SD-WAN Automation Solution Simplifies Network Operations

Mon 23 May 2022, telkomtelstra

One of the characteristics of a modern company is illustrated by the work system implemented, from leadership through to employees, who are contemporary in their attitudes, actions, and thinking. Work undertaken in the company prioritizes the professionalism required in the current era; work which is analytical, systematic, rational, transparent and democratic.

Additionally, in completing work, use of new technology is also prioritized in continuous developments in communication, and the collection and management of data. As a result, modernization of platforms is required, supported by appropriate technology, to increase a company’s competitiveness in order to enhance corporate business performance.

This modernization of platforms with appropriate technology is crucial to fulfil the increasing requirements of the digital era, which are pushing companies to become more agile. Such technology is ascribed to Software Define-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), which provides network solutions which are operationally agile, flexible, measurable, consistent and safe.

SD-WAN is a technological innovation capable of boosting customer effectivity in operating corporate networks. SD-WAN makes it possible for customers to modernize and automize corporate networks, benefitting from cloud network services, utilizing internet connectivity, or Internet Protocols Virtual Private Network, otherwise known as IP VPN.

The simplification of operations with SD-WAN Automation is not required if only a small number of devices are managed. However, things are different if a large number of devices are managed.

For example, if a customer has thousands of devices, it would not be possible to manually login to each device, one by one, in order to change the DNS Server settings. This step would clearly be inefficient, as it would be time consuming and require considerable human resources to complete the configuration. This would also be open to the risk of human error, such as setting errors, or different settings between devices.

Several SD-WAN brands come complete with template features which can be used to tackle a number of problems faced by clients. Where a change in settings is made, a correction to the template can only be carried out once, and settings will automatically be updated on all devices connected to the template.

Even so, the template feature can only be used for simple operations, such as the example above of DNS (Domain Name Server) settings, SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocols),NTP (Network Time Protocol), etc.

Problems begin to arise when more complex settings are required, such as the addition of a static route, where the next-hop variable needs to be taken from the settings on each device. In this case, the template feature is not effective and cannot be used.

One solution is to use a custom SD-WAN Automation which is capable of solving this problem. SD-WAN answers this problem by providing Application Programming Interface (API) technology.

This API in SDWAN provides flexibility to develop custom automation for a variety of necessary aspects. Not only can it change device settings rapidly, but automation can also be provided in the staging process, proactive monitoring system, reporting, and also firmware upgrading.

Even though API in SD-WAN technology offers many solutions, there remain challenges to be faced. Firstly, there is a possibility that custom SD-WAN Automation will not function if the SD-WAN controller firmware is renewed, such as when a variable name is changed.

Different brands of SD-WAN have different methods of data collection and management. Each different brand requires a different custom SD-WAN Automation system. To speed up the process of creating custom SD-WAN Automation, a network engineer is required, with knowledge and experience in the field of network programming, using the widely-used Python programming language, as well as the JSON data format.

Digiserve, as an IT Managed Solutions company, has resources which are reliable, and of course, qualified in the technology field. This commitment is evidenced by the international-level certification of Digiserve staff, who add to the knowledge and experience of the company. Such excellence guarantees that the company is capable of delivering the best service, providing client satisfaction.