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May 2017, Vol. 8, No. 4

Time for software-based networking to free up network managers

Network managers have groaned for years that their high-priced technical people are chained to mundane tasks required to manually configure and manage switches, routers and other network components. Enter a new era where software and automation take center stage. While the industry has promised change through software-based networking for many years, 2017 just may be the year it finally happens on a broader scale. Gartner networking research vice president Andrew Lerner said software's ascendancy should come as no surprise. Network switches have always been packed with software -- it's just that the industry grew comfortable viewing its products as hardware. The big sticking point for years was that too much of the work configuring network components was manual and time-consuming, a cumbersome process that called for software-based networking innovation. "What we're seeing now is a move away from manual and noncentralized networking to a more automated and centralized network management," Lerner said. "And the automation and ...

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