In an article on Virtual Strategy Magazine, ten examples of how automation can be used to simplify data center network administration and reduce costs are offered. With data center networks becoming increasingly complex, operational expenses are increasing as there are dozens or hundreds of VMs and VLANs that must be managed. Automation brings several distinct advantages to the data center, including higher and more consistent QoS, improved administrator productivity, reduced costs, faster problem resolution, reduced errors, and improved reporting.
“This rising complexity causes an increase in operational costs at a time when headcounts are fixed. Hypervisor vendors provide many tools for automating server management, but do not generally manage the network devices that support the virtual environment.
One way to minimize the operational expense of a virtualized data center is to automate the network. A new generation of switches features scripting and other capabilities that can automate many regular administrative chores, thereby saving time and money while reducing human error in overall data center administration. Scripts can assist the administrator with everything from configuration version control to provisioning, alerts, QoS monitoring, and change management. “