Nibbles & Bits

Six Critical Ways Software Can Automate Network Management

by | June 4, 2013

Automate Network Provisioning

Faced with new demands for virtualization, cloud-based computing, exploding mobile data and smart device growth, service providers have outgrown the manual spreadsheets and proprietary vendor appliances they’ve historically relied on to provision their networks. These approaches are much too time consuming, too piecemeal and too error prone to permit network managers to keep up with the ever-growing volume of change-management orders.

Software that automates key elements of the provisioning process and allows customers to service themselves frees up staff cycles, reduces configuration errors and enables service providers to stay abreast of the demand for new services. Here are six critical network management functions that can be readily automated with an integrated suite of software provisioning tools:

  1. IP address management (IPAM) that automatically manages IPv4 and IPv6 allocations and assignments for both internal and external network spaces. This includes auto-subnetting, Regional Internet Registry (RIR) Integration and data tagging to reduce the time it takes to provision a block of IP addresses from 45 minutes down to a mere 15 seconds.
  2. DNS server and DNSSEC management that automatically imports your existing BIND zone data, outputs it to your DNS server(s) and generates DS keys with a single click. This simplifies zone creation, improves accuracy and makes it easy to edit reverse records for IPAM allocations.
  3. DHCP server configuration that includes DHCPv6 support, and a unified control interface for your DHCP server infrastructure. This greatly simplifies back-end tracking and auditing to ensure compliance and allows for an integrated provisioning process that is tied to IP and DNS data.
  4. Peering and BGP session management that provides one-click BGP session configuration across multiple exchanges and router types using exchange point data to generate peering request lists. Peering sessions are configured automatically, with integrated session status.
  5. Asset management based on a flexible and customizable data architecture. This allows for a single source for tracking IP related aspects to your network devices in addition to “offline” data that may be required. This greatly simplifies management of all network-attached, IP-enabled devices, without resulting in yet another information silo since it can be used to track multiple types of devices.
  6. A self-service portal that allows customers to order new services and automatically provision themselves. Apart from reducing your staffing requirements, automated self-service means new customers can get online much faster, while existing customers can deploy new services much more quickly than before.

Which network management functions have you automated?

“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

“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

“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,

“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

“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

“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

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