Network automation in the 2nd machine age

If you are a network administrator, how much do you worry about being replaced by network automation? From time to time when talking with IT people about the automation capabilities of the Uplogix platform, we hear people say that our product will take over their job. It’s hard to imagine that could be true.

True, we do automate many first-level recovery tasks and provide strong tools for simplifying management tasks. With detailed local monitoring and onboard processing, our rules engine determines automated actions based on pre-defined criteria. Still, it’s not artificial intelligence to be feared—we’re more a better tool for getting the job done, automating the routine parts so humans can focus on what they do best. That’s innovation, creativity and even manual tasks like running cables in a data center. Anarticle in TechRepublic, Why AI could destroy more jobs than it creates, and how to save them, said that these jobs:

“… remain exceptionally tricky for robots, as even simple manual tasks like walking over uneven terrain are beyond the capabilities of most modern bots. The phenomenon is known as Moravec’s Paradox, an observation by leading AI researchers in the 1980s that computers found hard the tasks we found easy and vice versa. While it might take a human seconds to fold a towel, a robot made to carry out the task in 2010 took nearly 25 minutes.”

In the terminology of the people that study automation and its impact on the workforce, Uplogix is part of second machine age (the first being the Industrial Revolution). Like the Industrial Revolution, technical change has destroyed or significantly altered some jobs, but also created many new jobs.

Google’s chief economist Hal Varian has frequently been quoted with this career advice in the age of increased automation, “seek to be an indispensable complement to something that’s getting cheap and plentiful.”

Here are some of the automation features of the Uplogix platform:

  • Automate standard support routines. Uplogix provides numerous recovery procedures that allow you to automatically address common faults without human intervention such as automatically rebooting a hung, or wedged, device to multiple types of configuration recovery. A robust automation framework is provided for end-users to modify prepackaged or define sequential and conditional recovery procedures that align with their support practices (e.g.   Clear Service Module -> Cycle Interface -> Show Tech -> Reboot -> Cycle Power).
  • Recover from failed configuration changes via the powerful SurgicalRollback™ feature. This added “safety net” enables IT staff to make real-time to changes to network elements without the risk of failed configurations impacting operational performance.
  • Reboot hung equipment. Uplogix’ automated diagnosis framework can automatically detect a hung, or wedged, device and instantly cycle power to the unit. The Uplogix Local Manager can often detect and resolve this common problem before traditional management tools even know it exists.
  • Troubleshoot WAN connection issues. Uplogix can automatically detect common WAN problems, including outages or flapping circuits, and provide an instant diagnosis with the supporting trending or configuration data to speed recovery, document outages, or facilitate carrier resolution.
Will Uplogix take your job? No, but we can make it more interesting. Spend that extra time on the real challenges and pursue more certifications so you stay on the leading edge.
Need more info? Check out the Uplogix Automation Solution Brief.



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