Eric Stinson, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks 

Benefits of Automation for the Business vs. NetOps Engineer

Network Automation
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Title slide of the video, which features a black background and white text. The text is the title of the video and read, “Benefits of Automation. What benefits the business vs. What benefits the NetOps engineer?”

Talking Automation: Who benefits from it and how?

Company management always has great IT ideas that may or may not come to fruition. But as a NetOps engineer, what about network automation will benefit you the most? In this fifth episode of our Talking Automation series, Juniper’s Andy Lapteff discusses how what benefits the business isn’t always completely aligned with what benefits the NetOps engineer down in the trenches. 

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You’ll learn

  • One of the biggest advantages to automation for the business is … speed 

  • One of the biggest benefits to the NetOps side is … fewer errors 

  • Various ways both businesses and NetOps teams benefit from automation 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Eric Stinson Headshot
Eric Stinson
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks

Guest speakers

Andy Lapteff Headshot
Andy Lapteff
Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks 


0:00 [Music]

0:14 we talked about automation

0:17 we talked about some of the challenges

0:18 of automation multi-vendor versus single

0:21 vendor but um you know what about some

0:23 of the benefits of automation right so

0:25 we talked about we never really hit on

0:27 that you know if as a as a network

0:30 engineer as a net ops engineer what

0:33 would be the most beneficial to you is

0:35 now taking away the the you know the

0:38 company management they they have all

0:39 these great ideas that may or may not

0:41 come to fruition

0:42 but

0:43 you know down in the trenches what is

0:46 what is really going to be of value

0:48 that's kind of an interesting dichotomy

0:50 right because

0:52 what benefits the business isn't always

0:55 completely aligned with what benefits

0:57 the net ops person in the trenches um i

1:00 can tell you that

1:01 speed

1:03 is what the business needs and wants

1:05 right we we have to get to market faster

1:08 i've worked for i work for a software

1:10 company and you know when you have a new

1:12 thing you want to push out

1:14 in the old

1:15 pre-automation pre-agile world

1:19 you know if you had to build

1:20 infrastructure and order circuits and

1:22 get all that connectivity in place for

1:23 this new application

1:26 that could easily take two to six months

1:28 depending on how backed up telco is and

1:30 do they have fiber out there and do they

1:31 have to trench

1:32 so

1:34 i see the value of speed for the

1:36 business and listen if the business

1:38 isn't succeeding right i don't know how

1:40 long they can afford to pay me so

1:42 you know we have to

1:44 serve the business um speed seems to be

1:48 the biggest advantage um and i'll give

1:51 you an example you know

1:53 back before

1:55 so the company i came from

1:57 uh build an automation platform

1:59 open source ansible python right and

2:02 when we would stand up new gear at a

2:04 site

2:05 you can just put some variables

2:07 in a yaml file

2:09 call a python script

2:11 and in 10 seconds you have hundreds of

2:14 lines of config that you can just drop

2:15 in a box and be done

2:17 so that's fast

2:20 the better answer to your question how

2:21 does it help a net ops person

2:24 fast is good for me because it could

2:26 take me

2:28 three full days 24 working hours to

2:31 write a 500 line config

2:34 and not only all that time and pain and

2:36 staring at the keyboard and getting

2:38 headaches over it

2:39 but

2:41 the

2:42 automation stuff seems to be much less

2:45 error-prone than i am right um

2:47 you know it's all there in code and i

2:50 just need some variables and then it

2:52 puts it all together in this magical

2:53 automation machine and and spits it all

2:55 out i have made multiple mistakes over

2:58 my career in configs you know zeros and

3:00 ones matter in the config and if you get

3:01 anything off it breaks and i've broken

3:03 things too right we all have so you know

3:05 i i think speed

3:08 for the business

3:10 is a huge advantage i think

3:12 speed for the operator who might not

3:14 want to spend three full days writing a

3:17 novel of a config the way i have heard

3:20 this whole automation you know chant is

3:24 why would you want to be

3:26 doing that low-level stuff right like if

3:28 you could get a junior guy

3:30 to to put in an ip address and a routing

3:33 domain name you know whatever the

3:34 variables will be and then just press a

3:35 button and config and ship that device

3:38 for you you can work on

3:40 you know higher value stuff um because

3:42 i've had the title senior network

3:44 engineer in my career but i've been a

