Automating data center networks: its pitfalls and how to avoid them
In the next two years, more than 86% of companies will increase budgets for automating a network of data centers, and network groups need to plan carefully as costs rise. Only 23 percent of those surveyed were completely confident in their data center network automation strategies due to the complexity of networks in general.
A common theme in the three phases of their automation initiatives – planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Network automation planning and evaluation – The challenges
Technology organizations often struggle with understanding how data center network automation will interact with other management systems and tools (39%). There are a variety of tools available to network infrastructure and operations teams, including many for data center network automation. In addition, other teams — including systems, storage, security, apps, and DevOps — manage aspects of data center operations with their tools. The networking team must consider how its automation toolchain will interact with other tools.
Most organizations (37%) find it difficult to estimate and understand the costs associated with data center network automation. According to the EMA, the lack of clarity on costs is due to the complexity of an automation initiative. Based on the survey, the majority of organizations are buying commercial automation tools and developing their own automation software. Implementing and maintaining this constellation of tools is difficult to predict.
Network automation implementation – Challenges associated with it
Approximately 44% of organizations struggle with infrastructure issues when implementing data center network automation. It is challenging to automate data centers due to legacy issues with network devices and other components. Older tools, for example, may lack APIs, requiring the automation team to implement a solution that triggers network changes through CLI scripts.
In addition, networks often use multiple versions of vendor network operating systems (NOS), each with subtle differences in CLI syntax, adding to the complexity.
APIs on some of EMA’s newer equipment is limited in scope, functionality, and quality, resulting in even more infrastructure problems. About half (44%) of organizations report difficulties integrating and contextualizing their automation pipelines with universal application services. Plan and evaluate how automation will interact with other systems, so this echoes the issue of planning and evaluating. It is difficult for network teams to build an automation solution that allows them to push network changes while understanding how those changes will affect application behavior, security, and performance.
Network usage challenges are what automation gives at first
Identifying what automation changes are required by network engineers. This includes knowing the network configurations, device metrics, and traffic flow. To implement acceptable changes, they need to know more about the purpose of the network, such as setting standards and security policies. The creation of a reliable data repository for automated processes is a challenge for many organizations.
Automation users are concerned that network changes will negatively affect application behavior and performance, and 40% of IT organizations have identified this issue as a major concern. Automaton users are concerned that network changes will impact application behavior and performance. There has been persistent difficulty in integrating network automation into all-digital operations at EMA’s research line.
How to meet the challenges of network automation
Top-performing organizations emphasize network compliance with automation, which forces a rigorous approach to establish a repository of network intent data. Additionally, best-in-class organizations look for automation tools. Solutions that offer change analysis and modeling features, can assist them in understanding how network changes impact digital operations overall.
Optimization strategies for hybrid clouds: The default [automated] network
Automation contributes to the advantages of traffic management. Network performance is no different. Flexible networks can help businesses simplify tasks. But also improve planning, especially when making changes to meet the complex cloud path.
Automating network testing makes system testing more precise and risk-based.
Before stopping changes, it is possible to define and review the tasks that must be performed. Risks or other issues that may arise are to be taken into consideration. It is possible to model the infrastructure using automatic provisioning of networks. By doing so, names can be added as the network is adopted and verified.
Hybrid Cloud Success Requires Network Automation
By implementing selected strategies to manage complexity, companies can further achieve many of the advantages of a hybrid cloud. Using the resource model companies gain a better understanding of their on-premises and cloud infrastructures. This allows them to reduce problems and improve quality by making sustainable decisions.
Network automation and traffic management improve performance, decrease risk, and reduce costs. Last but not least, observation tools assist organizations in determining the future of their network services. Controlling the infrastructure is the key to hybrid cloud success, and these four strategies can help you get there.