Network Automation: 7 Basic Steps

Automation can reduce the time spent on tedious network tasks. Here’s how to get started.

Next-generation network architectures are undoubtedly growing more complex. Because of this, administrators are struggling to manage the day-to-day operations of their existing network while also tackling  new projects. While one way to gain additional time is to increase network support head count, it’s simply too expensive for many organizations. That’s why many IT shops are increasingly interested in automation tools that can significantly cut down on the amount of time network staff must spend keeping the lights on.

But unless you already have significant experience, the planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance of network automation processes can be overwhelming. In this slideshow, we’ll look a seven basic steps you can use to formulate your network automation strategy. The slides will take you from the early planning stages, through the implementation stage and finally ongoing maintenance and optimization of automated processes.

The key to a successful network automation project is to keep your eye on tasks that are eating up a great deal of time. Whether your network staff is wasting time manually creating status reports for upper management, performing simple moves/adds/changes, or dealing with the same troubleshooting tasks over and over again, your goal should be to identify repetitive tasks -- and use tools to automate them.  

Remember, your goal here is to create efficiencies that should free up your network team’s time so it can focus on tasks that can’t be automated, like designing those complex next-generation network architectures. And while automation will add new maintenance chores for in-house staff, the amount of time spent managing your automation processes should be significantly lower than the time spent manually performing the functions.

(Image: Peggy_Marco/Pixabay)

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About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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