Why the Success of SDN Requires a DevOps Mindset

Why the Success of SDN Requires a DevOps Mindset
SDN’s Full Potential Realized with a DevOps Mindset
The recent transition to a DevOps or service-oriented method for IT is increasingly showing its benefits, even at the highest levels of architecture such as the data center itself. This approach is steadily pushing companies toward higher levels of performance and productivity. First, by allowing for a hybridization of traditional IT Silos, better collaboration and success have become side-effects. Second, as automation and virtualization of the IT landscape continues, it is moving us toward the transformation of the last bastion of ‘physical’; the enterprise network. Software-defined Networking (SDN), to the benefit of all, is about to break the last set of ‘unbreakable’ rules for data center management.
SDN is critical to a successful DevOps strategy
Multiple areas within IT have been virtualized for enough time now that its success can be taken seriously. The time has now come to truly consider and leverage the virtual advancements on the network itself. More closely aligning the benefits of SDN within DevOps will allow organizations to focus on the business gains that DevOps provides while also simplifying management and strengthening network capability. In taking these steps however, the organization must view networking as part of the overall DevOps solution and begin to form a tight collaboration between IT and business departments.
Standardization for Accelerated Success
The DevOps mindset combined with the use of automated and agile software development is an effective approach for handling the complexity of today’s IT environments. Many organizations have realized this with Infrastructure as Code “IaC” but have not yet considered the same benefits apply with SDN capabilities. Creating a top level view of the entire network as well as standardized management control planes will help maintain consistency and cohesion across the network, ensuring optimal performance and faster time to market overall. Using DevOps standardization templates and scripts with an agile approach helps accommodate necessary changes more effectively as they arise while realization of the business needs are also being met.
Emerging Capability
To aid in the transition, SDN focused companies are producing systems and software to facilitate the transition and integrate DevOps more fully within the various network layers. These tools allow DevOps methodologies to integrate with the network and further standardize how complex assets and applications are connected.  This new ease of management responsibilities helps the business to more quickly reach and meet their goals. New open source and licensable applications are now available for these purposes and their number is increasing by the day. At the same time, the training tools and documentation for this new SDN methodology, as well as on the individual point solutions themselves, has become much more available and comprehensive. With such powerful tools at the ready, implementing and integrating SDN with current initiatives becomes far less intimidating and complex.
The shift to DevOps methods eliminates the gap between business departments and the IT/Development teams. The enhanced integration between teams helps businesses achieve strategic goals and deploy solutions more quickly. Implementing SDN further strengthens the organization from within, improving network functions and bolstering performance. For more information on this type of organizational shift, contact Coda Global today.

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