Brocade has created a network automation platform called Workflow Composer. It is designed to work in the data centers of very large organizations that are creating clouds. These organizations want to emulate the webscale cloud providers but don’t have armies of engineers to create data center automation.
“Workflow Composer allows megascale automation for the mainstream,” says Patrick LaPorte, Brocade’s director of network automation products. “Cloud providers are losing a lot of business to megascale providers. Automation is critical to this goal.”
For cross-domain workflow automation to work, it must take inputs from and be able to request changes on a network device or other cross-domain platforms and applications. Brocade Workflow Composer accomplishes this using customizable sensors and actions.
The software will include more than 1,000 sensors and actions for platforms such as AWS, Azure, Linux, Windows, vSphere, CloudFoundry, and OpenStack as well as IT applications such as FireEye, New Relic, Splunk, ChatOps, Docker, Kubernetes, and CoreOS.
The software also uses DevOps methodologies to create network workflow automation for provisioning, validation, troubleshooting, and remediation of multivendor networks.
The software converts manual operations and business rules into IT services that allow IT staff to separate required tasks from the hardwired code. Workflows can be single-domain, such as provisioning a network device, or cross-domain, such as detecting a network device issue and automatically creating and assigning a help desk ticket.
“It allows humans to step out of the process,” says LaPorte.