Data Center

Jumpstarting Your Automation Journey

by asardell on ‎12-19-2016 12:28 PM (3,988 Views)

Introduction

A key to success in undergoing a digital transformation is agile IT. As such, many customers are already using Brocade Workflow Composer, powered by StackStorm.

 

Some of these customers are either new to the art of creating workflows or oversubscribed on other tasks.   Brocade’s Automation Suites helps those customers to jumpstart their automation journey with prebuilt workflows, regardless of available resources or skill levels.   

 

Most automation tools focus on provisioning a service. With Brocade’s automation suites, you can automate much more than this “Day 0” provisioning. You can align the entire network lifecycle, including workflows to validate, troubleshoot, and remediate issues—all within existing IT operations and tool chains.

 

As skills mature and requirements change, organizations can adapt or extend these workflows to match their changing needs.  Let’s look at the components of an automation suite in more detail.

 

Components

The components of an automation suite are built and tested with real networking infrastructure (Figure 1) using the Brocade Workflow Composer automation platform.

 

Auto Suite Components.png

Figure 1: Automation Suite Components

 

Each automation suite consists of a collection of specific turnkey (yet customizable) workflows, services, sensors, actions, rules, documentation, and in some cases a customized user interface (UI).  

 

These automation suites provide everything needed to automate commonly encountered tasks across the network lifecycle. They deliver immediate value even if used with little or no experience. And you can accrue skills quickly as you modify them for troubleshooting and remediation tasks.

 

The new suites we have recently announced are:

 

  • Network Essentials: provides the basic building blocks to get started, including automation of many common tasks that exist in any network.
  • Data Center Fabrics: includes a collection of workflows specific to fabrics, including provisioning, troubleshooting and remediation
  • Internet Exchange Points: automates common functions for Layer 2 exchange connectivity such as tenant provisioning and maintenance.

For a longer list of the automation workflows provided with these suites, see the Brocade Workflow Composer Automation Suites At-A-Glance document.

 

Of course, this is just the start—over time, you can expect to see new automation suites, and enhancements to these three suites.    

 

Example: IXP Automation Suite Deploys New Customer 

At a high level, Figure 2 shows the establishment of a customer connection to an Internet Exchange Provider (IXP).  Today, this set of tasks typically involves CLI commands, ad-hoc scripts, and phone calls or maybe ticketing systems between different relevant departments (for example, billing and support).  

 

IXP Auto Suite.png

Figure 2: Brocade IXP Automation Suite: Adding a Customer and Notifying Teams

 

With Brocade Workflow Composer and the IXP automation suite, you can automate this new customer deployment across domains with a complete tool chain. Workflow Composer receives the initial request and begins establishing the services for the customer. It provisions the network ports and all the services that the customer needs in order to get up and running.

 

Workflow Composer then integrates with billing systems, ticketing systems, CRM systems, and others. As a result, the time to perform this entire process reduces from days or weeks to minutes.

Conclusion and Call to Action

 The hallmarks of Brocade Automation Suites are:

 

  • Cross-domain lifecycle automation: Well beyond “Day 0” provisioning to include troubleshooting and remediation
  • Tested, proven and supported: Deploy with confidence and full support
  • Turnkey: Rapid time to value
  • Customizable and open: Meet changing requirements as skills mature

For more information, see:

 

 

Alternatively, contact your Brocade representative for more detail on how to get started.