In my last blog, we identified a number of triggers that cause an organization to pursue an IPAM automation solution. Now let’s look at some specific use cases on a cable network that can be improved with automation.
Here are the four questions you can ask yourself when looking at what to automate on a cable network.
In my experience working with operators on IPAM projects, this process usually involves the following steps:
These steps are generally completed manually, sometimes resulting in human errors that may cause service disruption in the fast and dynamic IP-services space. This is one area where automation can decrease the potential errors and in turn, reduce the risk of service disruption.
Yet another example of an error-prone manual process that shouldn’t have to be this way. In most cable network cases that I’ve encountered, this process involves:
Automated solutions can ensure these checks are done by the system and eliminate the risk of causing an outage for your customers. Decreasing manual processes also decreases project roll-out time or renumbering.
Some organizations may be smaller and involve one or two departments, but in larger communication service providers I’ve worked with, I’ve seen the following:
As you can see, larger organizations need a solution that allows some form of request and approval process for the first stages of automation to begin. Over time, confidence in the automated steps may reduce the need for approvals and IPAM efficiency can increase drastically.
Operators try to standardize their network, but acquisitions, demands to offer more services and the constant need to lower operational costs pressures them to manage networks that are not always heterogeneous. Challenges may include:
These various technologies and multiple access networks can cause major headaches when manual processes don’t align. That being said, it wouldn’t be impossible to create scripted parameterized flows or templates for each of these scenarios on the network. The values of many of these parameters are often documented in an IPAM system. For example, the network access technology is often captured by some service type or tag, the routing element vendor is captured in the device inventory data, and routing information can be collected by the hub or region that the routing element resides in. There is no reason why an automated IPAM solution couldn’t allow you to script these flows specifically to your network and trigger them based on a simple deployment lifecycle. Doing so can reduce the frustration of dealing with various technologies.
Implementing a solution that cuts down manual processes not only reduces errors caused by cumbersome grunt-work, it saves OPEX, reduces time-to-market for new services, and cuts down the risk of service disruptions. For more information on finding a solution that fits your initiatives, check out the guide: 5 Ways to Streamline IP Deployments on your Network.