The next few years are certain to see communications service providers (CSPs), as well as enterprises, work hard to accelerate migration toward software-driven networks and next generation, agile network operations.
Automation of everything in the network is critical to this transformational mission and 5G and edge compute will be a key driver of CSP automation. Service providers will not be able to keep pace with cloud-scale expansion of bandwidth and connections without using scale-out cloud automation techniques. 95% of respondents to a recent Futuriom survey (113 network operators) said they think that network automation will be crucial to successfully launching 5G networks.
In addition according to independent analyst firm Gartner, for example, 60% of data centre networking configuration activities will be automated by 2023, up from 30% in 2020.
If goals like this are to be achieved, the answer lies in the adoption of network automation solutions. These solutions will need to leverage the latest open standards and open architectures, and be based around best practices in order to drive network operations and maximize the impact of automation. Network managers should be seeking multi-vendor network automation that leverages APIs in order to drive automation deeper into network operations
So get ready to move on from a legacy networking world operated by humans and based around hardware to something a whole lot more programmable. The reward will be improved operational agility, greater efficiency and the reassurance that comes with a future-proofed network strategy.
Scott Raynovich, Chief Technology Analyst, Futuriom is chairing an event that will look at these challenges in depth. He will head up a prestigious panel of experts in what promises to be a stimulating and timely debate.