The days of manual network configuration and administration are long gone. With the arrival of network automation, networking professionals can now manage and configure large networks with ease.
Network automation refers to automating the management, configuration, and deployment of network devices. It can be used to provision new devices, monitor devices for performance and availability, and even troubleshoot issues.
Network automation benefits both networking professionals and the organizations they work for. It can help save time and money, improve network reliability and stability, and even make networks more secure.
If you are a networking professional or if you’re preparing to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam, then it is time to learn about network automation. This guide will provide you with a basic introduction to network automation and its benefits.
What is network automation?
Network automation is the process of automating the configuration, management, and deployment of network devices quite beneficial for network administrators. Both hardware and software components can be included.
It can also include processes such as authentication and authorization, as well as other key functions. The following are the main goals of network automation:
- To reduce the need for manual interventions, and
- To enable a superior management of network resources.
With network automation, network administrators can easily configure, deploy, and manage network devices with less time and effort. Network automation also eliminates boring tasks and can help reduce operational costs.
The most common tools used for network automation include:
- Configuration management software,
- Network management tools, and
- Scripting tools.
Configuration management software:
Configuration management software allows administrators to quickly and easily configure and deploy new devices, monitor devices for performance and availability, and even troubleshoot issues.
Network management tools:
Network management tools provide real-time insights into network performance, health, and availability and can help identify potential service problems.
Scripting tools can be used to automate routine tasks and processes, thus reducing the need for manual intervention.
What are the benefits of network automation?
Network automation offers many benefits for networking professionals and the organizations they work for. You can check out the benefits of network automation listed below:
- With network automation, networks can be configured and managed more efficiently, resulting in reduced operational costs.
- Network automation also eliminates manual and boring tasks, freeing up time for more important tasks.
- Network automation also improves reliability and stability, as well as service availability.
- Automated processes ensure that devices and services remain available and running at all times, reducing the possibility of outages and other service interruptions.
- Furthermore, automated processes can help identify problems early on, reducing downtime and preventing network issues from escalating.
- Moreover, network automation can also help improve security.
- Automation can detect misconfigurations, abnormal network behaviors, and suspicious activities quickly and accurately, providing more timely and accurate security alerts.
- Automation can also help enforce security policies and provide faster resolution of security issues.
What are the challenges of network automation?
Although network automation provides many benefits to networking professionals and the organizations they work for, it is not without its challenges.
- Professionals lack proper training:
One of the main challenges of network automation is the lack of proper training. Network automation requires knowledge of programming languages, such as Python and Ansible, as well as a proper understanding of network protocols and solutions. Without proper training and experience, it can be difficult to properly configure and manage networks.
- The complexity of networks:
Another challenge of network automation is the complexity of the networks themselves. With the increasing complexity of networks, it can be difficult to properly configure and manage them manually. Automating large and complex networks requires automation tools that are capable of handling the complexity of the network.
- Hefty investments:
Furthermore, network automation can also require a high upfront investment. Automation tools can be costly, and they may also require additional hardware and software investments.
How to get started with network automation?
If you are a networking professional looking to get started with network automation or just preparing to take the CCNA exam, the best place to start is with the basics.
Familiarize yourself with the different types of automation tools and how they can benefit you and your organization. Learn how to properly configure your network devices with automation tools and understand the challenges associated with large and complex networks.
To get started, first determine the type of automation tools you need. There are many different tools available, ranging from basic scripting tools to more advanced automation solutions. Once you have identified the tools you need, research each tool and learn how to properly configure and use them. You should also familiarize yourself with the different programming languages and protocols associated with network automation.
But you don’t have to worry about all of it if you get enrolled in our CCNA course.
Network automation offers countless benefits for both networking professionals and the organizations they work for. With automation, networks can be configured and managed more efficiently, resulting in improved performance, availability, and security.
However, network automation is not without its challenges. Proper training and understanding of network protocols and tools are essential to successful network automation.
To get started with network automation, determine the type of automation tools you need and research each one thoroughly. With the right training and tools, network automation can provide your organization with the reliability and security it needs.
In the upcoming blog, we will dive deeper into network automation for proper CCNA preparation. This guide is to just give you a gist about network automation in general.
Stay tuned for more blogs for the CCNA 200-301 series!