Digital transformation has ignited a new economy where organizations are increasingly expecting IT to embrace a bigger role, drive business innovation, and move with greater agility. This often means IT must take immediate action to help the organization compete, or risk becoming irrelevant as line-of-business leaders go around IT and outsource projects to the cloud.
Simply put, as your organization becomes increasingly digital, your ability to be agile is heavily dependent upon the agility of IT, which is why technology is at the heart of this new order.
Automation is one of the key technologies organizations are embracing to achieve IT agility at the pace of today’s business. Unfortunately, while automation has been implemented in many domains within the data center, network automation has lagged behind. Additionally, automation tends to be implemented in silos within the data center, creating islands of automation that lead to disparate tools and highly disjointed operations. This siloed approach ultimately hinders the pace of service delivery and increases operational costs.
To address these challenges, you must consider an automation strategy that bridges silos and takes a modern approach to automated network lifecycle management. The best way to undertake this transformation is through a centralized, open source approach to automation that is both DevOps-inspired and cross-domain in nature.
In fact, turnkey network automation (including the provisioning of an IP fabric) is a necessity, especially if your goal is to reduce time to market and time to value. It’s also crucial to think beyond automating Day 0 provisioning. Automation must include ongoing compliance validation, troubleshooting, and remediation—tasks that consume the highest percentage of daily operations time and that are critical for maintaining service availability.
Of course, even though network automation is a discipline unto itself, it is only a portion of the overarching goal to automate data center operations and truly enable the delivery of services and innovations to both end users and customers. Taking this DevOps-inspired approach not only empowers individual IT domains to use their preferred tools (such as Python, Puppet, Slack, Splunk, PagerDuty, and more), it also encourages active participation in the overall IT services delivery tool chain and related processes.
Cross-domain integration means disparate technologies and platforms can operate in a coordinated, intelligent, and automated way. Yet, to achieve cross-domain workflow automation success, you must be able to take inputs from—and request changes on—network devices or other cross-domain platforms and applications.
Bottom line: Automation is rapidly becoming the new norm in today’s data centers. The faster you integrate it, the greater its potential to transform your organization. In turn, if your organization fails to embrace automation today, you will likely struggle to compete as progressive firms focus on leveraging IT as a true revenue enabler.
For additional guidance on automation strategies, visit our Network World blog page.
To learn more about Brocade’s advanced automation solutions, visit us here.