Network Automation, meet Pre-deployment validation

Since the dawn of networking, network engineers have done things largely manually. They would generate device configurations manually, reason about the correctness of configurations manually, log into the routers to change configurations manually, and verify that the changes had intended impact manually. Automation of such tasks has been largely non-existent. Whatever automation does exist, tends to be trapped in a hodge-podge of homegrown scripts that are hard to maintain and forgotten when the original developer leaves the organization.

Manual network management leads to a network that can suffer frequent outages and security breaches. It also leads to a network that is slow to evolve and unable to keep up with the demands of modern applications which are becoming highly agile thanks to technologies like the Cloud and containers. This state of affairs is no longer tenable.

Automating various network management tasks partially or fully offers a promising way forward. By leveraging device APIs, which have significantly improved in the last few years, network automation can boost network security, curtail outages, and dramatically improve agility.

Most automation efforts start with building tools to automate mechanical tasks such as generating device configurations from pre-defined templates, pushing configurations to devices, upgrading device software, etc…
But one crucial element is almost always missing – automated pre-deployment validation. This is not due to a lack of recognition of the importance of this step. It is due to a lack of the necessary tools. Even the improving capabilities of network emulators and virtual network devices hasn’t allowed organizations to address this gaping hole in the automation stack.

Batfish changes that.

Armed with comprehensive models built on top of existing and candidate network configurations, Batfish provides the necessary foundation for pre-deployment validation. Network engineers and operators can now build an automated continuous integration (CI) system, at production scale.

To learn how Batfish can help you, request your free demonstration and check-out our product page.

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