Features to Keep in Mind While Purchasing Network Automation Tools
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Features to Keep in Mind While Purchasing Network Automation Tools

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Currently, network-automation tools are very calculated and enable business alignment. 

FREMONT, CA: The notion of network automation has been in the industry for as long as the networks. Until recently, the uptake has been dawdling for numerous reasons, such as resistance from network engineers. Unlike the past years, the forces now are joining hands to create a perfect storm of sorts, steering a requirement for the network automation tools.

The growth of software-defined networks (SDN), along with software-defined WANs (SD-WAN), has allowed the network-automation tools to develop from operationally focused point products that address change management and configuration into policy, as well as orchestration tools. It also provides directions to navigate toward a perfect state of a fully intent-based system where the network autonomously runs and secures itself.

Single or Multi-Vendor:

Customers today need to figure out if they want to go all-in with a single vendor or opt for multiple vendors such as Red Hat, NetBrain, and Forward Networks. The company can choose a single vendor platform that ensures working with the vendor’s entire product range and not just a subset. On the other hand, the third-party tool seeks out to the one that supports the current, as well as the future vendors involved in the organization’s network.

Extension of APIs:

Significantly, the network-automation tools interface with other devices like ServiceNow. It suggests that every feature needs to be available as an API, which is mostly not satisfied. Any tool that is being used as a standalone in the present time needs to interface with another application shortly for broader automation abilities.

AI-based Networking Abilities:

AI abilities need to be involved in the system to completely automate every operation so that the network itself can adapt to the changes. A system should have two modes of operation, which includes modifications for the engineer to execute on and the other that fully implements the changes without any human intervention. It will help the customers to get comfortable with AI in the first place.

Compliance and Security Reporting:

Network-automation tools need to offer information that reflects that security policies are continually being adhered to, and compliance mandates are being satisfied. The reporting abilities also need to provide transparency into every phase of the network lifecycle, starting from planning, deploying, and optimization.

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