network function virtualization

Train your workforce adequately for the transition

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.

Consult with all teams before making a decision
Gartner says that a siloed view toward tool acquisitions critically undermines network automation initiatives for nearly 70% of enterprises. Often, there’s considerable overlap between the requirements of NetOps, SecOps, and DevOps teams that can be met by extending the capabilities of the purchased tool. Not involving the teams in the acquisition discussions can result in serious gaps in overall operations.

Train your workforce adequately for the transition
The platform needs some getting-used-to before it can be deployed effectively. Make sure your engineers are given appropriate training by the vendor to acclimatize them to the platform. Even the most powerful tool can yield abysmal results when not used properly.

Conduct regular audits to enforce security and policy compliance
It’s natural for devices to gradually veer off the track with changes and updates to the network (known as configuration drift). With time, such incremental deviations can amount to a critical violation that can wreak havoc on your network. Make sure your automation platform keeps your network in line with security measures and policies by routinely conducting audits that help you detect and remediate those deviations as and when they occur.

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