Network automation is the process of using software to automate network and security provisioning and management in order to continuously maximize network efficiency and functionality. Network automation is often used in conjunction with network virtualization.
IT departments today seek speed, agility, and consistency in provisioning and managing both traditional and cloud-native applications. A modern network automation platform can achieve these goals by automating networking functions like resource provisioning, network mapping, and network testing.
Network Automation enables you to speed application deployment by automating network and security provisioning and management through the complete application lifecycles and across data center and cloud environments.
Network automation software finds the most efficient way to map, configure, provision, and manage a network. API-based automation replaces manual, command-line instructions to configure each networking device. The APIs can be invoked directly or go through a programming language, for example Python, Java or Go. Scripts are only one aspect of network automation—a modern automation platform monitors network resources when provisioning and verifies that a network will be able to handle a configuration request before implementing it.
A more sophisticated form of intelligent network automation uses machine learning and big data to determine how best to configure and manage a network to meet specific business goals. Intelligent networking uses a high-level, centralized view of the entire network to determine how a network should function to meet these goals, instead of configuring each port or device individually.
An intent-based network takes a holistic view of how a business request will affect a network and offers different solutions to fulfill that request. Intent-based networking is sought after because network engineers can easily scale the network to meet different goals and reduce the number of misconfigurations due to human error.