In a worldwide survey conducted among 550 enterprises to learn the trends in network automation, a majority of them cited cost and security as two primary impediments to efficient network management.
Cost can be subdivided into the following:
- The cost of adding devices to the network infrastructure (capital expenses)
- Operational costs, or the cost of running and managing networks
The first reason can be attributed to the addition of devices to meet short-term needs, needs that can often be achieved by extending the capabilities of the existing devices. Not every instance of unprecedented traffic surge merits the addition of a new server pool, nor does every new application require a firewall and a load balancer. Cutting back on redundancies can considerably reduce network infrastructure costs. However, that depends on how the network is managed, which brings us to operational costs –
High operational costs are a direct consequence of improper network management. Improving the existing infrastructure with automation and performance monitoring technologies can remove the need to pump money into frequent, often uncalled for additions. That is not to say legacy infrastructure should remain untouched – refurbishing the network infrastructure to keep up with the emerging digital trends is an absolute necessity. Vendor lock-in is another significant contributor to operational expenses – each vendor-proprietary component comes with its exclusive share of management, maintenance, and upgrade costs. Multi-vendor, environment-independent network automation is the need of the hour.
Given the vastness of networks and their plethora of endpoints, it’s almost impossible to discover and plug potential breach-points manually. And networks getting breached is serious business – it can lead to outages, crippling losses in revenue, and sometimes even bankruptcy. Increasing the visibility of the network can work wonders in improving network security by helping engineers predictively detect and mitigate issues, and subsequently troubleshoot faster.
Automation plays a crucial role in security, too – automated change management and approval processes expedite troubleshooting and remediation. Policy-based automation on firewalls and load balancers breach-proof networks and dramatically bring down the probability of outages.
Want to know about the other network management factors that enterprises struggle with? Read all about it in the State Of Network Automation 2020 report. Get your free copy here.