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Chicagoans: TECHunplugged Is Coming October 27, 2016

TECHunplugged is a one-day event where end users, influencers and vendors come together to talk shop. At the Chicago event on October 27, 2016, I’ll be speaking on the following big idea.

How The Network Automation War Might Soon Be Won

Here’s the abstract I proposed to the TECHunplugged team.

Automation in the virtualization world is a long-established feature. A plethora of excellent tools exist to help stand up server infrastructure, operating systems, and applications. This has helped bring much of the IT stack together in a way that makes system deployment a repeatable, predictable task. By contrast, network automation is a struggling, emergent technology. Why is it that the automation of network provisioning has proven so challenging?

Ethan Banks, 20 year IT veteran and co-host of the Packet Pushers podcasts, will explain the network automation challenge from a practitioner’s point of view. He’ll also discuss recent advances in network automation tooling from both the open source and commercial software worlds. Network automation might feel rather behind other IT silos, but there’s significant progress that will change network operations sooner rather than later.

To set context, I’ll explain why automating the network is so hard.

  • No standard way to describe a desired outcome.
  • Proprietary interfaces.
  • Snowflake architectures.
  • Unpredictable ways of measuring results.
  • A surfeit of choice.

And then we’ll talk about what’s being done to enable network automation.

  • Intent.
  • Abstraction.
  • Telemetry.
  • OpenConfig.
  • The simplicity movement.
  • Vendors like Anuta, Apstra, and Glue.

If you’re in the Chicago area, register. You’ll hear me speak along with several other folks. I’ll also be at an “ask me anything” roundtable.