Networking’s role in DevOps is not accurately defined.
Up to this point, networking has been integrated into DevOps through infrastructure as code (IaC), which has been around since the beginning of the DevOps movement. Although important, this does not quite encompass all of what networking needs within DevOps.
A few of the current terms being used for networking in DevOps are:
- Infrastructure as code (IaC)
- DevOps networking
We have not agreed upon a universal, concrete philosophy to determine how to effectively bring networking into the DevOps conversation.
This is why we need NetDevOps.
NetDevOps is a construct of principles that aligns the networking team more closing with DevOps in your organization. It takes what traditionally are manual procedures in network infrastructure and applies the principles of automation and scalability.
Why do you need yet another term or concept? This isn’t a new term; it just needs to be widely adopted.
Therefore, here are five reasons you need NetDevOps.
Networking + DevOps = NetDevOps
DevOps needs networking and networking needs DevOps. The two may not admit this, but the open communication is essential. Networking’s biggest concern is network uptime, while DevOps’ ultimate goal is continuous delivery. The result is DevOps having a high interest in network availability to ensure updates can be delivered.
Adopting a NetDevOps approach promotes networking to apply the same principles as DevOps. The goal of replicating and automating tasks—not automating for the sake of automation, but to take the processes that work effectively on one server and apply them to multiple servers.
Remote Deployment for Cloud Adoption
As cloud adoption increases, the need to deploy updates and changes remotely is essential. Cloud computing provides the necessary environment to implement the NetDevOps approach, which installing a hardware infrastructure allows for code deployment.
In a cloud environment, such as AWS, infrastructure needed to implement this approach is available already. For example, AWS CloudFormation provides the necessary infrastructure for IaC.
Infrastructure as Code
IaC has been fundamental to the DevOps movement, and this is the foundation for NetDevOps: The ability to take network hardware and apply a set of code to the environment. The code allows you to automate an environment, which typically has needed to be updated manually.
Automation is one of the core principles DevOps and NetDevOps share. Automation results in predictable network uptime, which provides an environment to better assist DevOps in achieving continuous delivery.
Software-defined networks (SDN) are a subset of the IaC discussion. It is the enterprise network version of cloud architecture. NetDevOps works in this environment through the use of white-box switches.
Implementing white-box switches and installing Linux will create an SDN environment, which is conducive to NetDevOps. It is the necessary infrastructure for NetDevOps.
Current Stack is Providing the Tools
Once the above is implemented, a NetDevOps environment is ready to integrate with your current Ops stack. Ansible, Red Hat, Puppet and Chef already are providing the tools necessary to create a NetDevOps environment. Now you and your team need to implement it.
NetDevOps is taking the traditional manual nature of networking and applying a set of DevOps principles. It is an environment of automation that brings networking full circle with DevOps.