Behind the scenes, enterprise networks necessitate a great deal of planning and effort. The management of networks can become burdensome, especially in bigger networks with thousands of users and devices. Some of these issues are alleviated by network automation technologies, which automate administrative tasks like device and software administration, setup, deployment, testing, and security upgrades. Continue reading to discover about the top 5 network automation tools available.
1. Blue Planet
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. Ansible for Network Automation
Ansible is an open source platform that was created as a tool for automating Linux systems. Red Hat purchased the platform in 2015. Red Hat has since enhanced Ansible’s ability to automate other aspects of enterprise IT infrastructure, such as network devices. Special modules for automating a wide range of network vendors and devices are included in Ansible. Automated network functions such as network device discovery, configuration, testing/validation, and configuration drift identification are included in these modules.
Ansible performs effectively with automating hardened and proprietary systems, such as network appliances, because it uses an agentless design.
As a result, communication between the Ansible platform and any network equipment it automates takes place over SSH or an open API.
Ansible also has hundreds of pre-built network modules that take care of a lot of the hard lifting when it comes to automating procedures. Automation templates for several vendors, including A10, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Juniper, and Fortinet, are included as pre-built modules. If server, application, and development teams already use Ansible, it’s a great choice for network automation.
Puppet is a network automation programme that is mostly used for server administration automation. It is written in Ruby and was released in 2005. Configuration management is its primary function. Puppet and Ansible vary in that Puppet requires the installation of an agent on the target device. This isn’t an issue for Linux servers, but it does provide some difficulties for network engineers!
Puppet has its own configuration language, which was created with sysadmins in mind. The Puppet language was inspired by the Nagios configuration file format and does not require much formal programming skills. One or more puppetmaster servers, as well as the puppet agent on each client node, make up the Puppet infrastructure.
4. Syxsence Manage
Syxsense Manage is a cloud-based endpoint management service that supports Windows, Linux, and macOS servers and PCs. It can also keep an eye on IoT gadgets. This system may centralise the management of endpoints across several sites, including those utilised by remote workers.
All endpoints are located and stored in a database by the system. As part of its discovery service, it will continue to scan each device for operating systems and installed software. It is possible to construct a common endpoint configuration, which includes a software package, and use it to automatically onboard additional devices. For technicians, the package includes a Wake-on-LAN service and a remote control system. Many of the system scanning services in the package are automated.
In Syxsense Manage, an automatic patch management system monitors patch and update availability on the websites of the software suppliers mentioned in the inventory. All of the endpoint manager’s actions are logged, and those logs can be retrieved in a report format that is required for certain tasks.
5. Apstra Operating System
This solution, developed by a Silicon Valley startup, promises to replace the software-defined networking model and make networks more responsive to customers’ needs. Apstra is advertised as a “intent-based” platform that allows users to establish high-level goals and let the automation tool work out the best method to achieve them. Apstra differs from traditional network automation solutions in that the how of the process must still be determined by the engineer. And, Apstra won a CRN innovation award in 2018 despite being less well-known as the big-name products. Pricing is determined on the size and needs of the business.
Making the Switch to Network Automation
With so many potential benefits of network automation, your company should seriously consider making the move. Many people will find the move worthwhile, but there are other aspects to consider, ranging from your organization’s general growth goals to your IT budget. To determine the present health and scope of your network, you need do a thorough network evaluation. And, while you weigh your alternatives, make sure to seek advice from a professional to ensure that you’re selecting the smartest and most cost-effective network automation technology for your company.
Sign up for a free trial of BluePlanet’s network automation suite to see how network automation operates in modern cloud ecosystems. Try Now.
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