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Network Support Services: The 8 Leading Options In Network Automation Tools

The right network automation platform can help administrators build and maintain an organization network. Find out the top preference in the market and the benefits they offer.
The current boom in network automation tools has tagged a change in the way administrators set up and manage networks. While server and application automation tools have been about for some time, few such tools are available for the network. The manual process mostly achieved configuration setup and ongoing network changes, but network automation tools have been developed to overcome these manual actions.
Although network automation tools might use several ways toward automation, they all intend to lessen admin time paid on simple and repeated configuration processes. In this article, we look at the advantages of network automation tools, how to change three distinct types of network automation platforms, and eight popular multivendor network automation tools.

Features of network automation tools

Every network automation tool in this list of the best eight can automate configuration changes in a multi-vendor environment. Tools accomplish this through automation of command-line syntax and then putting that modification into every tool that needs modification. Rather than requiring a network administrator to install Secure Sockets Shell (SSH) in each router, switch and firewalls to manually modify text configuration, automation tools setup configuration scripts that accomplish the same goal in much less time and with fewer errors.

Another prevalent system for network automation tools to access and automate network device configurations is through an API. This more recent and balanced route of associating with network Appliances can decrease admin time consumed making regular network changes.
Some network automation tools go beyond just the process of automating configuration modification. Examples of other network automation features include the following:

• Configuration backups- Daily scheduled backups are encrypted and securely stored in case network equipment configurations need to be rolled back or restored.
• Tool access control- This feature manages who has the authority to push configuration changes to certain segments of the network. Also prepares an accounting log to show a complete history of changes or modifications.
• Compliance monitoring and verification- Administrators can automate the process of determining whether a network device meets pre-established compliance and regulatory criteria.
• Vulnerability assessments- This automated process identifies/is known to be vulnerable to firmware and configuration settings.
• Performance monitoring- IT may read and review network performance insights on certain vendor hardware to provide configuration recommendations to further improve performance.
• Network orchestration- This feature auto-discovers network devices for centralized control and end-to-end adjustment of LAN configuration enhancements and modifications.

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The 3 types of network automation tools

Network automation tools can come into one of three categories. The first category is tools that were essentially set up for server and application automation but have extended to cover the network. Many The advantage with these tools is they’re beforehand in-house and the IT team may be well known on how to use them.

Therefore, combining a network automation process to a running tool will not cause too much stress from the point of view of cost, performance, and learning curve. That said, some of these infrastructure automation tools are lights on network automation facilities and have compatibility with various network hardware and software.

Another type of network automation platform is devices that are intended for networks. These tools provide the most network-specific features and functionality. Of course, the caveat is that this is the one and only tool for this particular purpose. IT shops with a tool glut will want to look elsewhere.

After all, software-defined platforms form a software overlay on the other side of the LAN hardware. This overlay allows administrators to manage and manage configuration centrally from a single management pane, which masks the built-in configuration commands that occur within the underlay. This option is great for easy multi-vendor environments that require regular changes to LAN configuration settings.

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