Whether the force is strong with you or not, there is a lot you can learn from R2-D2 and BB-8 about network automation, says Joe Marsella, CTO EMEA at Ciena.
The functions awaken
BB-8 may look like an orange football, but it actually has a multitude of tools hidden underneath its metal exterior, giving the little robot the right resources at its disposal to adequately deal with any situation. The same applies to software-enabled networks.
Network automation should be slick on the outside, with a lot of different tools available below the surface. Automated networks can leverage a plethora of different resources that allow network administrators to quickly and effectively act upon any challenges thrown their way. This includes underlying applications such as network function virtualisation (NFV) orchestration, network management systems (NMS), software-defined networking (SDN) or data centre controllers. Automated networks give administrators the freedom to deal with any problems they may face, without having to worry about the complexity of the resources they are using to solve these issues.
This manifests itself as a suite of simple, useful services that enterprise IT managers can quickly avail of without needing to worry about setting up lots of different network attributes.