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Pica8 AmpCon: Your Open Network Automation Partner

Posted on Jan 24, 2024 by
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Imagine that you can deploy and configure thousands of remote access switches with just one click, without worrying about human errors or complex operational processes. In today's highly interconnected world, network automation has become a key enabler for enterprises to achieve operational efficiency and flexibility. Pica8 AmpCon, as an innovative open network automation tool, offers businesses a simplified, efficient, and scalable way to manage their network devices. This article offers the introduction of Pica8 AmpCon.

What Is Pica8 AmpCon?

AmpCon, short for "amplified control", is a network controller that automates Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP), deployment, configuration, and lifecycle management for PicOS software switches. It features a Web UI and is deployed as a software appliance, capable of running within a virtual machine (VM) in the data center or the cloud. AmpCon enables remote deployment and scalability for 1000s of PicOS software switches.

Pica8 AmpCon

What Are the Benefits of Pica8 Ampcon?

Pica8 AmpCon is a powerful network management solution that brings numerous benefits to organizations. Compared to the network automation software provided by traditional suppliers such as Cisco, using Pica8 AmpCon provides a better fit with the open networking trend. Organizations are not compelled to be tied to traditional access network vendors and incur high costs for network automation software.

Traditional vendors offer tools for automating switch deployment, but they come at a high cost, require skilled network programmers to operate, and may require you to upgrade to the latest switch models. Take Cisco's DNA Center as an example. To achieve automation, you first need to set up DNA Center itself, which can become complex. Additionally, software installation is required on both the server and switch sides. However, AmpCon actually offers a very comparable function to Cisco's DNA Center in a user-friendly way.

Automate End-to-end Network Lifecycle Management

AmpCon enables comprehensive management and continuous maintenance of network devices and components. With its end-to-end network lifecycle management, it automates resource allocation, maintenance, compliance checks, and upgrades, effectively preventing configuration errors and downtime. This functionality ensures efficient and stable network operation, providing a streamlined and comprehensive management solution.

  • Zero-Touch Provisioning: Automated deployment and configuration methods streamline network device setup without manual intervention. This simplifies deployment, saves time and manual labor, ensures consistency and security, and offers remote management capabilities.

  • Configuration Management: AmpCon can push updates, patches, and error fixes to a single or group of switches to save labor, prevent downtime, and maintain network security.

  • Backups and Compliance: AmpCon provides configuration retrieval, backup, and compliance check functionalities. It periodically captures switch configurations, including any changes made, ensuring the latest configuration is available for quick re-installation in the event of a switch failure. Additionally, AmpCon ensures switches remain compliant with industry regulations that mandate specific configurations to uphold optimal security and privacy standards.

  • License Management: AmpCon can generate an inventory report of all currently installed licenses for Pica8 switches in the network, and update licenses that are approaching expiration with support.

Enhance IT Efficiency and Expedite Service Delivery

Pica8 AmpCon automates the tedious tasks associated with common network operations, such as configuration backup, configuration updates, RMA replacements, scheduled software upgrades, custom (user-defined) workflows, and switch visibility (port stats, health check). This enhances IT productivity and accelerates service delivery.

Optimal Automation Efficiency through Agentless Ansible Playbooks

AmpCon provides common features for daily network operations and supports custom workflows using Ansible playbooks for scheduled tasks and easy-to-read reports. It can utilize Ansible for remote automation configuration and management of switch devices, enabling most basic configuration management operations through built-in network modules.

Ansible Playbooks

Highlights of Pica8 AmpCon

  • Web-based user interface – simple to learn and use

  • Automated turn-on and configuration of all PICOS-powered switches

  • Scheduled backups and upgrades

  • Infinite expandability with open APIs

  • Reduces operating expenses (OpEx)

  • Eliminates human error in large-scale deployments and upgrades

Applications of Pica8 AmpCon

AmpCon allows administrators to deploy hundreds or thousands of open network switches running PicOS with a simple and user-friendly GUI. Administrators can define global configurations as well as variations specific to sites or regions, and associate them with individual switches. Once the switches are installed and powered up at remote sites, an auto-connection script automatically downloads the designated configurations to the switches and performs validation and software updates. This simplifies the process of large-scale switch deployment, improving deployment efficiency and consistency.

Applications of Pica8 AmpCon

Summary

Pica8 AmpCon is an innovative open network automation tool that empowers organizations to upgrade their networks with ease. With its smooth operations and simplified management, AmpCon offers a seamless experience for network administrators.

FS, a global provider of ICT network products and solutions, now provides open network switches that can use AmpCon for free. For more information, please check FS.COM.

 

Related Article:

FS Switches Now Support PicOS® for Unified Networking Experience

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