5 Great Network Automation Tools

Network automation is an essential part of managing and maintaining network infrastructure in today’s fast-paced business environment. The ability to automate network tasks and workflows can boost efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve overall performance. However, with so many network automation tools on the market, determining which ones are the best fit can be difficult. In this article, we’ll look at some great tools that can help you simplify and streamline network operations. Whether your company is small or large, these tools can help you automate routine tasks, boost productivity, and ultimately save time and money.

Network Automation Tools Boxes

What Is Network Automation?

Network automation is the process of using software to automate tasks and workflows in a computer network. It entails configuring network devices, managing network services, and optimizing network performance with as little human intervention as possible. 

The goal is to increase uptime and efficiency while decreasing errors. Network administrators can focus on higher-level tasks that need more specialized skills, such as designing network architecture and implementing security policies, by automating routine tasks like device configuration, network monitoring, and troubleshooting. Furthermore, network automation enables organizations to respond to changing business needs and market demands more quickly. 

Importance of Network Automation

Some of the benefits of network automation include:

  • Efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks and reducing manual errors, network automation enables organizations to manage their networks more efficiently. This saves time and resources, allowing IT departments to concentrate on more strategic tasks.
  • Consistency: Automation ensures that network configurations are consistent across all devices, reducing the risk of errors and increasing network reliability.
  • Scalability: As networks grow in size and complexity, managing them manually becomes increasingly difficult. Organizations can easily scale their networks using automation without adding additional resources.
  • Agility: Organizations must be able to quickly adapt to changing business requirements in today’s fast-paced environment. Network automation allows IT teams to rapidly deploy new services and applications as well as make network changes without disrupting operations.
  • Security: By automating security policies and configurations across all devices, network automation can improve security. This ensures that all devices are properly configured to meet security standards, lowering the risk of security breaches.
  • Analytics: By collecting and analyzing data from network devices, automation can help organizations gain insights into network performance and usage. This can also help IT teams make informed network optimization and resource allocation decisions.

Network Automation Tool Pull Quote

Network Automation Tools

Network automation tools are software applications or platforms that automate network device configuration, management, and monitoring. There are many network automation tools available today that can help simplify network device management and improve operational efficiency. Here are some of the newest and most effective tools: 


NetBox is an open-source web application for managing network infrastructure. It serves as a central repository for tracking and documenting network devices, circuits, and other components. NetBox helps network engineers and administrators manage and document their network infrastructure, which comprises devices, circuits, IP addresses, and VLANs. It enables the automation of routine tasks and the visualization of network topologies, and it ensures the consistency and accuracy of network configurations. 

NetBox is written in Python and supports a REST API, which makes it easy to integrate with other tools and systems. 

NetBox Cloud is a cloud-based version that offers users the same network documentation and management capabilities but with added enterprise-grade functionality, including security and SSO capabilities, automated and moment-in-time backups, high availability, easy upgrades and expert support. Users of NetBox Cloud can collaborate in real time with team members and take advantage of automated network  visualization and reporting capabilities to keep an accurate inventory of network assets. NetBox Cloud is an excellent tool for businesses looking to improve network visibility and streamline network management processes.


  • Device inventory management
  • IP address management (IPAM)
  • Virtualization support
  • RESTful API for integration with other tools
  • User authentication and access control
  • Version control for device configurations that can track changes over time


  • Effective network documentation and management
  • Improved network visibility and troubleshooting
  • Automated IP address allocation and tracking
  • Customizable data models and fields for specific network requirements
  • API-based integration with other tools


  • Customizing NetBox beyond the standard configuration can be difficult, requiring knowledge of Python and Django, NetBox’s web framework.
  • Requires significant resources, especially for larger networks with many devices and circuits.
  • Limited monitoring and alerting support.
  • No built-in network visualization tools.
  • Limited support for vendor-specific devices.


Although NetBox is free and open source, it requires hosting and maintenance resources, which may incur hardware, infrastructure, and personnel costs. Teams looking to outsource the management of the tool should check out NetBox Cloud.


BatFish is an open-source platform that helps network engineers validate and analyze network configurations to ensure they’re secure and adhere to organizational policies. It’s a powerful network automation tool because it can perform a variety of tasks, such as syntax checking, configuration validation, and network modeling. It utilizes a combination of network modeling and formal verification techniques to provide network engineers with a thorough understanding of how their network operates as well as assist them in identifying and troubleshooting issues before they occur. 


