How Does SD-WAN Automation Simplify Network Operations?

3 min. read

Development operations (DevOps) is the next evolution of IT infrastructure management, coupling software development and development lifecycle practices with systems deployment and ongoing management. By introducing the agility and automation provided by software development, organizations that integrate DevOps into their WAN operational models dramatically reduce operational burden, enjoy lower cost and do more with less. In addition, the remediation of conditions that would otherwise require manual intervention can be automated.

Using DevOps methodologies to manage software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) deployments, or the automation of the WAN, remains a challenge for many customers. To understand why DevOps is important, we need to contrast it with traditional connectivity methods that network engineers have used for deployment. Traditionally, you would log in to each individual SD-WAN device and type in specific command structures on a device-by-device basis, which can lead to administrator errors, fat fingering and inconsistencies across sites. In the legacy world, if you have a configuration task, such as changing corporate DNS servers, that must be applied across thousands of sites, you would need to log in to each device individually and type or paste a number of commands into the command line. Not only is this challenging and time consuming to execute, it can be hard to document your changes accurately. 

Simplify operations with your SD-WAN

Today, next-generation SD-WAN solutions like CloudGenix enable complete network automation for the WAN at scale using DevOps methodologies. This can include designing, building, deploying and operating the WAN. Building utilities that automate day-to-day network operations means you can deploy an enterprise network at scale using DevOps and simplify Day 2 operations such as management, monitoring and troubleshooting.

Through the power of application programming interfaces (APIs), customers can also modify resources in an automated fashion rather than having to log on to a central controller or use command-line interface (CLI) to manage all of their configurations. This stands true not just when it comes to SD-WAN deployments, automation of day-to-day mundane tasks or when working with any major cloud providers. It can be thought of as deploying your SD-WAN infrastructure as code, following best practices to integrate with the DevOps framework and programming languages of your choice.

IT organizations are tasked with improving response times, including resolution of issues that arise and root cause analysis. To be successful, the automation of infrastructure allows for quick deployment of new systems for capacity and functionality. In addition, there is an opportunity to shift budgets from administrative costs into additional services to fuel the business, which ultimately will allow them to gain access to data that provides instant visibility.

Automation and more

Through automation, network operations teams can explore common use cases that make their day-to-day tasks run more efficiently, by easily leveraging their existing continuous integration or continuous delivery and deployment (CI/CD) tools.

In addition to DevOps, enabling ChatOps for Helpdesk and support teams that require quick, easy access to network status and information can be extremely beneficial. Integration between your SD-WAN deployment and enterprise chat applications can provide quick, on-demand status and statistics that significantly reduce the burden on teams. 

Additional Reading