Increasing change requests, demanding agility, enabling cross-team collaboration and reducing costs require a strong NetOps automation foundation. Gartner predicts that by 2017, 75 percent of enterprises will have more than six diverse automation technologies within their IT management portfolios. NetOps automation is not just about executing tasks. It is an ongoing process for powering I&O success by choosing the right technologies and planning methodologies and collaborating with people who have the expertise for the solution that is suitable to the organization. Although it paves the way to data center agility, automation remains elusive for many reasons, including lack of policy, individual-centric methods, emphasizing technology over the process, and others.
Most organizations have realized that adopting NetOps automation is vital to achieving IT agility. However, many struggle to understand where to begin a successful NetOps automation journey. Whether the organization chooses to adopt automation for brownfield or greenfield environments, one thing to keep in mind is that it is always about business and applications and not boxes.
Evolution towards NetOps automation
Not all automation solutions are same. There are many partial solutions that can automate a limited set of tasks. You only get the real benefits when you use a comprehensive automation solution that allows you to deliver applications faster. Getting started is not difficult—just take it step by step.
1. Start with your applications: Identify workloads for today and tomorrow and perform discovery on all application deployment change requests.
2. Segment the infrastructure: Based on various network services, segment the infrastructure into different blocks and analyze how they interact and interwork with each other.
3. Simplify and standardize: Define standard offerings for various services, work processes, and inputs/outputs. Sequence and parallelize service requests to optimize overall delivery time.
4. Iterate automation adoption: Start small and automate existing tasks. Iterate your automation initiatives, adding agility incrementally while maintaining the required availability.
5. Enable self-servicing for the network: Define roles and requirements for users and devices accessing the network to enable self- servicing capabilities and enable collaboration.
6. Orchestrate the service infrastructure: Prepare for end-to-end network infrastructure orchestration that provides detailed control and automation of ordered deployments.
Organizations want IT to provision applications and not infrastructure. Select tools that allow you to migrate, manage, and automate application deployments on-premises and in the cloud. Automation benefits are compelling, and through a step-by- step approach, it is easy to adopt in your network.