I broadly consider Gluware an automation engine that can deliver effective automation inside an brownfield network. That is, its multi-vendor, multi-technology (e.g. switches / firewalls, routers, QOS,) and works with the existing tooling such as CLI.
So you don’t have to buy new hardware to start the SDN process. Thats a useful way to start the transition when you can’t change the underlying systems. You could argue that modernising would get you further but I generally think that Gluware can get you what you need.
Its conceptually possible to use Python and Ansible do build something like this but the unique engine in the core is valuable, more importantly you don’t have to maintain that engine.
- Skill gap
- Platform maintenance
- Integration of platforms
- GUI, DB, versioning, admin and more,
- Constant Resource Reset
Do you really want to do these things ?
Today they are demonstrating how model-driven multi-vendor automation.
Previous demonstrations of Gluware focussed on use cases of the era – QOS, Routing.
Today we are seeing demos around firmware/NOS updates and reducing that pain including aspects like image management (ie. only use images that you have approved or tested)
Configuration normalisation is interesting – most networks that are CLI managed have drift in various area – e.g. SNMP configuration works on all the devices but there are slight differences between them. Now some devices will have different SNMP configuration but may also have extra SNMP strings or enabled features. Gluware can model the right configuration between different devices (like software / hardware) and homogenise the configuration.
This point was further emphasised Qos configuration and then again with Campus using NAC. The campus is back baby.
The key part of the Campus demo was getting the dot1x template to apply to ports as needed. By deploying Gluware can being the automation process by building on the base models provided by Gluware, then defining the CLI that you want (that effectively a policy) and then having Gluware to push that policy across large numbers of devices, which is in the campus.
If you run a helpdesk style operation, a tier 2/3 engineer can build the models and script verification, then handover the actuation to tier 1 for work inside a controlled change environment.