What is Network DevOps?
Also referred to as NetDevOps & DevNetOps, Network DevOps is the movement towards using DevOps culture and principles when operating network infrastructure.
Utilising version control and automation, with tools like Ansible, Python, Git, Github, Terraform and Jenkins. Network engineers need to think more like programmers and treat their network like code. Infrastructure as Code is the way to manage your network in 2023 and beyond.
With so many networks operating in the cloud now, without getting on board with DevOps principles managing the complex network infrastructures in use today is going to become more difficult.
The big question is What is Network Devops?
What is Network DevOps?
NetDevOps and Network DevOps are basically the same thing but with so much terminology around it’s hard to know which one to use. Cisco seem to favour the term NetDevOps but Netwwork DevOps is the same thing!
So what is Network Devops and what does a Network Devops Engineer do?
What is a NetDevOps Network Engineer?
A new role has been created, a role which did not exist a few years ago. A network engineer who understands automation and DevOps tools is the network engineer of today, a NetDevOps engineer.
Not only do network engineers need to know how to configure and design networks, they also need to understand how to provision and operate those networks using DevOps tools.
DevOps for Network Engineers
NetDevops engineers need to know about Ansible, Python, API’s Git, GitHub, GitLab, Terraform and CI/CD pipelines.
The list is endless of tools and technologies but a good understanding of the above will stand you in good stead for the future.
Whilst good developers do not traditionally have knowledge of networks and network engineers did not have knowledge of software, the two skillsets are merging now.
So what does a day in the life of a NetDevOps engineer look like? What is NetDevOps all about?
What are the benefits of NetDevOps?
NetDevOps, or Network Development Operations, is a framework for network automation and management inspired by the principles of DevOps. DevOps has been instrumental in transforming the software development lifecycle by bringing development and operations teams closer together to facilitate faster and more reliable software delivery. NetDevOps applies the same principles to network management, resulting in numerous benefits:
- Faster Deployment and Scalability: Using automated tools and standardized procedures, networks can be deployed, scaled, and managed more quickly and efficiently.
- Improved Collaboration and Efficiency: Just as DevOps improves collaboration between software developers and operations teams, NetDevOps promotes better collaboration between network engineers and IT operations, resulting in improved efficiency and communication.
- Increased Network Reliability: Automated testing and deployment in NetDevOps can reduce errors and downtime. Problems can be detected and corrected more quickly.
- Continuous Improvement: The use of modern software development practices such as CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) in the network domain allows for incremental, rapid improvements to the network.
- Improved Security: Automated deployment processes can ensure that security policies are applied consistently across the network. In addition, security can be integrated into the network management process, rather than being an afterthought.
- Reduction in Manual Processes: With automation as a key aspect of NetDevOps, time-consuming and error-prone manual configuration tasks can be significantly reduced, freeing up time for more strategic work.
- Greater Flexibility: With NetDevOps, it’s easier to manage and adjust network settings to meet changing needs. This is particularly useful in cloud-based environments, where demand can fluctuate.
In summary, NetDevOps enhances the network lifecycle management by bringing together the best of networking and DevOps. It enables teams to manage networks in a more efficient, reliable, and agile manner.
Network DevOps Tools
This list is not exhaustive, but these are the main DevOps tools you need to know about for networking.
- GitHub / GitLab
In the realm of Network DevOps, Continuous Integration (CI) plays a pivotal role in automating the process of integrating changes from different contributors. Leveraging cloud-based platforms, CI tools such as Jenkins and Travis CI allow network configurations and codes to be tested in real-time, ensuring data consistency and integrity across the network.
At the heart of this automation are APIs, which serve as the connective tissue between different software tools. APIs enable interaction between cloud platforms, CI tools, and the network infrastructure, making automation possible at scale.
For network developers, CLI (Command Line Interface) remains a powerful means to interact with network devices. However, IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) like Visual Studio Code or PyCharm offer an even more comprehensive toolset for writing, testing, and debugging network automation scripts.
