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Documentation NetOps Transformation

Documentation Needs for the Modern Network Organization

In this blog we’ll explore what is driving the demands for documentation in today’s networks, and the high-level requirements

Driving Forces:

  1. Compliance: HIPPA, SOX, PCI, and virtually every other compliance you may encounter, all have various requirements for documenting the current state of a network as it applies to specific applications and transmission of sensitive data.
  2. CI/CD: Continuous Implementation, Continuous deployment teams have put a strain on the network operations teams in recent years. Application and service updates are no longer a yearly thing, they are becoming a weekly thing.
  3. Mergers and acquisitions: Like all great industries, there is a consolidation that happens as the market matures, leaving 3 main providers and everyone else. Regardless of the industry, there will always be mergers and acquisitions which include the dreaded application ratification process.
  4. Digital Transformation: Gone are the days of paper storage. Customers and companies prefer to deal with digital data, and this requires new services and a network to connect the providers to the consumers. One of the largest digital transformations is happening in healthcare, now a requirement for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in the US.

Network Documentation Needs:

For all of these drivers to be successful, network documentation needs to become the foundation. With the requirement for collaboration and adherence to policy to meet the needs of the driver, information about the network needs to be democratized so access to it, with proper controls, does not slow down the entire organization.

We at DIRE NetOps have two core requirements for the documentation systems that we implement.

  1. Automated Documentation:
    • Each team requires a different set of information depending on their role, and a different set of documentation for each task they are undertaking.
    • Network documentation needs to be built automatically, and better yet, on-demand, for the task at hand, with layers of information a click away to match the need instantly.
    • Gone are the days of an all-purpose Visio diagram meeting the needs of an IT Organization considering the complexity of today’s networks, and the required skill set and time to make them.
  2. Historical Comparison:
    • Another downfall of the static document is its inability to capture history. Sure, you can stare and compare at different versions of a diagram with 1000 devices on it, but you are going nowhere fast. Do you even have the latest document? Is it accurate? Too many questions and too much time wasted.
    • Network history should be stored in a data base and compared to any point in time, in real-time. Bonus points if a live retrieval can be compared to any previous point in time.

The results are more than impressive.

With automated documentation and historical comparison, companies enjoy the following:

  • Faster time to market for new services
  • Improved collaboration and self-service
  • Reduced change related unplanned outages
  • Less compliance drift and audit failures

DIRE NetOps can Help

If you find yourself struggling with your NetOps 2.0 Transformation, you are not alone. Let DIRE NetOps, our parent company and professional services organization, help you find the right tools to fill the gap, and transform your NetOps organization into a world class, well oiled machine.

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