As my collection of automation posts continues to grow, now is a good time to discuss why you should use automation.

The two automation related comments/questions and responses which I’ve found most interesting to date are:

  1. Why should I use automation, aren’t I just going to automate myself out of a job?
    No! Automation helps you get things done quicker, and if done properly, is 100% repeatable and therefore completely removes the risk of human error. Further to this, automating laborious tasks frees up your time so it can be better spent doing the more fun and challenging parts of your role.
  2. I don’t have time to look into and set up automation.
    Funnily enough the people who say this are the ones who need it the most. Looking into and setting up automation should be seen as an investment. It might take a little bit of time now but it will consistently pay massive dividends  once it is done.

At the end of the day, automation and orchestration is coming whether engineers like it or not and regardless of whether they’ve got time to look into it or not. It’s plain to see when you look at the solutions which are being developed these days:

  • SD-WAN solutions
  • SDN solutions
  • NSX
  • ACI
  • APIs
  • Cloud solutions
  • Software Defined Storage solutions
  • Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) solutions
  • The large number of free and/or open source, as well as paid for automation and orchestration software

My prediction is that automation and orchestration will be for networking what VoIP was for telephony. Therefore we’ve got a choice to make - we can embrace it and keep ourselves relevant, or we can choose to ignore it and get left behind.

Don’t get me wrong, the need for traditional networking skills will still be around for a very long time yet, just like there is still a need for traditional PABX skills - the problem is that the need will be a fraction of what it used to be.

As always, if you have any questions or have a topic that you would like me to discuss, please feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this blog entry, e-mail at, or drop me a message on Reddit (OzNetNerd).

Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer.

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