OS upgrade is an activity that can quickly gather complications, confusion, and delays as it rolls forward. Most problems do not even pop in the network manager’s radar until they become too unwieldy.
The scenario of an OS upgrade may not be so daunting for small networks that have to handle just a few routers that are, anyways, carrying very low traffic. Here just the transfer of the new image to the router and a reboot may suffice. But consider the scale, severity, and complexity of big enterprises that are struggling with large and complicated networks. These deterrents are enough to make them drag along old, crummy, and insecure software until things break down.
Can they ever wish for the simplicity and speed that small networks allow? Why can networking teams not upgrade their routers easily and smoothly?
If only manual comparisons are removed? If only all boxes are audited and documented at every block so that tracking of problems can be done easily by an enterprise? If only business workflow situations can be turned swift and easy?
These wish-lists are ambitious and lofty for a standard OS upgrade to accommodate. Because OS upgrades usually follow a set of a well-defined method of procedures.
The first step, often, entails raising a ticket in your ticketing/billing/ITSM solution, which triggers the entire sequence of actions. Before you start with your upgrade, you need to make sure your network and device are configured correctly to enable the upgrade.
- You need to check if the device has enough storage capacity
- You have to ascertain if it is carrying critical traffic
Ask – Do you need to divert this traffic to another device?
- Check – Is the device file-system inconsistent?
- Take configuration backup
- You also have to get approvals from network architects, security teams, and make sure everyone is aware of the scheduled upgrade procedure.
Once an upgrade is done, you also want to run some post-checks. You have to make sure the upgrade was successful in a comprehensive and last-mile sense. That’s when you can close the ticket in the ITSM but still run post-checks to verify the network is working just as you anticipated.
Just looking at the breadth and ramifications of this process is enough to tell why any manual upgrade on every device is tedious and heavily-prone to human errors.
Not with ATOM, though. ATOM allows you to create a workflow precisely the way your organization demands and needs in an acute manner. Here, you can schedule and execute the workflow at non-peak hours and get alerted only on failure-spots. There is no need for manually entering CLI commands and configurations. You can enjoy customized alerts and know the issue instantly without wasting precious time.
Drag and drop
Simply drag, drop and design workflow to suit your needs. Yeah, it is that easy!
You can drag and drop from the bars and create a workflow of any choice. This low-code framework allows you to design complicated workflows with ease. Add pre-checks/post-checks and approval processes. ATOM brings in speed mixed with confidence. The workflow is open and callable through APIs. Here, the workflow can call external APIs. This makes a workflow extremely flexible and ready for various needs. You can interact with ServiceNow or other ITSM solutions. You can even interact with your existing scripts. The sheer level of flexibility that is experienced here makes ATOM indeed a breed apart.
You can also add prebuilt-libraries to your workflow. CheckDiskSpace (in Picture 1) is a workflow library that integrates with any workflow that requires checks on storage on a particular device. ATOM’s low code framework standardizes the upgrade process and eliminates human errors. Error scenarios can be designed as part of the workflow. In the case of OS upgrade failure, a rollback procedure
Execute the workflow with a single click
Once created, execute the workflow to upgrade any device. You can run the workflow with a single click or schedule it for later. You can see how the workflow progressed, what path it took, and what is the current status. Any inputs or approvals that may be required will be initiated either in ATOM itself or triggered in the ITSM solution like ServiceNow. Just sit back and relax as ATOM runs upgrade on all your devices
Monitor and Audit workflow
The workflow could be long, cumbersome, and complicated. Therefore, monitoring and auditing workflow is an essential aspect of this exercise. At any point in time, you should know what stages of the workflow are complete, and in what stage is the workflow currently.
ATOM empowers you with the visibility and grasp that you need for those exact reasons. It highlights every stage of the workflow dynamically and lucidly. As you move through the steps, ATOM will highlight every stage and will help you understand what stage it’s currently executing. A small icon at the top indicates what kind of a task ATOM is performing – whether it’s a system task, user task, or something waiting for a timeout.
ATOM audits every action taken during the workflow – whether it’s executing commands on the devices, executing REST APIs on integrated network elements, or handling user inputs provided during the workflow.
With its RBAC feature, ATOM creates enough segregation allowing network architects to create workflows and gives ease for NetOps teams to execute them.
Integrate with business workflow solutions or run workflows from ATOM
ATOM Workflow APIs are open. ATOM workflow can integrate with any Ticketing/Billing/ITSM solutions. You have the flexibility to integrate network operations workflow with business operation workflows using your preferred solution like ServiceNow, Jira, BMC remedy, etc. ATOM seamlessly integrates with all platforms without surprises or bottlenecks. You can input the values required by the workflow using the solution’s interfaces in a fluid and straightway.
In case you don’t want to use other solutions, ATOM also allows you to run the entire workflow using ATOM UI. You can trigger workflows, input information needed by the workflow using forms, and monitor and track workflow stages.
The ATOM platform offers comprehensive support for over 45 vendors. It offers out-of-box software upgrade workflows or security path upgrade workflows for different vendors wherein you can even combine multi-vendor software upgrades into a single workflow.
No matter how complex any step of the OS upgrade can get, ATOM has the power and clarity to make it simple. It makes an OS upgrade what it should ideally be – A quick switch where you plug in and play.