Paid v/s Free Network Automation Tools: Which one is better? Introduction
Paid v/s Free Network: Network automation solutions have developed from convenience to necessity in virtually every IT profession in today’s technology-driven environment. These tools enable network-related tasks to be completed with minimum human participation. They eliminate personal dependency, standardise processes, and boost productivity by reducing the risk of human error.
The technique of adopting these software and tools to automatically configure, provision, maintain, and test network equipment is known as network automation. It’s essential for embracing new technologies and making our networks more adaptable and responsive to change. Tools make the network more secure by removing the manual procedure, and they may be used in hybrid and multi-cloud setups as well as on-premise networks. But the question is – with a flood of tools out there which ones should we choose? Paid or Free?
To make the selection process earlier for you, we’ve rounded up 6 of the best paid and free automated network management tools. Embracing these tools in your system is a step forward not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of network service and business efficiency.
Let’s dive in!
Blue Planet is jointly developed by Ciena and Brillio. Intelligent Automation Portfolio helps network operators increase network and service agility, improve user experience, and save operating costs by automating and optimizing business operations. Blue Planet is open and standards-based software that integrates with any vendor’s network elements and uses open APIs to make integration with third-party software systems easier. Blue Planet uses cutting-edge technology to enable intelligent automation across IT and network operations, making it easier to fulfill, manage, and ensure today’s dynamic, on-demand services.
The Blue Planet Intelligent Automation Portfolio enables a pragmatic path toward the Adaptive Network by facilitating the implementation of technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN).
2. VMware NSX
VMware’s full form is Virtual Machine Software, while NSX does not have an official name but is thought to stand for Network Virtualization.
VMware NSX was created to accelerate the application lifecycle by utilising automation. It employs virtualized networking functions (VNFs) to migrate your network from hardware to software and make its services more adaptable. So, with VMware NSX, you can install all of your routers, switches, firewalls, and more in a single box that runs all VNFs.
With the use of templates and blueprints, VNFs running on a cloud platform like vRealize Cloud Automation can automate network and security deployments.
3. Red Hat Ansible
The Red Hat Ansible package of network automation tools has long been a favourite among bigger enterprise network operators, especially since Red Hat acquired Ansible in 2015. Red Hat delivers a good solution with a higher price tag than some of the other items on the list due to its broad support for network device and IT environment setups. However, it frequently outperforms the competition in performance parameters such as overall speed and UI friendliness to match that price point. Previously, Red Hat Ansible exclusively offered
on-premise solutions, but in recent years, the company has expanded its open hybrid cloud options.
NetBrain Enterprise Suite
NetBrain is a network monitoring automation tool. With a mixture of robust documentation and data visualisation designs, the solution gives substantial visual aids to your team while they work to optimise your network.
NetBrain excels at decoding and mapping hybrid network environments so that your network admin team can manage all types of network devices from a single control panel.
2. ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager
Network Configuration Manager (NCCM) from ManageEngine is a network change, configuration, and compliance management (NCCM) product that scales with growing company networks. Their Forever Free plan is an excellent alternative for small businesses that only handle a few devices and applications, but they can quickly convert to a premium plan and remain with the software they’re already comfortable with if their business grows.
ManageEngine’s solution is a terrific alternative for enterprises that want additional help for change management, regardless of their size or expectations from a network automation tool.
For the whole IT team, the SaltStack Enterprise platform provides sophisticated automation and orchestration. Infrastructure automation, security automation, and network automation are all available with SaltStack. The Salt Automation Engine, Operations Framework, Command & Control Console, and Saltstack SecOps are all part of Saltstack Enterprise.
SaltStack uses the Salt Automation Engine to provide event-driven automation, cloud provisioning and control, remote execution, orchestration, Multi-OS, Multi-system support, Configuration, management, Agent, agentless (SSH), or proxy agent. VMware has acquired Saltstack. SaltStack was purchased by VMware in order to improve software configuration management and infrastructure automation.
Final Verdict: Paid v/s Unpaid
With so many network automation tools to pick from, the best strategy is to scale your company’s size and network management objectives. The powerful features of paid tools like Blue Planet that interface easily with other popular network products will be required for enterprise-grade management, whilst the affordability and simple components of unpaid solutions may be more appropriate for a smaller organisation. Using the appropriate network automation software may save you a lot of time and money, and fortunately, all of the six products we’ve discussed today provide you with multiple alternatives for exploring different features and finding the finest automation tool for your needs. However, the following are some of the extra features that come with purchased tools:
- Incredible Visibility: accelerates issue resolution
- Unlimited Scalability: grows quickly to monitor your whole network IDImmense Customizability: simple and quick customization
- Fast deployment, highly automated, with a focus on business results rather than technical measurements
- Understand how the network affects the rest of your IT Use this knowledge to maintain high availability and a short mean time to resolution.
- Prevent network performance problems from affecting
- Your operations team’s efficiency will rocket as you eliminate duplicate labor with connected
So, If we’re talking about paid and unpaid network automation tools, there are two distinct groups of audience.
Paid tools are supported by one group of people. The other group is just interested in free tools. However, before deciding which tools to choose, consider the following distinctions between premium and free network automation software.
The best things in life aren’t always free. Paid tools, unsurprisingly, provide far more features and functionality than their free counterparts. We’ve listed the top 3 paid tools (out of all) that are best suited for larger businesses and agencies above.
The best part? Pretty much all of the paid tools offer free trials so be sure to test them out to see which one fits your needs and expectations.
Also Read: Onsite vs Remote IT Support: Pros and Cons
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