You've heard of DevOps and SecOps, but NetOps?
NetOps is a natural progression of legacy Network Operations to foster more efficient and resilient infrastructures through automation and intelligence. NetOps provides enhanced operational awareness and a dramatic reduction in Mean Time To Restore (MTTR) during outages.
When the network is down or degraded, that's when the stress begins for Network Operations teams. NetOps provides the means to detect and remediate network issues as they happen, in real time.
The efficacy of NetOps personnel is reliant upon understanding five key elements of a NetOps Platform and how to best utilize and implement each:
1. Service Assurance
Until recently, it was not possible to keep up with the massive amount of data generated from so many disparate sources of information. This led to Network Management Architectures which contained multiple silos of information making it almost impossible to correlate and enrich data because teams could only see part of the picture and sometimes had no visibility at all into service affecting issues. Bringing your entire infrastructure's telemetry under management in one place provides the ability to quickly identify actionable events.
2. Service Automation
Many of today's network teams are still manually remediating issues because they either 1) don't have the mechanisms to automate it, or 2) they don't realize that it can be automated.
When given the ability to have real-time remediation, the scenarios can be potentially endless, therefore, any problem that can workflow a solution should be automated. This automation allows NetOps to construct a trigger that can automatically execute and resolve problems in real-time before anyone knows there was an issue and removes the need for repetitive tasks which eliminates human error.
3. Event Enrichment
When making informed decisions about what to do during the automation process, event enrichment is used to add a layer of intelligence to information about affected devices. When an event comes into a NetOps system, having the ability to modify the payload, add tags, go to other sources of information and look up details such as device location, SLAs, Change Control policies, contact information or anything else that can be used to further group and identify the affected entity greatly reduces the time needed to investigate and correlate service impacting events.
4. Extensibility and Scale
Being able to scale the platform provides the ability to deal with bursts of event streams when anomalistic behavior occurs. Extensibility allows for extraction and tracking of arbitrary data from incoming events (device types, users, locations, failed login names, IP sources/destination ports, GeoIP tracking, etc.) and provides greater visibility for operational awareness.
5. Agnostic Functions
NetOps are capable of ingesting data from any vendor hardware or software messaging platform which can be used to reap the benefits of automatically identifying actionable events, real-time automatic remediation, and assured availability. Agnostic functionality allows for different areas of the organization to utilize a platform without concern for operational effectiveness. Being able to provide operations insight, coupled with automatic remediation and event enrichment frees up engineering staff to do their job instead of repairing known, repeatable, processes.
If you can link automation of the network to all the interdependent steps of application and service delivery, you have the potential for radical change regarding how IT and networks operate and how users will experience services.
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