Winning Businesses Use Network Automation
Jun 08, 2020
Smaller IT workforce? Budget cut and on hold? Projects on hold but pressure from users still at an all-time high?
If you haven’t looked into network automation or network analytics yet, it’s time. This is what the most innovative and successful cutting-edge companies and startups around now rely on to build their digital empires. Investment money is pouring into these innovations so that enterprises can strengthen their infrastructures and value propositions.
Multiple reasons exist for this attraction to analytics, driven by network automation. Not only does this combination serve to improve cybersecurity, it also provides a wealth of real-time data that accelerates decision-making.
The result is a streamlined operation with greater efficiency and potentially a higher return on investment.
Here’s a look at how root-cause analyses, optimization and automation converge to create stronger business operations.
Network Analytics Explained
The concept of network analytics revolves around collecting data for any process involving your business network. The data is constantly streaming at the fingertips of managers for them to analyze and address network issues as they arise. Instead of letting bottlenecks build up over time, leading to an inefficient workplace, administrators can now diagnose technical problems and resolve them quickly.
Unless you’re an IT service provider, your business probably isn’t about spending an enormous amount of time fixing constant network issues. The focus of your work should be on your core business – not the platform it runs on. As automation software can solve your network issues for you, it frees you up to concentrate on other essential aspects of your business. Using analytics will also help to cut maintenance costs by speeding up network solutions toward a more reliable and secure infrastructure.
Analytics collected from Internet of Things (IoT) devices placed throughout your network are excellent for troubleshooting and problem-solving. And as AI technology continues to evolve, it will become more and more data intensive every year.
The Link Between Analytics and Automation
In the past, custom programs, known as macros or scripts, were necessary to automate common or redundant tasks for networks. Now, machine learning technology simplifies the process for achieving automatic network functions. When a local utility company suffers a power outage, for example, analytics from IoT devices that monitor the network can instantly trigger an automatic switch to a backup solution.
Automation follows the commands you put in your network policy. It operates on the “if A then B” principle. In other words, the automation software knows that if the main server goes down based on real-time data, then the system must switch to the backup off-site server.
Taking a deeper, but still simplistic, view of how analytics affects automation, think of data as the food that feeds a robot. The automation software is the brain of the robot that compares incoming data with programmed instructions on how to respond to certain events represented by the data.
The program also defines the difference between good and poor performance. Since the robot is programmed to favor good over poor performance, it makes decisions on how it responds to new data about network speed and various other metrics. The new data and its responses become embedded in the robot’s memory as it keeps track of how its own decisions affect performance.
The Future of Network Automation: Intent-Based Networking Is Coming
As powerful as automation technology already is, look for intent-based networking to be the next big milestone in the evolution of digital business solutions. Businesses will be able to access advanced analytics algorithms capable of decoding and comparing their network state with network intent. This machine learning technology will have a deeper understanding of how organizations- want their network to react to specific events, based on network monitoring.
Business networks are rapidly moving toward automation capabilities that, only a few decades ago, were considered science fiction. The power of network analytics will play an even greater role in redefining business efficiency, performance, and risk management. Companies will be able to create greater service reliability and customer satisfaction, thanks to computers doing the technical work for you!