In a previous blog we discussed Network Hygiene and Intent Based Verification. In this blog, we’ll discuss how this ties into network automation and NetOps 2.0.
The punch line up front is that a NetOps Transformation to 2.0, is founded in applying automation to ensure your network intent is being maintained through automation.
This means that every network change is verified against your intents, ensuring the highest network availability and reduction of human error induced outages.
NetOps 2.0 goes further than this. It is a fundamental shift in how the organization operates.
Due the the increased network complexity and scale, it is impossible to run an efficient network operations with traditional, manual methods. We discussed the skills gap in IT in another blog, which highlights how many different ways of interacting with and interpreting network data to gain actionable insight.
I’ve worked with Networks with 100 FCAPS and ITSM tools, with 50 different technologies, and 7 different teams that rely on the network operations team to help them do their job.
A paradigm shift is needed in NetOps to meet the demands of these various teams, and it is impossible to find enough people will all the skills necessary to support today’s networks.
This is where network automation becomes the foundation for which NetOps 2.0 exists. The goal being to change the organizational structure to increase transparency and self-service. Instead of the pyramid structures which are top heavy on network knowledge and bottom heavy on resources, today’s world class network operations and built more like a stack of lego building blocks.
The first layer is the automation layer. This layer is responsible for extracting data from the network and performing analysis. This one step can save as much as 80% of an Engineer’s time on their tasks. It does a lot more than this though. It can level the playing field for network operators and related teams, by democratizing network insight, and removing the skills gap as it pertains to collecting and analyzing data across the plethora of data sources.
Armed with insight, network operators can now quickly solve a problem, or escalate it to the top layer of subject matter experts if the information they need is not available to them.
This top layer of subject matter experts, is not limited to Network Engineers. It contains application, architecture, and security SMEs. They work in concert to build network automation for operators to consumer. The automation doesn’t have to be limited to just data collection and analysis though, some automation platforms are automating workflows and, in essence, knowledge. Things like if this then that workflows can enable an operator to troubleshoot and be recommended the best remediation tactic.
The benefits of network automation and NetOps 2.0?
As you can probably see already, the result is a highly effective organization that is much more agile, capable of supporting today’s complex networks and the application teams. For example, instead of a CI/CD team creating an ITSM ticket and incurring days and weeks of delay, they can either self-service, or with the improved structure, using the same processes as today, gain access to a much larger team of operators capable of addressing their request in minutes.
We often hear the term NetOps transformation, NetOps 2.0, and Network automation from software vendors, but we rarely hear of their success because they fail to make the organizational changes.
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.