Why your company should implement NetDevOps

In a modern company, the network is something that affects all aspects of a business. It’s quite often a sore point for those members who don’t understand it and is the easy scapegoat when something isn’t working as intended. As a business you want your network to function at it’s optimal with the least amount of downtime, as an engineer you want to design and maintain the network to meet that business requirement. It’s not always easy to meet both these expectations. With the rise of NetDevOps and applying CI/CD ( continuous input / continuous delivery ) practices the gap between them is closing and we’d like to explain how.

Outages, they happen, and they are unavoidable, A blog post on Solarwinds site indicates the 3rd most likely reason for an outage is human error

Outages, they happen, and they are unavoidable, A blog post on Solarwinds site indicates the 3rd most likely reason for an outage is human error. they can be minimized and the number of outages decreased through proper NetDevOps practices. Implementing a CI/CD pipeline is a software development methodology that was created to increase the agility and accuracy of the software life cycle. In recent years those practices have been applied to networking in the form of “network DevOps” while some people think this is a fashionable sales term, let’s dissect the meat of it. The practice of CI/CD is simple small changes consistently created, tested, reviewed, and implemented following a framework.

In NetDevOps when an engineer wants to make a change to the network he will edit the network source of truth ( imagine this as a configuration database for all network gear). The change is then implemented into the development environment and the engineer reviews how this affects the network and if the desired state and results are seen. If the engineer is happy they will then push this change to QA ( quality assurance ) where other members of the network team will review the change and the results from the test. If the other engineers are satisfied they approve this change and it is implemented through network automation to the production network monitoring the status before and after.

Following this methodology and using strategic planning we are making changes in a deliberate and informed way, we don’t log in to the core router and make a change hoping for the best, we test this on a development core router before we implement it. This helps avoid the law of unintended consequences. Avoiding outages is critical, which means making changes should be deliberate and we should know the outcome of the change before we make it. There is a difference between suspecting the outcome and knowing the outcome. If you know that running a specific command in the past yielded a specific result that doesn’t mean that in the current state of the network with its vast complexities will result in the same outcome.

At NetSyncrio we believe that devops is the core to successfully automating the network. We use these practices as the guiding principal for all the custom tailored solutions we create for our clients. If you think a solution like this would benefit you contact us for a free network automation consulting session!

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