3:46 config jockey like you know i'm not

3:48 really working on high value stuff and

3:51 and that's been an interesting change in

3:53 the in the in the industry is

3:56 you know they don't the industry doesn't

3:58 just want a person who is really good at

4:00 writing configs line by line in a

4:01 notepad

4:03 they would rather us you know in

4:04 discussions about how we can solve more

4:06 important problems and you know how can

4:08 we automate how can we go faster how can

4:10 we reduce outages

4:12 if your configs and your changes in your

4:14 infrastructure infrastructure is code

4:16 right if you can do that in an automated

4:18 platform and not a guy like me writing

4:20 code deploying it at three in the

4:21 morning in a maintenance window and i'm

4:23 exhausted but actually

4:25 have it all automated and use the

4:27 intelligence of these automation

4:29 platforms in these programming languages

4:30 to kind of

4:32 i don't know if abstract away is the

4:33 right term but you know get it out of my

4:35 head and

4:37 it you know make it more you know less

4:39 error prone

4:40 faster to configure faster to change

4:43 they all seem like really good

4:44 advantages to me

4:46 kind of for the business and for the

4:47 operator uh you know

4:51 because a lot of times those two things

4:52 are different but

4:54 speed isn't necessarily bad for me

4:56 because i'll tell you what having a

4:57 project manager breathing down your

4:58 throat every day on a status call of why

5:01 isn't this thing built yet because we

5:02 got to go and deploy this application if

5:04 i can go from three days

5:06 to two minutes

5:08 to

5:09 write that long config throw it in the

5:10 box and ship it out then it makes me

5:12 look better you know people are happier

5:14 with me maybe my bonus is bigger that

5:16 year like so making the engineer faster

5:19 the net ops person faster i i think

5:21 benefits not only the business but

5:23 you know the engineer i'm i'm friends

5:25 with this guy daniel in australia he's a

5:26 big guy in automation um and what he

5:29 told me i thought was interesting he

5:30 said you know i am

5:32 time is my greatest asset right and

5:35 if i can do my job faster more

5:37 efficiently i get more time to spend any

5:40 way i want and he chooses to spend it

5:42 with his wife and kids and an extended

5:44 family right so

5:45 doesn't that sound cool like what's the

5:47 benefit of automation

5:48 spending more time doing things you want

5:50 to do and not in the minutia of writing

5:53 config so this is coming from a guy who

5:55 wasn't necessarily happy when the whole

5:57 automation thing happened right

5:59 because

6:00 i tried to take computer science in

6:03 college and ran for the hills they put

6:05 me in c plus i couldn't do it beyond my

6:08 capability and that was it i'm like well

6:09 i guess i don't get to be an it

6:12 turka took a you know circuitous

6:14 different route you know into network

6:17 you know engineering

6:18 and we didn't need when i got my you

6:20 know certificate my first certification

6:22 in 2012 and got my first job in 2013 you

6:24 didn't have to know any of that stuff

6:26 right now you know here we are uh eight

6:29 years later

6:30 and the industry all the certification

6:32 tracks all the employers

6:35 automation is here

6:36 and it seems like it's going to be

6:38 really difficult if not impossible to

6:40 compete if your competitors are

6:42 automating if your engineers are taking

6:44 three days to do something that another

6:45 company's engineers can do in three

6:47 minutes and you're trying to get your

6:49 new application or service to market

6:51 faster

6:52 who's got the advantage right um not

6:55 only in business but in the guy like me

6:56 wants to spend more time with his wife

6:58 and kids and maybe less time in

6:59 maintenance windows and writing config

7:00 so

7:01 right i think speed and accuracy

7:04 uh i probably could have condensed that

7:05 down into

7:07 a 10-second answer but um yeah it's not

7:09 inaccuracy that's good though because

7:12 you know some some things come out of

7:13 that like you know the the whole point

7:15 that it's not just

7:16 about the network it's about life right

7:19 you know the automation helps you helps

7:21 you live a better life and and the other

7:24 another thing that kind of came out of

7:25 that is you know as you said

7:28 when automation first came out you

7:29 weren't too impressed with it right

7:31 because it was different you were

7:32 already doing your thing and it was

7:35 you know extra work um as you mentioned

7:38 quite a bit earlier as it was extra work

7:40 that could have been on nights and

7:42 weekends to try to learn the stuff

7:44 so that's a challenge absolutely but

7:47 you know

7:48 kind of at the end you brought it around

7:50 to

7:50 if your company isn't automating

7:53 they're at a at a competitive

7:55 disadvantage to you know like companies

7:57 [Music]

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