Enable Multi-Cloud Networking With Automation

As we enter a new era of technology, we are witnessing a “third wave” of cloud innovation that brings new complexities to the IT landscape, primarily centered around multi-cloud networks. With each wave of cloud technology advancement, network components are becoming more complex and distributed across multiple clusters. Furthermore, multiple clouds bring new challenges around connectivity and management across sparse environments comprising private and public clouds, along with physical data centers. Organizations must standardize their network operations in a way that enhances their capabilities to a new level of skill and efficiency.

reinforcement strategies

Given the new capabilities offered by automation tools, technology leaders can advance IT strategies for 2022. How?

  • Support a smoother transition to the cloud within hybrid IT infrastructures.
  • Inculcation of new values ​​that are brought to the organization by network engineers.
  • Empowering executive leaders to easily align processes across multiple teams – spreading innovation across the entire organization.

Connecting Hybrid IT Infrastructure

As more IT leaders are investing in a variety of digital tools to simplify network operations – some engineering teams may feel more reluctance to leave legacy processes behind or be intimidated by the new multiple capabilities at their fingertips. As modern tools and processes are gradually integrated into the workflow of IT departments, it is critical to find the right balance in this “hybrid” environment, which will include a mix of traditional on-premises systems with new cloud applications. Automation can help ease the transition to new technologies by simplifying previously relied upon manual processes, while combining a wide range of systems to facilitate management.

Take advantage of cloud-native automation

When you combine disparate systems together, taking advantage of cloud-native automation solutions that provide API capabilities can make all the difference. These solutions not only build the appropriate connectivity required between different applications, but also provide the flexibility to manage networks in an easy-to-use way on the cloud. In addition, automation can be deployed to ensure compliance of device configurations that cover both local network devices, as well as those connected to cloud-based infrastructures. For example, using automation, it is possible to quickly backup the configuration, check for compatibility and carry out “intelligent processing”. This translates to a network device or group of devices that can be backed up and the current configuration compared to the current gold configuration standard. Changes can be automated to ensure the network adheres to the current compliance standard. Furthermore, automation is changing the way IT teams deal with day-to-day operational challenges.

Evolution of value in network teams

Network engineers play a unique role in organizations by performing tasks that require years of training, and understanding the complex ins and outs of their internal systems. Although performing these manual tasks might be assumed to be the value driver for engineers—the adoption of new technologies has pushed the boundaries of what network professionals know. This in turn has led to the development of expectations about what constitutes real success and impact. Organizations are looking for engineers to harness the power of these new technologies and implement them according to a modern strategy – using automation to support this new mindset.

Simplify the adoption of multiple integrated cloud environments

Breaking down barriers between technologies and teams is critical to understanding how to get the most out of their investments. For network teams to fully embrace multiple clouds, they need to practice deeper cloud management, segmentation, security, and control.. As with fragmentation – automation can help network teams move away from using overlays, and instead use native software tools in AWS, Azure, etc. In addition, many network teams may have the misconception that automation requires them to learn to program and write code – when in many new tools it is possible to manage and organize network elements directly from within application code. This will make network programmability part of the fabric of cloud software, simplifying the adoption of integrated multi-cloud environments. Network teams can implement both compliance and automation to standardize both on-premises or new cloud software, simultaneously building their automation skills without having to write a single line of code.

operational efficiency alignment

When investing in new IT infrastructures across organizations, IT leaders typically build their programs “vertical” within each department. However, this creates a chasm between teams, with each team working in separate models and functions – leading to increased unnecessary costs and inefficient business practices. To successfully align multi-cloud initiatives to increase operational efficiency in 2022, IT leaders will be required to invest more “horizontally” across their organizations — and in doing so, integrate automation tools to reduce time and pressure.

NaaS . implementation

Achieving operational efficiencies can reduce time and stress on IT teams – and this is where the adoption of Networking as a Service (NaaS) tools can play a beneficial role. IT leaders can invest in network services directly from the cloud rather than building a new network. Over the next year, as cloud infrastructure expands, NaaS applications will grow in importance along with — enterprises and other organizations (including service providers) will have opportunities to take advantage of cloud infrastructure without creating new networks themselves. Automation tools can help speed up completion time and automate the highest percentage of tasks in the activity, reducing idle time as much as possible.

Animated models and improvements

When considering investing in these types of tools, it’s important to keep in mind how they affect the entire process versus individual tasks. By automating an entire process, not just individual tasks, the operator gains the flexibility to do more in much less time with fewer resources – making innovation possible. With more flexibility and more time available, engineering and operations teams can focus their attention on strategic activities of greater value rather than performing routine, time-consuming activities. Operations are improved when IT leaders can move from a “human-centric” to an “automation-centric” model. For example, for maintenance checks, the team can allow systems to run an increased number of pre-checks in seconds – enabling the process to be executed more efficiently and safely. The key is to adopt a model that automates the entire process versus individual tasks.

move forward

In the coming year, as more workplaces operate in hybrid models, IT leaders will need to evolve their processes to not only standardize processes/methods for remote and in-person employees – but move forward with this new wave of cloud modernization. In doing so, automation can help mitigate the challenges that come with and manage multi-cloud networks, and enhance skills and efficiency for long-term business impact.

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