DevOps is about more than just tooling. It’s about a cultural shift towards more collaboration and shared responsibility for maintaining the network. The automation potential of DevOps is fulfilled by using a range of tools, often cloud-based, that facilitate efficient coding, testing, and deployment.
Git plays a key role in this process. As a version control system, Git allows teams to collaboratively develop network automation scripts, track changes, and revert to previous versions if necessary. It is the backbone of many CI/CD pipelines and an essential tool in the NetDevOps toolbox.
In essence, NetDevOps brings together the power of DevOps principles, cloud technology, automation, APIs, CLI, IDEs, and tools like Git to create a flexible, scalable, and reliable network infrastructure.
What is NetDevOps used for?
Infrastructure as Code
Git, GitHub for Version Control
API for network automation
Now you have the answer to What is NetDevOps most network engineers will want to get certified as a way to validate their knowledge and as a good way to learn. There are very few specific NetDevOps related certifications programs for Network DevOps / NetDevOps but really the leader in this in 2023 is Cisco with their Devnet programme.
Cisco Certified Devnet Associate
Cisco Certified Devnet Professional
Cisco Certified Devnet Expert
Other DevOps Certifications
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
Gitlab Certified DevOps Professional
Network DevOps Best Practices
- Version Control (typically Git)
- Automated Testing
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Delivery / Deployment
What is NetDevOps is a big question but in essence NetDevOps is an approach to network engineering that combines network operations with software development practices. This approach offers a variety of benefits for organizations looking to modernize their network infrastructure and streamline their workflows.
One major benefit of NetDevOps is the ability to deploy network services faster. By automating the configuration and deployment of network resources, organizations can reduce the time it takes to deploy new services or update existing ones, resulting in faster time to market.
NetDevOps also provides greater network agility, enabling network engineers to rapidly respond to changing business requirements by automating the configuration and deployment of network resources. This increased agility can help organizations stay competitive and adapt to new market trends.
In addition, NetDevOps can improve network reliability by automating network configuration and testing. This reduces errors and outages, leading to increased uptime and better service for users.
NetDevOps can also enhance network security by enabling network engineers to implement security policies more consistently and quickly. This reduces the risk of security breaches and helps ensure compliance with industry standards.
Another benefit is greater scalability. By making it easier to scale network resources up or down as needed, organizations can better meet changing demand and ensure their network infrastructure can handle growth.
Network DevOps can also improve collaboration between network engineers, developers, and other stakeholders. This leads to more efficient and effective workflows, reducing time to deployment and increasing overall productivity.
By automating routine tasks, NetDevOps Engineers can free up time to focus on more complex issues, improving overall network management. NetDevOps tools can also provide greater visibility into network performance, helping network engineers diagnose and troubleshoot issues more quickly.
Network DevOps can reduce costs associated with manual configuration, testing, and deployment of network resources, as well as reduce the risk of downtime and other costly issues. Finally, by leveraging DevOps practices, organizations can gain a competitive advantage by deploying network services more quickly and reliably, improving overall network performance, and responding more rapidly to changing business requirements.
I am due to release a NetDevOps course in early spring, estimated release date is end of April 2023
email [email protected] for more information
What is NetDevOps?
Network DevOps or NetDevOps refers to the application of DevOps practices to network engineering and network operations. DevOps is a set of practices that aims to unify software development and operations, with the goal of delivering software more quickly and reliably.
NetDevOps extends these practices to the network infrastructure.
Network DevOps involves using automation, continuous integration and delivery, and other DevOps principles to manage network infrastructure. This approach can help network teams to manage and operate their networks more efficiently, reduce manual errors, and respond more quickly to changes in the network environment.
What is Network DevOps?
Network DevOps requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to adopt new tools and practices. It involves breaking down silos between network engineering and operations teams, and working together to manage network infrastructure as code. This can enable organizations to improve their network agility and reliability, while also reducing costs and improving security.
NetDevOps is a way to build network automation into the application development process, so that an application can understand the infrastructure needs and be programmed to create networking resources on demand.
If you are a network engineer and like DevOps then the role of a NetDevOps engineer could be for you!