By Arun Pathak, Vice President- Managed Network and Collaboration Services, NTT Ltd. in India
One of the biggest challenges of enterprise network management is the increasing complexity of modern networks due to evolution in new and emerging workloads related to AI, Big Data Analytics, Video Streaming etc. This requires the network to be highly available and responsive to the needs of the users. Additionally, with the increasing number of devices, applications, and users on a network, the network infrastructure has become more complex, and hence, the traditional methods of network management are not equipped to handle these demands and often results in network downtime and slow performance. This complexity makes it difficult to manage and configure the network manually, and which also increase the likelihood of errors and security vulnerabilities.
The traditional manual network management and configuration approach can be time-consuming and error prone. Manual network configuration can lead to configuration errors which can create security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Manual network management and configuration can also be expensive in terms of time and resources.
How automation can help
The implementation of automation in enterprise network management services can bring a number of benefits to an organization. Let us look at some of the intended benefits:
Automation can play a crucial role in streamlining network management and configuration. Here are some ways in which automation can help:
Provisioning: Automation can help to speed up the provisioning process by automatically configuring new devices and ensuring that they are compliant with network policies. This can reduce the time and effort needed to set up new devices and can help to ensure that the network is configured consistently.
Configuration management: Automation can help to ensure that configurations are standardized and consistent across the network. Automation can help to streamline the process of configuring and updating network devices. This can include automating tasks such as updating firmware, configuring new devices, and rolling out new network policies. Organizations can also use configuration templates generated by automation tools that can be applied to multiple devices, reducing the time and effort needed to configure devices and ensuring that configurations are consistent.It can also help in tracking changes to configurations, which makes it easier to troubleshoot issues and roll back changes if needed.
Network monitoring: Automation can help to monitor the network for performance and security issues, alerting network administrators to potential problems and providing them with the information needed to take corrective action.
Compliance: Automation can help to ensure that the network is compliant with industry regulations and internal policies by automating tasks such as tracking changes to configurations, generating compliance reports, and conducting regular audits.
Troubleshooting: Automation can help to diagnose and troubleshoot network issues, reducing thetime and effort needed to identify and resolve problems.
Reporting: Automation can help to generate reports on network performance, security, and compliance, providing network administrators with the data needed to make informed decisions.
Security: Automation can also help enterprises in monitoring the network for security threats, perform regular vulnerability assessments, and quickly respond to security incidents.
Benefits of automation
Manual network management requires significant time and effort to perform routine tasks such as network monitoring, configuration, and troubleshooting. Automation can significantly reduce the time needed to perform these tasks, freeing up network administrators to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.
Manual network management can become more difficult and time-consuming as the network grows and more devices are added. Automation can help to scale network management by automating routine tasks, ensuring consistency across the network, and reducing the time and effort needed to manage these networks.
One of the main benefits of automation is improved network performance. Automated network management tools can monitor the network in real-time, identify potential problems and take corrective actions before they lead to network downtime. This results in improved network performance, which leads to increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction.
Another benefit of automation is increased network availability. Automated tools can quickly detect and resolve network issues, reducing downtime and ensuring that the network is always available when it is needed. This results in improved business continuity and reduced operational costs.
In conclusion, the critical need for automation in enterprise network management services cannot be overstated. The increasing complexity of modern networks, the need for real-time communication, and the increasing demand for bandwidth make it imperative that organizations implement automated network management tools for delivering network management services more efficiently, accurately, and cost-effectively, while also improving network performance and security.