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NetOps Transformation

Network Hygiene and Intent Based Verification

In this blog I’ll discuss how having proper network hygiene is the most important thing you can do to improve your overall NetOps organization’s KPIs, outcomes, and key results. 

Like many people, for a few years after graduation, I had the pleasure of living with roommates. We were good friends, worked well together, and vowed to ensure we all had access to the apartment’s shared resources (dishes, stove, fridge, laundry). We were all on different shifts and had different needs, so it didn’t take long before things were spiraling out of control. 

Now, you may be asking, what is network hygiene? For the purpose of this blog, network hygiene is defined as “conditions or practices conducive to maintaining a healthy network and preventing outages”. Things like:

  • Documenting every change
  • Pre and post change verification
  • Regular configuration and compliance audits
  • Intent Based Verification

Without proper network hygiene, the result is similar to what I experienced with my roommates. Instead of 3 roommates though, we have multiple teams (NOC, SOC, APM, CI/CD, etc), which in some cases include 100s of engineers, each with a different skill set, tools, and ownership of a different portion of the intent for the single shared resource, the network. 

Soon, we begin to see:

  • Lack of network visibility and out of date documentation
  • Firewalls and ACLs bypassed exposing the network to cyber attacks
  • New devices added to the network not being monitored or logging correctly
  • Money wasted on support contracts for decommissioned devices
  • Network outages due to change and human error
  • Single points of failure where redundancy was believed to exist
  • Network configuration and compliance drifts
  • Slow delivery of new services and applications
  • Finger pointing, “throwing over the fence”, and general lack of ownership and accountability.
  • The list goes on…

No matter how hard we try, there are always events that happen (seemingly on a daily basis) and before long, network hygiene is all but abandoned, the network state is unknown, and teams begrudge collaborating with each other.

This is where DIRE NetOps can help. We will help you select the right Intent Based Network Verification product that has multivendor checks that work right out of the box. You won’t need a CCIE certification to extract value though, because the tools we choose, abstract the data collection and analysis from the user and normalize the results, ensuring every member in the entire IT organization is up-leveled and can self-service. 

While other tools help you deal with the symptoms, Intent Based Network Verification has proven that solving the root cause of poor network hygiene is the first, and most important step to transforming your network operations organization.

The result? 

With proper network hygiene, you see a reduction in top of funnel incidents, escalation rates, MTTR, and improved customer satisfaction (NPS).  You’ll also enjoy on-demand documentation, automated configuration and compliance audits, and a mechanism for pre and post change verification, in addition to improved cross-functional collaboration. 

The best thing about a proper installation and adoption of these tools is the return on investment (ROI) is measured in months, not years. 

Once you’ve taken back control of your network with built-in checks, we can help you customize and develop new verification checks for the network intents unique to your company, further reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency.

DIRE NetOps can help.

Schedule a call with DIRE NetOps today to start your accelerated journey towards intent based network checks and learn how we enable network engineers of all levels, in their daily tasks through automation assistance. 

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