What is Network Automation?

20 December 2021

EfficientIP

Network automation is the process of setting up software to automatically plan, deploy, operate, test, configure, and optimize physical or virtual devices within a network. When a network is automated, it amplifies efficiency in large companies and frequently reduces the operating costs and human error related to manual management.

Automating networks has become increasingly necessary as the digital world evolves. Modern networks are extremely complex, and attempts at handling them manually rapidly deplete resources. If network tests and daily functions are automated, the network service’s accessibility improves.

API-based automation replaces manual CLI (command-line instructions) to configure each networking device. The APIs can be triggered directly or funneled through a programming language like Python or Java.

Network Automation is also delivered as part of solutions to automate an ecosystem, e.g.: Cloud, SD-WAN, Security, using schedulers or orchestrators.

Modern network automation includes an extensive list of tasks, ranging from updating software to providing insight into reports. It also offers additional benefits for cyber security concerns, as it can help alert network operators to security breaches such as DDoS attacks, phishing, malware, and other network-threatening occurrences in real-time.

Ensuring end-user ease-of-use is one of the primary considerations of network automation, as many users these days specifically expect their networking between devices to “just work.” Automated networking makes this demand an easy request for networking providers to fulfill.

Network automation can range from simple access management solutions to more complex deployments designed to capture considerable usage data for scalability and analysis concerns.