Speed is always the priority when looking at networking. The same could be said of most IT advancements, but networking is especially important. A bad network can make other new technologies feel stagnant. Slow networks can ruin workflows for almost anyone. Thus, the popular practice of combing words with operations has come to networking to bring us NetOps. The benefits of NetOps are vast and the perfect way to modernize your network workflows.
People are always talking about “agile” practices in today’s IT world. It birthed DevOps and all its variants. The way people thought about IT and development changed with agile. NetOps has been somewhat overlooked, but agile networking can be just as important as agile development. A slow network is bad for anyone.
Different from DevOps
As difficult as DevOps is to define, it’s clear that NetOps doesn’t follow exactly in its footsteps. DevOps starts as a culture change. You work to break down silos and collaborate more efficiently. This culture shift is the focus of DevOps and what most people point to when discussing its benefits.
DevOps starts with culture and moves to tools from there. With NetOps, tools are the driving force. This makes sense considering the erratic nature of networking. In development, everything is reliant on the developers, but with networking, everything is reliant on hardware and software. Almost anything in networking is reactionary, so the tools need to help with reaction speed and stability.
One similarity between the two practices is rate of change. As the world becomes increasingly digital, we’re seeing changes more than ever. How fast your business can change and adapt can be what separates you from the competition. NetOps links network change with applications so they won’t negatively impact each other.
What tools will help
Availability is the most accurate measure of network efficiency. Thus, keeping your network available should be a top priority. This isn’t possible with a simple culture change like DevOps. There are many tools that will help you with network management.
The best place to start is network monitoring. Network monitoring provides network teams with the insights they need during a network issue. Instead of looking for problems, you’re told exactly what the problem is and where it started. From here, you can figure out the cause and eliminate it as quickly as possible.
Network monitoring tools also give you the knowledge you need when making a network change. Rapid change is what drives NetOps, as you’ll constantly be improving. The connection between applications and the network is an important one. Knowing what strengths and weaknesses your network will make your apps better, and it will make your work more efficient.
Automation is driving the IT landscape today and will continue to do so for years to come. NetOps embraces automation of workloads by connecting applications with network systems. Automation is crucial to DevOps, so it’s time to automate on the network side of IT. It can be easy to fall behind developers when network teams don’t have the proper resources. By connecting applications with networks through automation, unexpected issues are less likely to arise.
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