  • Validates network device configurations against best practices, industry standards, and custom policies
  • Detects configuration errors such as invalid syntax, missing or incorrectly configured ACLs, and routing issues
  • Analyzes and validates security policies
  • Predicts the impact of network changes
  • Validates regulatory compliance
  • Models policy and network behavior
  • Automates network analysis and integrates with other tools in your workflow
  • Compatibility with other network management tools


  • Improved network security and compliance
  • Simulation of network behavior and policy before deployment
  • Open source and community driven
  • Integration with other network management tools for enhanced functionality


  • Setup and configuration require technical expertise
  • Limited support for real-time monitoring and alerting
  • Limited support for network visualization and mapping


Even though BatFish is free and open source, it requires hosting and maintenance resources, which may incur hardware, infrastructure, and personnel costs. Commercial support and training services are also available for a fee. 

Network Automation Tools Cables


Ansible is an open-source automation tool that automates the configuration and management of network devices, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers. 

Users can define and enforce consistent network configurations across multiple devices as well as automate repetitive network tasks and streamline network provisioning and deployment processes. Ansible is a declarative, user-friendly language for describing network configurations that can be integrated with existing network infrastructure and tooling.


  • Declarative language used to define the desired state
  • Agentless architecture that allows for simple deployment and scalability
  • Modular design that allows for easy expansion
  • Support for multiple operating systems and cloud platforms
  • Automation based on playbooks for repeatable tasks
  • Integration with configuration management and other tools for automation
  • RESTful API for integration and automation


  • Increased productivity and efficiency
  • Reduced possibility of human error and downtime
  • Improved system consistency and reliability
  • Simplified and streamlined IT operations
  • Better functionality through integration with other automation and configuration management tools
  • Increased scalability and flexibility via cloud integration


  • Technical expertise needed to set up and configure
  • Limited support for real-time monitoring and alerting
  • Limited support for network automation


Ansible is free and open source, but it requires hosting and maintenance resources, which may incur hardware, infrastructure, and personnel costs. Commercial support and training services are also available for a fee. 


Itential helps network engineers and operators automate the management of complex network environments. It makes it easier to configure and deploy network devices and applications, which can be time consuming and error prone when done manually. Itential enables users to create workflows, templates, and policies that can apply to multiple devices at the same time, making it easier to maintain network consistency and compliance. 


  • Works with a wide variety of network devices and vendors, including Cisco, Juniper, Arista, and many others
  • Allows customized workflows that automate routine tasks and processes like device configuration and provisioning
  • Allows users to define and enforce network security, compliance, and governance policies
  • Offers a centralized repository for network templates
  • Integrates with other systems and applications via APIs
  • Visualizes network topologies and traffic flows in real time
  • Offers tools and analytics that helps users quickly identify and troubleshoot network issues


  • Faster time to value
  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved reliability
  • Enhanced security and compliance
  • Better visibility and control
  • Greater agility and scalability


  • Can be difficult to set up and configure, especially in large or complex network environments
  • More expensive than open-source network automation tools
  • Vendor dependence for ongoing support, maintenance, and updates since it’s a proprietary product
  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited customization options for organizations with unique or specialized network needs


The cost of using Itential depends on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the network environment, the number of users and devices you’re managing, and the level of support and customization required. Before committing to a solution like Itential, organizations should carefully evaluate their network automation needs and budget.

IP Fabric

IP Fabric is a network automation tool that provides multi-vendor network environments with network visibility, analytics, and automation capabilities. It aims to help network engineers and operators quickly and easily gain insights into their network infrastructure, automate routine tasks and processes, and ensure compliance with industry best practices and regulations. 

IP Fabric includes features and capabilities such as network topology discovery and visualization, traffic analysis and optimization, configuration management, compliance management, and network automation and orchestration. You can integrate it with a wide range of network devices and systems, making it a flexible and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes. 


  • Support for multiple vendors
  • Automation and orchestration of networks
  • Network monitoring and alerting in real time
  • Troubleshooting and root cause identification
  • Network documentation
  • Traffic analysis and optimization
  • Automation powered by APIs
  • Security and network segmentation
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) 
  • Support for multi-tenancy and service providers


  • Comprehensive network visibility
  • Faster troubleshooting and root cause analysis
  • Improved network security and compliance
  • Streamlined network operations
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Increased efficiency and productivity


  • More expensive than open-source network automation tools
  • Significant technical expertise required for setup and configuration
  • Limited support for cloud-based networks
  • Steeper learning curve than other network automation tools
  • Limited third-party integrations


The cost of using IP Fabric depends on several factors, including network size, the number of devices you need to manage, and the level of support and services you require. IP Fabric has some pricing options, including perpetual and subscription licensing. 

IP Fabric provides a limited-time free trial as well as customized pricing for larger networks and more complex use cases.  


As networks continue to grow and become more complex, network automation has become increasingly important. Various tools are available that help network administrators and engineers streamline workflows and reduce manual labor. 

This post was written by Vincent Chosen. Vincent is a web developer and technical writer. He has proficient knowledge in JavaScript, ReactJS, NextJS, React Native, Node.js, and Database. Aside from coding, Vincent loves playing chess and discussing tech related topics with other developers.

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