5 Major Criteria for Choosing Best Network-Automation Tools

5 Major Criteria for Choosing Best Network-Automation Tools

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Some factors require enough thought to make a smart decision regarding the network automation tools that suit the organization.

FREMONT, CA: In this technological era, network-automation tools have become strategic, allow business alignment, and offer a roadmap to the utopian state of an entirely intent-based system where the network operates and secures itself. However, there is a broad array of them available. The following are some of the key criteria that enterprises are advised to consider when making a decision, which is best for them.

1. Breadth of APIs

It is crucial for the network-automation tools to interface with other tools, which means that it is important for every feature to be accessible as an API. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Today, even if a tool is utilized standalone, it will most probably need to interface with another application in the future for greater automation capabilities. Hence, one should not be oblivious to this fact.

2. Compliance and security reporting

Today leading organizations are being pushed to bring IT and security operations together. This means that network-automation tools must provide information that displays security policies being continuously adhered to and compliance mandates being met. It is a must for the reporting capabilities to offer visibility into each phase of the network lifecycle, including deploying, planning, and optimization.

3. Orchestration

Generally, on changing network devices, another element of the infrastructure also need to change. For instance, the addition of a network device requires changing a firewall setting or linking it to a load balancer. This builds up the requirement for orchestration capabilities so that the network-automation can trigger other automation frameworks for changing devices that are upstream or downstream from it.

4. Multi-vendor or Single vendor?

There are numerous third party and vendor-specific network automation tools. It is a must for the customers to determine if they wish to go all-in with a single vendor or multiple vendors. The decision which one is better entirely depends on the choice that the enterprise makes. If the company selects a single vendor platform, it should ensure that it functions with the entire product line of the vendor and not just a subset. If a third party tool Is selected, it is important to seek out one that supports the latest and most probably future vendors whose gear will be in the company’s network.

5. SaaS or on-premises?

For on-premises software and appliances, traditional network-automation tools have always been the preference. Today, a majority of enterprises prefer to buy the tools in the SaaS model for ensuring rapid deployment and consistent updates.

Again, the decision which one is better depends on the selection of the company. The organization needs to determine which option best suits its operating model and compliance requirements.

To conclude, the companies should do complete research on their operating model before selecting network automation tools.

See Also: Top Networking Solution Companies

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