80% of unplanned network outages occur annually due to a network configuration change. Only a mere 3% get rectified before they cause network disruptions. These disruptions also result in a loss of more than $46 million annually. Modern-day networks generate thousands of alerts per device resulting in a deluge of notifications, making pro-active management arduous. Imagine the complexity when this manifest itself in a multi-vendor network. Consequently, there is a need for assurance, automation along with abstraction and Closed Loop Automation to improve network management and lower the associated OpEx. The result is a network that is more consistent, predictable and reliable with an increased awareness of network behavior.
The illustration below shows how Closed Loop Automation enables mass scale automation across multi-vendor, multi-domain networks.
Let’s delve deeper into some real-world verticals and use cases across different network landscapes where closed loop automation plays a pivotal role in the automation of large-scale smart networks.
Managed Service Providers
Service assurance plays a critical role in a Managed Service Providers (MSP) daily objectives. Consider a network with one hundred thousand multi-vendor Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). The CPE can be physical, virtual or hybrid. Monitoring and servicing such a complex network demands frequent configuration changes that may result in network outages. Customarily, the MSP service desk goes through a manual process of configuration, notification, recording, prioritization, troubleshooting, and escalation. This tedious process is prone to human errors and has its limitations.
Closed loop automation, with its orchestration, collection, correlation, and remediation capabilities, takes the operational pressure off network administrators and increases their productivity. The provisioning time also rapidly accelerates from hours to minutes. Incident management tools can also be integrated into the closed loop automation workflow to automate the escalation and approval process. The service assurance factor of closed loop automation provides proactive control and satisfies service level agreements ensuring high availability of networks.
Financial Services Enterprise
Digitization is disrupting the benchmark of the financial services industry. Such enterprises are business critical – low latency and high availability are the benchmarks for managing their IT infrastructure. Networks are vulnerable, and faster resolution is the decisive SLA in such businesses. Imagine an instance where the network gets choked due to a surge in traffic that results in a potential threat to the enterprise. Manual troubleshooting techniques would be time-consuming.
Closed loop automation with its big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence capabilities provides actionable insights into these network events and can take remediation actions such as provisioning additional bandwidth by various means within the order of few milliseconds. This scenario would guarantee service assurance and high availability.
Networks need to be digital ready. New applications are flocking to industry, and application delivery has gained scrutiny in recent years. Application deployments need to be automated in the datacenter, and each application requires a differential treatment in the form of end-to-end QoS from the datacenter to the edge. There is a need to also automate the configurations to network devices during the deployment of applications. Closed loop automation can act as a bridge between the application and the network. The application deployment relays a trigger to the closed loop automation system to configure all the necessary devices – a successful configuration results in closing the loop between the application and the network.
Telecom Service Providers
5G is beginning its deployment journey from both a fixed and mobile perspective today, and mobile networks need to be ready for this transition. Service Providers are gearing up to support 5G use cases like massive machine to machine connectivity, ultra-low latency, network slicing, and flexible bandwidth.
While the core datacenter is essential, it is the edge or the cell sites which play a significant role in 5G connectivity. It is expected that hundreds of thousands of cell sites will be needed for densification to provide seamless connectivity. Each cell site will connect to the network core through IP RAN. Manual configuration and management of networks of this magnitude are cumbersome and practically impossible without an automated solution.
Closed loop automation performs mass scale provisioning of network devices guaranteeing dynamic and consistent device configuration across the network. The analytics capability of closed loop automation will also provide mission-critical insights into network activities ensuring near 100% uptime thus mitigating potential subscriber churn and loss of revenue.
Hybrid Cloud Deployments
As workloads are moving into public clouds, so is the network. Cloud providers are offering WAN services to connect branch offices. Branch offices connect to the cloud provider hub through the internet, VPN or other means. Multi-vendor CPEs in a branch office poses a severe challenge and has historically driven manual intervention. Closed loop automation can help in automating the branch office connections. It can talk to the cloud provider hub and use the information to provision remote branch office CPEs. Pre-check and post-check validation can also be performed to ensure an error-free service provisioning. For example, if the branch office to cloud provider connection is over a VPN service, the orchestration assurance engine of closed loop automation can verify if the VPN tunnel is up. Capabilities like correlation and analytics can further ensure service uptime.
Closed loop automation is the foundation of a smart network. Service providers and enterprises are striving hard to reduce network downtime, reduce OpEx, and bolster connectivity and application delivery. Traditional techniques of manual monitoring, CLI based provisioning and repetitive tasks result in operational flaws and don’t scale. Want to learn more? Discover how Anuta Networks is revolutionizing the notion of closed loop automation and how it can deliver the smartest networks in the world.