Network automation with DNA Center
Although DNA Center have loads of flexibility and features when it comes to automation we are going to concentrate on its integration with SD-Access networks. First lets quickly highlight the main benefits of DNA Center automation:
- Agility – It allows generating and grouping common network design tasks for various environments. The design can be quickly and automatically deployed on multiple devices to eliminate human error. Finally it is now possible to optimize the design by ensuring consistency.
- Reliability – Very important aspect is making sure that design matches best practices and we aren’t creating snowflake networks. Different designs and templates can be organised into templates and profiles that are easy to deploy.
- Simplification – In order to minimize the complexity of configuring and integrating multiple devices DNA Center provides centralized management, reduced touch points and programmable interfaces (APIs). It is no longer necessary to manually configure and provision multiple network devices. The power of API allows the operators to optimize their workflows in customized manner.
- Abstraction – DNAC provides an abstraction from the technology complexity and gives easy to understand technology agnostic workflows. User accessible constructs support views for both physical and logical topology.
Automating your SD-Access Deployment with DNAC
Any Software Defined Access Network has two distinct components: underlay and overlay. You can use DNA to automatically provision both of them as below:
- Network Underlay – This is the foundation of your SDA Fabric that comprises of routers, switches, wireless LAN controllers etc. All those devices will be physically connected with each other and require IP reachability. DNAC allows automatic discovery and provisioning of existing and new network devices. The end goal is to make sure that all devices forming underlay network have consistent configuration and according to best practices. You can check this short video to get short overview of underlay provisioning.
- Fabric Overlay – There is a lot more configuration that you need to go through to prepare your overlay network. DNAC allows defining sites, device roles, virtual network, group based policies. It also helps with host on-boarding, multicast services as well as pre and post fabric verification.
In the end of the process you should have fully functioning fabric that is ready to use. If you need to make any changes to the SD-Access design you will use DNA Center going forward.