of visibility requires working to update smaller segments of the infrastructure at a time, which could be as simple as updating the software. IT should be working in stages to update different segments along this transformation journey. It’s important to be cautious of variations in the generations of hardware and software, as you want to be sure each segment is transitioned properly before moving to the next to achieve true end-to-end visibility.

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