Network operations traditionally has been the missing piece in DevOps processes. It’s not difficult to see why. Network management has lagged behind server and workload automation. Updating network policies and configurations typically requires a great deal of analysis, testing and time, undermining the goal of DevOps agility. But once we shift how network devices are administered and how changes are validated, there are emerging ways to incorporate network updates and policies into DevNetOps processes through automation.
Shift the Focus to Policies, Not Configurations
DevOps has taken off, thanks in part to the ability of virtual networking and software defined networks (SDN) to automate the placement of workloads, establish connectivity and deliver Layer 4 to 7 services in a few minutes. But virtually all network policy updates, particularly those addressed in the underlay, were constrained by having to reconfigure individual network devices through traditional management platforms or command line interfaces (CLI). New application deployments may require new network paths, access to cloud resources, punching holes in firewalls, etc. There was no way to automate these policy-related tasks through existing network management platforms, and DevOps processes were limited to simple changes that could be made in the overlay network. [READ ARTICLE on DEVOPS.COM]