NetDevOps is an emerging methodology that combines the processes of NetOps and DevOps, that is: to integrate network automation into the development process. The goal of NetDevOps is to integrate virtualization, automation, and APIs into a network infrastructure, and to achieve seamless collaboration between the development and operations teams.
To better understand NetDevOps, we first need to know what DevOps and NetOps are.
DevOps is a business drive which focuses on improving communication and collaboration between development teams and operations teams by automating workflows and network infrastructure, as well as continuously monitoring the performance of each. It aims to deliver a smooth, flawless transferring process between teams as a way of increasing the speed and quality of software deployment. This methodology aims to make the entire network infrastructure programmable to improve its flexibility and visibility.
NetOps prioritizes faster and rapid product deployments by incorporating techniques such as automation, virtualization, and REST API integration. The goal is to automate every process from testing to deployment to achieve consistent network stability and product delivery with the aid of an automated network.
Normally the software deployment process will take place over days, even months in some cases. The production time line will be usually as follows:
In some cases, the code might have errors even after being deployed, because the developer would have written the code with the development environment in mind, and not the production environment. This will not only affect the developer, but also the Operations team, as delayed code means delayed deployment. The concepts of NetDevOps will help navigate your organization through roadblocks such as this.
Rather than writing a large set of code and waiting for the testing to finish before deploying, NetDevOp teams would instead write the code in small pieces and integrate them into the testing and deployment in a very short amount of time. What used to take weeks to deploy can now be released in days. The already deployed pieces of code can also be monitored and improved over time.
Usually teams build their software, then configure and improve the network configurations manually. The NetDevOps methodology suggests implementing configuration management code or configuration management software, which the NetDevOp team can use to build large-scale automated environments with consistent product delivery.
NetDevOps is built on the practices from both NetOps and DevOps. Many organizations' current network infrastructures are managed manually, which is error-prone and time-consuming. Incorporating NetDevOps practices into your business environment ensures that the changes done in a network architecture are small and frequent, but also performed in much more automated, efficient, and reliable way. This reduces the panic and paranoia that comes with large-scale network modification, and also eases the performance of the network.
The end goal continues to be the faster delivery of applications and services. But in order to meet that goal, networking infrastructure changes must be employed quicker so they don't bottleneck and bog down the delivery cycle. This can be done efficiently by adapting DevOps concepts such as CICD and IaC , which includes adopting automated resource provisioning and management.
IaC is a DevOps practice in which the surrounding IT infrastructure has been virtualized or codified, and managed as if it were software. The goal of this concept is to eradicate tedious processes like manually configuring hardware devices and operating systems, in favor of managing, monitoring, and provisioning resources automatically. A code-based infrastructure makes managing the resources faster and easier than manual processes. IaC strives to build a network virtually, from scratch with minimal hardware usage.
This is a set of practices in which the developers will integrate small changes to the central code and add them to the version control repository. The code will be tested frequently, and if the testing is successful, it will be ready for deployment.
This extends the scope of Continuous Integration. The main goal of CD is to build, test, and release software with efficiency and speed. After CI is done, the code is automatically deployed to production, development, and testing environments. CD takes place right after being deployed with CI. If the deployment is a success, the code is pushed to Production.
This continuous process of building, testing, and delivering products is why we call it Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.
For many organizations, NetDevOps is still new ground, as automating and improving the efficiency the network operations can be a difficult and tedious. The major challenges faced in implementing NetDevOps are:
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Predicting bottlenecks is a major concern in NetDevOps, because an unpredicted issue will ruin the whole development chain.
Monitoring the performance of the network and analyzing the network traffic will give insights into your network. This piece of information can save your network from hold-ups, and keep your development cycle going without hindrance. Click here to learn more.
The configuration of network devices should be changed and updated frequently to improve the network health. But sometimes the configuration changes might be so frequent that updating the changes can be tedious. With OpManager Plus' Network Configuration manager, you can easily automate the configuration of network devices and track the changes done to them. Click here to learn more.
Hardware failures, erratic network patterns, and software crashes are inevitable in a network infrastructure. Although these incidents are damaging to the performance of the entire business, they can turn truly disastrous only if there was no warning beforehand. OpManager Plus' IT Operations monitoring will give you a heads-up in case anything goes wrong. With features like adaptive thresholds and forecasting reports, OpManager Plus is a must-have monitoring tool to achieve true NetDevOps. Click here to learn more.
Rogue devices in your network can be detrimental to the entire organization. Keeping an eye out for the IP addresses and bandwidth usage of the devices in your network is required to avoid letting in rogue devices. Be on the watch for rogue devices in your network, and get alerted when a new device is detected on your network. If the device turns out to be unauthorized, they can be marked as a rogue device. Click here to learn more.