Why-you-need-to-consider-automated-configuration-managementWith the amount of devices likely to be connected to any network at any given time, as well as the complexity of modern networking environments and the vast geographic distances that large-scale and enterprise Wide Area Networks (WANs) can occupy, configuration management plays an integral part in running a network that consistently performs at its peak. But there’s no shortage of both Open Source and proprietary Configuration Management software available today, and it’s certainly true that not all configuration management tools are equal.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few reasons why automation of your configuration management is the only way to stay abreast of the world’s consistently increasing demand for network connectivity.

Manual errors are taxing on your budget and your staff.

It’s an unfortunate fact that human beings aren’t quite as well-suited to repetitive tasks that require high quantities of precision and attention to detail. Having to manually sift through the configuration management data that comes with a large-scale WAN, or even an enterprise-sized Local Area Network (LAN) quickly becomes complex to the point of impossibility. Aside from the fact that employing someone to peruse the network environment for inconsistencies each day would be a colossal waste of time and money for even the most liquid organisation, the chance for ‘finger error’ is a very real factor to bear in mind. Automated configuration management essentially mitigates all these risks with a singular solution, and, if you’re using the right Network Management Software, it should be easy to tailor your monitoring solution to the unique context of your network environment.

Manual configuration isn’t scalable.

If the past few decades have taught us anything about the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, it’s that a company can go from (literally) operating out of a garage to being a market or industry leader virtually overnight. For this reason, it’s critical that any organisation in a tech-related industry – even those on the periphery of ICT – should remain as flexible as possible in their organisational and technological structures. Having to scale your network up or down without configuration management software could be an arduous and time-consuming task to say the least – and, depending on the size and complexity of your environment, you’ll likely have to either employ some freelance engineers, or pay a hefty overtime salary for your existing employees.

Automated Configuration Management gives everyone insight into your environment.

If you’re managing your network configuration manually, you’re probably assigning one of your engineers to spend a fair amount of his working week (or the few hours he has left after his other responsibilities) dealing with it. The result is twofold: firstly, dedicating staff time to a task that can be carried out better by software is a waste of valuable staff hours. Secondly, assigning a staff member to your configuration management means that it becomes his area of interest and nobody else’s. Automated configuration management software allows access to anyone with the appropriate credentials, so if one of your staff members is over capacity, it’s easy for a substitute to jump in with minimal impact to the operation of your network.

Automated Configuration helps you make informed decisions about the future.

The pragmatic benefits of using automated configuration management software are easy to list, and we’ve largely focused on them so far in this article. But there are many other advantages, including the predictive value of your configuration data. Predictive Analytics is a rapidly-growing discipline in the ICT arena, and using network monitoring and management software is the perfect place to start when it comes to the future of your company’s technology assets. In a practical sense, having a clear idea of where you’ll be in the future informs how you should engage with the present reality of your data and your technological investments.

IRIS provides Network Management Software that is uniquely scalable, versatile and responsive. Our configuration management tools allow you to quickly and easily assess, monitor and optimise the configuration of your network environment, prototype new configurations without impacting network performance, and assist you in forecasting the future of your network. To find out more about our services, including our Netflow analyzer, IP address management tool and more, please don’t hesitate to request a demo today.

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Image credit: Wirewerks