When it comes to configuration changes in your production network, I think you’ll agree that it traditionally has been a job best left for “the pros”. Provisioning network devices is very complex; one small configuration mistake can cause outages and loss of production, not to mention irate users. Even technology-aware people hesitate to mess with it. Now thanks to recent advances in network automation, these routine provisioning tasks are fast, simple, and can be accomplished with dramatically reduced technical knowledge. Now any sort of changes can be confidently, securely, and quickly executed enhancing user satisfaction and productivity.
Network change requests are more frequent and more complex now
Network once provisioned in a certain way, tended to stay that way. When networks were relied on mainly for internal productivity (such as sharing data and emails), the only changes that were required were for departmental and personal changes, which is rather static in machine time. However, today the network has evolved from a simple productivity tool playing an increasingly critical role in an organization’s digital transformation. This has caused a dramatic increase in the number and frequency of changes required of the network. Automation is required to keep pace. Rapid business changes then are good reasons why you need to make your network more agile.
Take, for example, the fundamental task of guest WiFi access. In most cases, this access is on a best-effort level without much thought given to quality-of-service and user-experience. However, over time visitors rely more and more on guest network access to help collaborate with internal employees (to perform demonstrations, execute cloud based services, and the like). But as dynamic access rights to guest networks remained a manual operation, which means its slow and sometimes filled with errors, the results are loss of productivity at a high enough level to matter to a business.
They showed that by programmatic control they could create custom experiences for each of their guest WiFi users rather than lumping them all in a common bucket.
For example, if a visitor was there to participate in a conference and needed a guaranteed wireless bandwidth, you could create a new wireless SSID for them and provision the network to match their requirements. The application could add new capabilities to their access, if, for instance, they also needed access to local printers.
Dimension Data made this application extremely easy to use. Organizations that use it will now be able to free up their technical staff from this mundane but important activity.
“Networks were never designed for the Cloud, Big Data, or IoT,” says Kurt Brown, Vice President of Digital Infrastructure at Dimension Data, “What the open platform allows businesses to do is to allow software applications drive the network rather than the other way around. If we want our network to be agile and to evolve with our business, we need an open infrastructure that allows business applications in the network to talk to each other to create the deliver the value that our clients want.”
See Kurt demonstrate the solution.
With the DNA Center open platform, Cisco has opened the enterprise network for innovation. Partner written applications can now access all its native automation and assurance capabilities programmatically and deliver solutions that align the network and business needs simply, efficiently, and effectively.
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