network automation

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Network management and monitoring: The evolution of network control
Contributor(s): Michelle McNickle

Network automation is the use of IT controls to supervise and carry out every-day network management functions.

These functions can range from basic network mapping and device discovery to network configuration management and the provisioning of virtual network resources. Public cloud services are already highly automated and self-service, and many enterprise IT organizations are moving to a similar IT services model in their data centers. This requires service level agreements (SLAs) for the network, compute and storage resources that the organization's business units require. 

Network automation plays a key role in network virtualization technologies, enabling automated provisioning of virtual network tenants and network functions, such as load balancing.

See also: IT automation, automated provisioning, business process automation


This was last updated in March 2014

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