There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) out there about networking and devops (or some variation of Net + Dev + Ops + Sec, if you prefer). Virtualizing appliances, adding APIs and automating manual networking tasks are good – but alone do not mean you have DevOpsified all the network things. In fact, it is often the non-technical stuff (people/process) that makes networking in a DevOps world hard…Here are a couple thoughts, taken from published research on the topic…
Getting beyond the SILO:
- Networking teams have traditionally maintained limited involvement in DevOps initiatives, which can limit the effectiveness of DevOps projects.
- Not all DevOps teams will require networking expertise, and not all DevOps initiatives that do require networking personnel will need it for the full duration of the project — DevOps teams will not be able to scale if they need one of everybody on every team.In some cases, a network person may be needed for some period of time and then roll off.
- We recommend that both DevOps and I&O leaders foster career progression whereby networking personnel benefit financially and technologically by broadening their skills base — which is in addition to the traditional progression path of just getting deeper in networking. Career progressions along these lines include SRE and automation architect.
Building Data Center Networks
- Build data center networks that are more DevOps-friendly by using smaller “pods” and mandating automation and programmability. (note: blog forthcoming on pod-based designs)
Integrating Networking into the DevOps Toolchain
- Treat networking configuration changes and operational tasks that are required to support a DevOps project as code. In this sense, network configurations and operational tasks can be treated like any other software component. This means organizations must store configurations in a version control repository, implement them via the IT organization’s software development life cycle and apply automated checks to validate the change and overall operating environment… Doing so will require a nuanced but important shift regarding how network teams treat network changes: Treat network changes as products, not projects.
- Rigid networking change control and DevOps do not mix well. Change control policies must be adjusted to allow for network changes to occur more frequently when they are part of a DevOps initiative.
Full Research Here: Best Networking Practices in a DevOps World
In theory, DevOps accounts for all aspects of infrastructure, but in practice, networking has remained largely disconnected from DevOps initiatives. This research identifies how I&O DevOps leaders can better integrate enterprise networking into DevOps initiatives.
Regards and Happy Halloweeneve,
The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.