Home » Blog » Automation: Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiency

Network Automation

As networks and data centers grow and become more advanced, the time and maintenance required to keep them operating at peak efficiency also increases. This leads to more engineers working more hours which greatly increases your company’s overhead costs and cuts into your profit margin. Is there a way to pursue an aggressive growth strategy while also increasing efficiency?

Out-of-Band Solutions

Implementing an effective out-of-band (OOB) solution is the first critical step to improving any networking environment. With a well positioned OOB management plan in place, engineers across multiple time zones can access your critical infrastructure from anywhere, anytime. This alone can greatly reduce travel costs and potential overtime payouts by freeing up more local resources who can then focus on other tasks.

Not all OOB solutions are created equal. To reap the full benefits they can provide, you need to ensure that the solution you choose offers all of the tools and services you need to make the most of everything you already have in place. The last thing you want is to add another complex system spanning multiple vendors with multiple new interfaces to learn, or worse, to be locked into a vendor specific platform that does not offer any flexibility to build on to.

ZPE’s Nodegrid solutions consolidate and virtualize all your network functions onto one platform, no matter which vendors you use. You get a smaller stack that’s more powerful and easy to manage. With features such as flexible network interface options, dual cellular fail-over with dual SIM, a modern and secure Nodegrid OS, OOB management, cloud orchestration and add-on virtualized applications for SASE and SD-BRANCH, Nodegrid has you covered.

Automating Repetitive Processes

The next order of business is to begin analyzing your processes to see where improvements can be made. Most IT professionals spend countless hours on simple, repetitive tasks that could easily be completed without any human input. These can include simple tasks such as logging data, upgrading or patching, and monitoring system health metrics, or even more complex activities such as provisioning new equipment. This is where automation can come into play to increase efficiency and productivity by allowing certain tasks to be completed on their own.

Most organizations today have plans in place to invest in automation with the goal being to streamline processes in order to reduce costs and errors. When your processes are properly configured and tested, they can be expanded throughout your network. No need to worry about inconsistencies or potential human errors which can lead to downtime and wasted man hours troubleshooting issues.

Automated Scaling with Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP)

Beyond repetitive day to day tasks, automation can also help your business scale quickly and securely to ensure you can keep up with today’s ever growing demand. Manually configuring devices takes time and personnel away from other areas where it may be better spent. It may also lead to more human errors which can leave your network vulnerable to security threats and potential downtime and data loss. Thanks to Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP), all of these worries can be a thing of the past. Scaling with ZTP is always fast and consistent across every location, on every deployment.

ZTP is a feature that automates the building process (configuration and provisioning) of network hardware and applications. This is typically achieved by pointing devices to a local configuration repository where they can retrieve the required settings. With ZTP, IT professionals can drastically reduce the amount of time consuming labor that comes with manual configuration, which frees up more resources that can be dedicated to other tasks. Since settings are managed and provisioned from the cloud via templates, engineers may even perform configurations and updates from remote locations (once basic racking and network connectivity are established at the new location). Check out our other articles to learn more about ZTP.

Automating Your Test Lab

Another area that can greatly benefit from automation is your test lab environment. Without automation, each test scenario must be initiated manually. This requires engineering resources to be on hand for each run which adds to costs and can take critical personnel away from other projects. Human error can also be a factor, as a missed test, error, or configuration mistake can lead to disastrous results later down the road.

ZPE’s Nodegrid family of products brings you automation without compromise. Nodegrid addresses the pain points common to test labs with the ability to automate, test, and collect data without limits. Queue commands and scripts from beginning to end. Learn more about how Nodegrid can help you automate your test lab.

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