Get maximum power, visibility, and acceleration around Network workflow automation by using the right tool, the right way
Network workflow automation is a paradigm that is supposed to change clogged pipes into smooth and self-sustaining streams. The whole idea of designing, documenting, triggering, and executing workflows with low code automation hinges on the notions of better speed and flexibility.
But how much of that intended outcome gets accomplished? The challenges of stateless use cases in Enterprises/Service Providers keep mushrooming for both managers and IT teams. Often, NetOps teams use a lot of Method of Procedures (MOPs) for repeatable work. It is hard to handle repetitions when multiple devices come into play, like the software image upgrade of devices in a multi-vendor environment.
When each vendor has a set of procedures for a particular activity, when each organization manages its procedures – then that utopian free flow of workflow is bound to be stifled. Not only that, errors that are introduced without adequate warnings and are costly can even result in outages. These end up causing hard-to-ignore losses to businesses.
Is there a way out of this confusion and inefficiency? Yes, a tool that understands automation for its quintessential goals and its basic challenges.
Consider ATOM’s Network workflow automation. It is a carefully, deftly, and comprehensively-designed answer that takes into account all the questions that baffle NetOps teams. To start with, it uses Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN2.0) at its core. It is compact and unrelenting when it comes to loose ends. It ties together all of those seemingly-disparate tasks that tangle up other tools. It unravels the underlying network complexity and wraps it all into one logically sequenced automated flow. Not surprising then, other gains follow suit. Like flexibility, ease, compliance, and adaptability.
ATOM allows the possibility of designing simple and complex automation processes with graphically-sharp ease. It streamlines processes, improves ‘time to value’ and jumps in as ready documentation support for your network.
The impact spills over to many other areas. ATOM’s Network workflow automation aids in a variety of troubleshooting scenarios that require a coordinated flow of service tasks, user tasks, timers, and events.
Here are the key areas that IT can transform by leveraging the power of ATOM.
Visualization: You can use ATOM’s workflow designer and easily drag, drop & create user and system tasks. You can create flowcharts like a procedure, build user forms, create a step-by-step flowchart, and build ‘if, then, else’ logic into your MOPs. You can effortlessly include timers for tighter control over MOPs and tasks. Plus, ATOM helps you to sustain the effort spent on home-grown python scripts or existing Ansible playbooks because it lets you trigger them easily as part of the workflow. Get rid of the burden of maintaining scripts and documenting them. Instead, use low-code UI of ATOM to define and automate complex MOPs into reusable workflows. Also, you get to tap RBAC support in ATOM that allows the Network Architect to create the workflow, while NetOps teams can execute it.
Trigger workflows using ATOM’s telemetry & analytics: Yes, it can be triggered by ATOM’s telemetry & analytics. ATOM’s Notification engine receives a variety of updates and messages. Its correlation engine can, then, trigger the ATOM’s workflow engine to execute workflow sequences. For example – Post-checks notifications are easily triggered by SNMP notifications or Streaming telemetry in an ATOM environment during any software image upgrade to verify the upgrade’s success.
Integration of approval chains: This can happen with minimal hassle with ATOM; thanks to capabilities like an open framework, an API-driven platform, integration ease for ITSM/OSS/BSS tools and on-demand approvals during MOP/Workflow execution. You can avail triggers of workflows as well as extend user forms and workflow stages to service management and business support tools. ATOM renders a world of smooth and no-worry management of the entire workflow sequence for such tools.
Provisioning with a new level of confidence: With the flexible and fuss-free ATOM platform, you can trigger ATOM’s service models and ATOM’s device models from the workflow engine. Execute raw CLIs to devices, trigger raw APIs to devices, and execute line-by-line or batch scripts on devices with ease.
Automate software image upgrades: Each vendor has a MOP, and each organization will have its specific steps of upgrading devices. The scenario of multi-vendor software maintenance upgrades can be clumsy and fraught with pre-checks, approvals, post-checks, rollback situations, and customization needs. ATOM addresses some unique needs that every organization has for its own devices and workflows – just the way an organization wants it. It is easy to have under this scope areas like contact image server, upload packages, activate packages, pre-checks such as ensuring the right platform/vendor type, disk space checks, and filesystem correctness. You can take config snapshots, contact image server, upload packages, activate packages, and reboot the device with approvals. Integrate post-checks including a comparison to config snapshots taken during pre-checks, traffic analysis on links to ensure a successful upgrade. Plus, a tightly coupled Compliance, all part of ATOM’s Network workflow automation. ATOM’s horizontally scalable architecture allows bulk upgrades to serve large and complex networks.
Wield Closed-Loop Automation (CLA): Closed Loop Automation helps in automated troubleshooting & service assurance. ATOM’s CLA can consider multiple conditions before triggering a workflow. It can trigger workflows to initiate a notification to ITSM/OSS/BSS/Self-service portals or take auto-remediation actions such as shutting down the interface. CLA helps in automated troubleshooting and service assurance. This is quite significant as complex troubleshooting techniques involve pre-checks to assess the issue, approvals through ITSM tools before executing provisioning tasks (send some of the pre-check output as payload for network admin to understand the issue), multi-level provisioning, correlation, and post-checks to ensure successful remediation. ATOM’s CLA can take multiple conditions into consideration before triggering a workflow. For example, if CPU is X% and memory utilization is Y%, trigger a workflow to open a ticket to notify NetOps teams. Other CLA examples include BGP neighbor flap remediation with approval via workflow or triggering WAN policy workflow based on IPSLA data from the network.
Another CLA example can be that of a scenario where interface drop percentage/errors go beyond a baselined threshold and execute auto-remediation actions like interface-shutdown.
It’s simple and impactful – as you imagine easily and in detail now. So stop thinking and leaving your network and workflows to chance and ambiguity.
Leverage the Power of ATOM. Get Sure. Get Fluid.
Anuta Networks NCX is an industry leading software solution designed to deliver complete network service.