A Bachelor’s Guide to Network Automation
Mon, 24 Jul 2023 20:18:24 -0000|
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As a bachelor, I have a deep appreciation for how automation can simplify life. My dishwasher automatically washes my dishes for me while I’m at work. My DVR automatically records sports games for me while I’m out with friends. My smart thermostat automatically takes care of regulating my energy use when I’m on vacation. In each case, automating everyday tasks like these allows me to focus on more important things, like writing this blog!
It’s the same with automating telecom network infrastructure. There are so many little things that Communications Service Providers (CSPs) need to do just to keep running, from updating software to deploying and decommissioning hardware. All those little things take up a lot of time (and work), particularly when you’re talking about CSPs that may have millions of subscribers and tens of thousands of network nodes. This is time that could be spent on more important things like creating new revenue-generating services.
Is your network too high maintenance?
A telecommunications data center is, of course, more complex than your average apartment (although sometimes no less crowded). And the appliances are a bit more complicated; I can use a fork when something gets stuck in my toaster, but no such luck when retrieving a packet stuck in a gateway. With 5G networks, the complexity rises exponentially. Now, you have multiple architectures (3G, 4G, 5G) that need to share services, hardware from multiple vendors that need to be configured consistently, cloud-native functions that are running on virtualized servers, etc. It makes programming your entire home theatre entertainment systems look simple by comparison.
Historically, CSPs have managed all their network infrastructure manually, using multiple management tools for each individual vendor platform. Manual configurations can lead to human errors, cause configuration drift, and decrease the efficiency of the network. And this raises an interesting question: If automation can simplify my life as a bachelor, can it also simplify the lifecycle management of a network? The answer is a resounding YES.
Automating network infrastructures matters a lot
Of course, I’m leading up to Dell Technologies’ Bare Metal Orchestrator. Since its initial launch, Bare Metal Orchestrator has helped CSPs around the globe simplify their network management through infrastructure automation and service orchestration. In independent studies, Bare Metal Orchestrator has been shown to reduce a CSP’s operational expenses between 39 and 57 percent and improve network ROI between 88 and 255 percent. (You can download the complete research paper here.) That’s a lot of extra money and time that can be re-invested in things that make you more money, like new 5G services.
Bare Metal Orchestrator replaces the independent management tools that CSPs are using today by unifying infrastructure management on a single platform. Dell 16G Server? Cisco router? HPE server? Bare Metal Orchestrator automates and orchestrates them all. And it supports the industry’s leading cloud platforms such as VMware, Red Hat, and Wind River.
Yes, you can have a network and a life
One of the biggest challenges facing CSPs in their 5G transformation is scale. As 5G networks grow larger and network functions become more disaggregated, there’s more software and hardware to manage. And the larger the network grows, the bigger the network management problem becomes.
Bare Metal Orchestrator is built for massive scale. We’re talking about automating and orchestrating tens of thousands of hardware nodes across multiple geographies, multiple platforms, and multiple domains of the network (e.g., core, edge, RAN). And we’re building more features into it all the time. Just recently, we’ve expanded Bare Metal Orchestrator with new features, including auto-discovery/inventory of third-party devices, configuration drift detection and reporting, identity access management, and features that allow you to automate existing (brownfield) network deployments with no service disruption.
You don’t have to be a bachelor to know that complexity, whether in life or in your network, is no fun. CSPs certainly have a lot on their plates already without juggling multiple management tools, trying to identify configuration drifts across tens of thousands of nodes, and worrying about whether their latest network deployments will meet their SLAs or melt down under pressure.
We’re removing the network infrastructure barriers so that CSPs can unlock their true potential and embrace the future without fear. If you’re ready to experience that kind of freedom, ask about our free trial of Bare Metal Orchestrator and see what you’ve been missing.