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SDN blogs: Ansible for server automation; open source tools on the rise

Ansible for server automation, open source tools and the different types of network automation were top-of-mind for this week's SDN bloggers.

We rounded up this week's SDN blogs and saw bloggers discussing various ways to use Ansible for server automation, the rise of open source tools, whether SDN costs are inhibiting enterprise adoption and the different types of network automation.

Ansible for server automation

On his personal blog site, solutions architect Jason Edelman dedicates a post to using Ansible for server automation. Edelman shares "playbooks" of Ansible use case scenarios, including how to create a root account without a password and installing baseline apps. Edelman also covers using Ansible for an Open vSwitch (OVS) install as well as OVS and network configuration. Additional information on all playbooks can be found on Edelman's GitHub page.

Check out Edelman's post on various ways to use Ansible for server automation.

Open source automation and config tools on the rise

On the Gartner blog site, guest author Ronni Colville takes a look at network automation and why open source automation and configuration tools are becoming increasingly popular. These tools provide a framework for building content to automate infrastructure. With the introduction of DevOps as well, vendors' frameworks are now allowing users to 'codify' automation instead of scripting or manually using a CLI. By offering open source tools with a community of content, vendors eliminate having to create many one-time use scripts or working in CLI.

Although these tools are in the same "category," Colville explains that Chef remains the favorite among the developer community, while Puppet is more often used by system admins. With all of the "SDN noise" continuing to grow, Colville expects the use of open source tools to grow. At the end of the day, app release automation tools have to keep adding and refining their capabilities to keep up.

Take a look at Colville's post exploring open source automation and config tools.

Are SDN costs putting off adoption by enterprises?

The Business Cloud News site published a post looking at the hesitation of enterprises to adopt SDN due to rising costs and lack of skills. According to the post, research done by Juniper Networks suggests U.S. companies are split as to whether or not to adopt the new technology.

The study found that out of the 400 IT decision makers surveyed, just over half plan to adopt SDN, while the other half has no plans to implement it in any form. Improved network performance and efficiency are the main drivers for those choosing to adopt, however, implementing SDN creates challenges and barriers among companies. High initial costs, integration with existing systems, security concerns and lack of skills were listed as top inhibitors to SDN adoption.

Read what's stopping enterprises from adoption SDN in the full post on Business Cloud News.

Which type of network automation is right for you?

On the Plexxi company blog site, author Derick Winkworth breaks down the different types of network automation. There are plenty of opportunities that exist to identify and automate common tasks and segments of workflows, he writes. Once these are identified, it's critical to understand the different types of automation to see which works best. Winkworth describes automation options like encapsulation, automation versus encapsulation and a hybrid approach.

Ultimately, it's up to customers, vendors and open source communities to work together to create tools that put users' needs first. Having a network feature interoperate was one thing, but now, features need to fit into common workflows performed by engineers.

Take a look at Winkworth's full post describing the different types of network automation.

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