The Path to Intelligent Network Automation

"Network automation tools enable network operations staff to gain process and configuration agility, while ensuring compliance."

Gartner, Market Guide for Network Automation

More than half of the Gartner report respondents had no automated network changes performed today and more than a third had only 1% to 25% of network changes automated. Enterprises are feeling the impact as they move toward global digitization and to the cloud. With networks comprised of legacy devices deployed over decades, many enterprises are hampered with “technical debt”. Public clouds and cloud services provide automation tools to spin up and change services quickly, but the legacy network infrastructure they depend on lacks the needed level of comprehensive management software.

Network automation has been identified as a top priority to improve responsiveness to business needs while reducing network errors, outages and security risks.

Network Automation is traditionally approached in two ways:

Scripting Option

Scripting languages including Java, Python, Perl, Ruby and TCL

Lacks business/lifecycle process or network scope:

  • Typically, only cover immediate device specific changes
  • Not scalable—usually intended for one-time use only
  • Vary by vendor making network-wide changes impossible

Intent-oriented support for Discovery, Analysis, and Validation structures require hard-to-find, deep programming skills. No integrated audit mechanisms mean ongoing dependency on “push and pray” deployments. If changes are late or updates overlooked, organization risk non-compliance.

Vendor Management Tools Option

Multiple vendor features to monitor and change devices

With multiple vendors equipping modern networks, they:

  • Have disparate tools with a different focuses and workflows
  • Make network-wide approaches or changes impossible
  • Demand high costs for maintenance and training
  • Have script-based backends lacking:
    • Intent-oriented support
    • Integrated audit mechanisms and depend on “push and pray” deployment
    • Functionality and security updates leaving NetOps at the mercy of vendors for updates

Modernize To Model-Driven Network Automation

Gluware takes a modern approach to automating the enterprise with pre-built network automation applications that give users the ability to onboard their existing network feature set for immediate, reliable and ongoing lifecycle management of their network.

How Gluware Works

Gluware is an Intent-Based Networking (IBN) model-driven platform that provides a layer of powerful intelligence to automate some of the world’s most complex multi-vendor enterprise networks. Using pre-built or configuration modeled solutions, customers can configure Gluware applications and deploy them at scale based on their specific business requirements.

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Create Users and Organizations

Use Systems Settings for enterprise-grade user and workspace setup of projects including customizable, role-based-access control (RBAC), integrated LDAP and RADIUS support for interacting with existing infrastructure for fast and secure new user sign-on.

Customize Organizations with Features and Tools

Customize Orgs and Sub Orgs with the specific tools and feature sets needed for each project or phase.

Configure Features

Use the Model Editor and guided workflows with the Config Modeling app for existing networks or Advanced Modeling for new networks to customize and configure the different features to your network.

Configure Devices

Model Editor lets you leverage Device Detect, and Vendor Extensions to discover and onboard vendor, device, and OS-specific details for each network device.

Preview/Provision/Sync Nodes

With the Orchestration Engine, preview and generate logs and CLI. Then provision and sync nodes using Intent-Based Networking (IBN) to Discover/Analyze/Validate.

Audit, Track and Configure Changes

Using the Config Drift & Audit app, continually monitor the network to identify exactly what has changed. Use the Audit capability to check for compliance to internal, security and 3rd-party standards. Get notified about exactly which devices are out of policy. For all device configs, remediate with manual or scheduled provisioning to return them to the desired Config state.

Benefits of Model-Driven Network Automation 

Rapid Automation - Onboard in days
Vendor-agnostic feature abstractions or leverage your existing CLI
Open architecture accommodates vendor-specific issues, updates and changes
Automate existing brownfield devices - each with their own unique CLI
Evolve from home-grown scripts and software maintenance

Data Modeling from Low Level to Intent

Automating a network is challenging. As network engineers make the shift from the comfort zone of low-level CLI to programming concepts and skills, they can get more done. Gluware Config Modeling lets them leverage the existing CLI with no programming required. Gluware is uniquely designed to consume low-level task-based expressions, as well as higher level intent based expressions to provide the desired outcome on the network. Using Intent-Based Networking (IBN), a high level “intent” is expressed and the orchestration engine can then execute the required actions to realize the network intent.

Top 10 Requirements for a Network Automation Platform

Checklist Gluware
Support for legacy network configuration and change management (NCCM)
Multi-domain – supporting automating the LAN, WAN, Data Center and more
Multi-user with LDAP integration and rights/roles management
Multi-tenant enabling management of many administratively separate networks
Ability to extend support to new, emerging virtual infrastructures leveraging SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
A platform that can help the IT organization adhere to corporate and government compliance policies, auditing standards and regulations
Ability to perform secure and reliable changes to the network, across multi-vendor network devices
Identifiable return on investment (ROI) to ensure alignment with the business needs
Ability to implement automation quickly, with limited training and onboarding time
An extensible platform which can grow and change with evolving business needs