One of the common problems we hear from our clients is, “We don’t feel like we are ready for automation, so where would we even start?”
The hard truth is for many organizations is it is very common to not fully understand what they have in their infrastructure. Tribal knowledge with lack of documentation puts organizations in a bind when people leave or are laid off. Remote work and multitude of technology changes that have occurred over the last 5 years has increase the complexity of networks. Cloud initiatives and expansion has for IT to manage hybrid environments and ensure performance and security.
The best place to start with automation is a discovery. Unlike past assessments that only give you snapshot in time, and cost tens of thousands of dollars, You can implement a solution that performs an assessment hourly, daily, weekly, or any other timeframe you want.
Continuous assessment will do things like auto-discover your environment (on-prem, cloud, office infrastructure, and more) providing you with details of make, model, serial, firmware, security patch, End of life or End of support information.
Once you see your environment, it is time to map it at both a layer 2 and layer 3 level. Most engineers know this information in their head, but try to keep this data in static Visio documents, or worse yet a IPAM solution of spreadsheets or database that never stays updated.
This initial assessment allows you to have real time data, be more proactive in your support, security and operations, and build the foundations for additional automations. In about 1 week, our assessment will discovery, document, map and provide a foundation for building additional automations:
Validate the configuration and operation of secondary links without having to physically failover. Ensure fail-over will happen if a change causes an outage
When an failover occurs (which always seems to be on long weekends or holidays), you and your team can rest easy, knowing that fail-over will happen with no business interruption
Network Degradation Diagnosis
Find the cause of high utilizations, packet drops, etc. at a device or interface level.
Tired of every problem being a network or infrastructure problem?
Manage, monitor and diagnose, and show performance to teams outside of infrastructure.
Network Outage or Breach Avoidance
Inspect network for changes in configuration drift, performance, and pathways to identify and quickly remedy negative impacts
Changes have to happen, but even the best change management processes leave holes. Ensure your gold standard is constantly and consistently applied without human error
Network security compliance
Ensure that all devices are configured to security and compliance standards. Check for open ports that should be closed and verify configurations.
Automate the little things to ensure compliance and security, so your team can focus on bigger security threats.
Business application performance
Ensure the readiness of critical applications through understanding end to end application paths. Measure and monitor performance impacting variables
When performance matters, know how your infrastructure is supporting it. Proactively communicate issues or possible issues, and quickly identify and remediate issues.
These are just a few of the initial automations one can implement. The image below outlines the before and after of just one of our clients. MTTR reduction, ability to automate runbooks, security mitigation and dynamic mapping (no more Visio diagrams)!
But that is not all, with automation and continuous assessment our clients can build dashboards (I know that is all we need is more dashboards) that not only measure, but show blind spots in your infrastructure that can lead to security breaches or unplanned outages.
If those examples doesn’t resonate, just know that Vsol has a library of hundreds of pre-build automations that can be implemented quickly and start to identify critical blind spots in your environment. If you need more information on how to improve your daily, weekly, monthly and annual operations, reach out to us at 612-800-0966 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.