Nibbles & Bits

13 Benefits of an Automated Network Provisioning System

by | June 15, 2020

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Manual, spreadsheet-based provisioning focused on individual, vendor-specific network elements simply can’t keep up with the proliferation of new devices and the dynamic nature of today’s networks.

An automated provisioning and control platform, in contrast, reduces network complexity and integrates the entire provisioning process—including IP address assignment, DHCP and DNS configuration. Each step in the process is carried out automatically, in a dynamic fashion, as new services are deployed and devices are attached or detached from the network. Policies can be defined and put in place to set parameters for how the system carries out these tasks.

 

The platform consists of a portfolio of software tools that enable service providers to:

  • Speed new service delivery, by replacing functional activation processes with integrated workflows that quickly provision new network resources on demand for customers.
  • Significantly reduce operational costs and improve productivity by automating labor-intensive tasks such as IP address allocation, DNS zone management, DNSSEC zone signing and DHCP configuration for both physical and virtual network elements.
  • Improve service consistency and reliability by reducing error rates and integrating related tasks into repeatable processes.

 

Here are 13 specific benefits of automating your network provisioning process:

  1. Time Savings – A dramatic reduction in the time operations personnel and network administrators must spend assigning IP addresses and subnets for configuring IP-based devices, which frees up staff to perform higher-value tasks instead.
  2. Error Reduction – The near elimination of address assignment and device configuration errors during the provisioning process.
  3. Optimized Performance – A significant drop in network outages and other forms of service degradation due to addressing and configuration errors. Considering 97% of network professionals admit human factors cause at least some network outages, and 45% say these outages are frequent or worse, eliminating manual processes is an effective way to prevent widespread vulnerabilities and boost overall performance.
  4. One-Stop Shop – Full integration with DHCP and DNS provisioning allows administrators to dynamically obtain, define, deploy and track critical network resources from a single control platform.
  5. Greater Productivity – The entire address allocation and configuration process can be completed by a single network technician without special expertise. Special training is no longer required, and multiple operators from different departments do not need to be involved. DevOps integration tasks can also be eased via the creation and sharing of API workflows, with no code necessary.
  6. Tracking & Auditing – Full tracking and a complete audit trail for all provisioning changes, providing full visibility into who changed what and when. Moreover, granular permission controls can be adjusted down to the level of detail required for any object in the platform.
  7. Compliance Confidence – Tracking and auditing allows for full conformance with industry regulatory and IT governance requirements. In fact, 79% of network professionals would like to see continuous verification and automated compliance reporting built into their current network solution.
  8. Device Management – Discovery and customer service mapping of all network-attached, IP-enabled devices.
  9. Complete IPv4/IPv6 Support – Comprehensive, native support for both the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, allowing for dynamic IPv6 addressing and dual-stacking with IPv4. A good automated network provisioning system can handle everything from subnet allocation management to advanced field validation in IPAM – including overlapping/duplicate legacy environments.
  10. Deeper Analysis & Insights – Network optimization based on a complete view of the network and policy-based network configuration. This is in contrast to the ad hoc operational decisions based on a fragmented view of the network often in force today.
  11. Service Agility – Accelerated service rollouts and faster time to market for new, value-added service offerings, as a result of greater staff productivity and a streamlined provisioning process.
  12. Cost Savings – Substantially lower operating costs due to productivity gains and equipment savings.
  13. Operational Efficiency – More profitable growth for service providers based on a lower cost structure, less revenue loss due to service interruptions and the rapid introduction of new, high-margin services.

Network complexity is growing by the day, requiring careful planning and sophisticated workflows to deliver the performance businesses need. The reality is that manual processes are becoming more and more problematic in our increasingly automated world. Modernizing infrastructure is ultimately a necessity in the pursuit of innovation, flexibility and growth. 

How automated is your network provisioning system?

“We decided to move our rather complex IP address and DHCP management process to ProVision and it has worked out great for us!! The team at 6connect were very flexible and went above and beyond to accommodate our requirements and helped to make the migration as smooth and hitch free as possible. Kudos to the team @ 6connect!”

Premkumar Subramaniam
Head of R&D
viewquest

“We are excited to be partnering with 6connect to leverage their technology and talent. We particularly admire their long-standing IPv6 contributions and their ability to service and support customers in this area, some who are the largest service provider in the world. The 6connect executive leadership team and technical team are great to work with and we look forward to many partnered projects to help customers address their Cloud, IoT and Security needs with IPv6. Automation, workflow and orchestration are critical to the success of most of these projects and 6connect is well positioned to help our mutual customers in those areas.”

Ed Horley
Co-Founder & CEO
HexaBulid

“Enterprises can struggle managing purposefully segmented DDI architectures with any agility. Our partnership with 6connect empowers customers with complex infrastructures to move faster to service the business while consolidating visibility and control over their estate.”

Andrew Wertkin
Chief Strategy Officer,
BlueCat

“6connect’s approach to automation addresses quite a few challenges with physical and virtual networks – how to improve the agility of your current network infrastructure without sacrificing reliability and adoption of future network technologies.”

Pär Lange
Investment Director
SwissCom

“A customer is looking for an integrated solution from a single vendor for both IPAM and DNS. Through the 6connect reseller program, Secure64 is able to offer the most secure DNS solutions married to a unique combination of IPAM and resource provisioning that customers want. It’s a marriage made in heaven.”

Mark Beckett
VP of Marketing
Secure64

“A huge benefit of working with the 6connect team is that they devoted a lot of resources to get our products integrated so we had the turnkey solution that we could take to market. It was very easy to work with their team to get product integrated and successfully launched.”

Mark Beckett
VP of Marketing
Secure64

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