Then there are GUI-based platforms that are vendor-agnostic. These platforms, once deployed, manage all devices that are added in their inventory, regardless of the vendor. Apart from being easy to use, they’re also less expensive than their vendor-specific counterparts as one such platform can replace several other proprietary ones.
Take a thorough inventory of your network devices and components – servers, switches, routers, firewalls, ADCs, LANs, and VLANs. Gather and maintain accurate data (or Network Source of Truth), like versions, health and performance metrics, and a log of service changes they’ve undergone over the years. This will help you determine how ready your network is to automation, and whether it requires some fundamental restructuring.
Identify the key pain points/areas you want automated
Start by making a list of the top time-consuming, resource-hungry, usually repetitive processes in your network. These are the ones that you should automate right away. They could be change management, processes associated with network configuration (those two that were mentioned in a result above), or anything that would be better off automated.
Have a defined automation tool strategy
Choose an automation platform that’s best aligned with your business processes, existing IT technologies, and needs. See if it checks most, if not all, the boxes on your automation platform must-have list. Other than cost and a mandatory feature-set, the list may include points like vendor support, scalability, and the ability to integrate/work alongside your existing solution(s), if any.
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