Why Automate Network Changes?

NetBrain’s Change Management module – a comprehensive and integrated solution for controlling the network change workflow– drastically reduces risks associated with device configuration updates. Within a single workflow, network engineers can define a configuration template, deploy the configuration updates with one click, and then verify the impact of the changes through historical analysis. This holistic approach to network changes not only accelerates the configuration process, but also reduces outages that result from change modification, by validating the post-change design.

Managing the Network Change Workflow

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Network Changes Overview

A short introduction to NetBrain's Network Changes methodology.

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Design

Model Changes in the Map

Before deploying a single configuration change, engineers can visualize the impact the change will have on the network’s topology. Within NetBrain, users can import one or more configuration files to a new or existing dynamic map. Device connectivity, routing design, access-lists, and more will be automatically displayed within the Map alongside the live network. Once the changes have been modeled and approved, they can be implemented automatically. To update the configuration on more than one device at a time, users can define the interface variables in the configuration template before pushing out the changes at once.

Visual Programming

Model configuration changes on the map Define Configuration Template

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Change

Deploy Configuration with One Click

When it’s necessary to implement a standard configuration change, for example, to enable NetFlow across the network, it’s cumbersome to deploy that change to one device or interface at a time. Rather than writing complex and unreliable scripts to deliver the update, NetBrain’s Change Management module enables users to deploy the changes to the intended interfaces with one click. NetBrain will log into each device and issue the commands in real-time, and in plain sight, for easy review. If a change goes through unplanned, or has an adverse impact, it can be rolled back just as quickly.

Map-Driven Automation

Watch Configuration Changes in Real-Time

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Analyze

Verify the Impact of Changes

As part of the change management workflow, NetBrain supports the ability to take a snapshot of the network both before and after deploying configuration changes. These snapshots, captured through NetBrain’s benchmark logic, are leveraged for a comparative analysis after the configuration updates are complete. Not only can engineers see highlighted changes in the configuration files, but they can also quickly perceive the impact to route tables and any specified show-commands. This analysis ensures that no adverse conditions occurred as a result of the changes.

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Document

Automate Change History Documentation

When it comes to network change reviews, documentation is often lacking, making the review a rubber-stamp process. NetBrain can make these reviews much more effective by creating detailed change documentation with a single click. Impacted devices, execution logs, benchmark data, and more are all documented in a single Microsoft Word file. What’s more, the entire workflow is also saved to a Change Task file, with a .qchange file extension. This file can be easily distributed amongst team members with NetBrain installed to review each step in the workflow.

One-Click Change Document

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Change Management Use Cases

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