Brocade took a step closer to automating workflow in a DevOps, agile environment with the release today of Brocade Workflow Composer, which leverages the developer's acquisition of Stackstorm in March.
The platform eliminates traditional manual handoffs, says Patrick LaPorte, director of network automation solutions at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), in an interview. "All of our customers are going through a digital transformation and recognize the network has always lagged behind, especially in automation," he says. "Workflow Composer enables cross domain integration to have an impact on business agility."
Automation technology can, for example, traverse the network to make an assessment, do a configuration, make an attempt at remediation and then return with details and results, LaPorte says. This often could eliminate network managers' midnight phone calls since automation could fix problems resolved by simply restarting a switch, he adds.
No More Nightmares?
Because it automates so much of the network remediation process, Workflow Composer could allow network managers to get more uninterrupted sleep, says Brocade's LaPorte.
In addition, automation creates revenue by notifying a service provider's salesforce when, for example, a customer's storage is nearly full, says LaPorte. If the customer buys more storage, Workflow Composer automatically configures the additional capabilities, he says.
But Workflow Composer is designed to go beyond automation. It leverages today's smart networks to help organizations manage New IP infrastructures more efficiently and effectively, says LaPorte.
"In order for it to be able to support the business, the intelligence of the network has to be brought off the device itself, software-driven and managed. There is no way a network team can keep up with all the demand for new services," he says. "In order to get there, SDN and NFV solutions -- where you can deploy a router using software -- are already having an impact on agility. We're just taking and complementing those capabilities by moving it to Workflow Composer."
Workflow Composer -- slated to become available this summer -- provisions the Layer 3 fabric architecture and BPG/EVPN provisioning, and also can provision switches for spine and leaf deployment and provide connectivity to peers. By deploying sensors across more than 2,000 points of integration (including Linux, Windows, vSphere, AWS, Azure, OpenStack and CloudFoundry, among others), Workflow Composer automates troubleshooting, according to Brocade. These sensors act as network plug-ins, integrating with IT applications, compute, cloud or storage services to find events and act upon them without human intervention, based on programmatic rules.
Brocade plans to offer a free version on GitHub, and a premium version with GUI and support.
— Alison Diana, Ambassador, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @NewIPAgency.