Network Automation’s Dependency on DevOps

Network Automation’s Dependency on DevOps

For quite a long time, IT departments have struggled with application integration processes within the organization. Whenever a new project is built, a number of complexities stand in the way of a successful launch. Database connectivity, middleware issues, and architecture problems are historical sources of frustration.


Fortunately, there is hope. Transitioning to a DevOps IT model can help solve some of these woes and ultimately transform the company into an application delivery machine.


The Trouble with Integrations

Part of the complication regarding application integrations is that no two are alike. Every deploy will have variable factors to consider, its own set of required components, and a unique method of implementation. Each system will have a different database architecture and API. Each may need a different assortment of settings to connect to the network. To achieve stable and repeatable integrations automation and orchestration of this process must include every individual task for configuration, workflows, and associated system functions for everything from new products to cranky legacy programs. It’s easy to see that a project of this enormity would certainly take effort and time. A well planned and executed automation orchestration DevOps model will allow integrations to be more easily realized and provide a scalable foundation for current and future initiatives.


The Payoff

While automation work can definitely be substantial, imagine taking a common, repetitive task from two to three hours down to mere minutes to execute. Multiply that by the hundreds of times that single task is required per week or month, and the organization could save tens of thousands of labor hours. The same size staff that was previously stretched thin is now able to resolve more tickets and prevent burnout on menial repetitive tasks. The team will eventually get to the point of true DevOps where the department is a service delivery entity supporting the business. Other departments place orders, IT fills them, and applications make it to market in a fraction of the time it used to take.


Application Considerations

While the integration staff is automating tasks and churning out orders, it’s important not to lose focus on application development standards. High quality code must be written and thoroughly tested using automated and manual testing suites, processing both unit code and the comprehensive software product. Software engineers must follow style guides, log and source control requirements. App dev becomes just another service delivery category, performed using the DevOps method. The dev machine is iterative and repeatable, just as the network processes should be. Ensuring that the network is incorporated into this process will eliminate one of the last remaining constraints within having a true DevOps environment.


In a DevOps organization, networks are nothing more than code and components that can be manipulated as needed. Typically networking is not considered as an area within DevOps resulting in the network being the last remaining constraint point to faster and more effective deployments. Investing the time and effort to automate these tasks quickly pays dividends in meaningful ways including faster time to market, greater customer satisfaction, profitability, and job satisfaction of engineers. To discuss this important change in company culture and strategy, contact Coda Global today.

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