Zero-touch deployment

Unpack, plug in, connect, and the cloud takes care of the rest. What sounds like a dream to any network technician or IT admin can actually be a reality when commissioning and rolling out devices on the network. The solution: “Zero-touch deployment“.

Zero touch – manual on-site configuration was yesterday

Admittedly, the concept is not new: For IT admins and network technicians, mass roll-outs of multiple identical systems, such as for workstations in a company network or access points with the WLAN controller, are not rocket science. However, things get complicated when it comes to roll-outs for numerous locations, swapping out a device in a productive environment, or when expanding an existing wide area network. You need to have a technician on site. For example, the individual configuration of routers, firewalls and access points is associated with enormous costs and time expenditure. Now imagine a network with numerous locations within a radius of 500 km. The huge logistical effort that would be required can actually be avoided.

In a modern network, zero-touch is an important standard in the context of cloud-managed networks and devices. The advantages are easily explained: The devices can be rolled out centrally and configured all in one go. What’s more, many IoT devices are coming to market with limited configuration options, i.e. the configuration logic has to be transferred to a cloud system and rolled out from there.

SD-WAN and zero-touch go hand-in-hand

An SD-WAN significantly simplifies the roll-out process thanks to “zero-touch deployment”. As one example shows: An additional branch has to be connected to the company network. The head office ships the necessary VPN router, switches and access points to the branch. Any employee on site then unpacks the devices and connects them up according to instructions. Only then does the IT admin at the head office take over.

How do devices find the cloud?

The devices have to be compatible with a central management solution. As a rule, the device manufacturer pre-configures the necessary cloud parameters in the device ex-factory. At LANCOM, our devices are always delivered with a PIN that the user or admin can use to securely import the device into the cloud project. With LANCOM SD-WAN solutions, devices with an Ethernet interface can automatically access the LANCOM Management Cloud for auto-configuration over an Internet connection. Devices with integrated DSL modems, on the other hand, can automatically establish the WAN-IP connection on BNG connections—without the complex configuration of DSL access data on the router (*as of LCOS 10.40 RC1).  Complex networking scenarios are easy to handle, because a single scalable solution is all you need to master large networks with any number of devices.

The advantages such as cost and time savings are obvious, and IT admins also benefit from a significant reduction in workload. Once the devices are online, centralized management is easy to access.

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