Managing networks is challenging, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. Despite enhancements to network observability and manageability, enabled by the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), many network management tasks still require manual intervention by highly-trained personnel. And with post-COVID-19 “new normal” efforts split between supporting full-scale, on-premises environments and full-scale, remote access for home-based employees, NetOps teams need to work smarter by utilizing fully automated solutions based on proven DevOps principles.
NetDevOps is the application of DevOps principles and techniques to network operations (NetOps), minimizing operator interactions and optimizing programmable network processes to configure, deploy, and manage the environment. Prioritizing alignment with business objectives over network control, NetDevOps—also known as DevNetOps, network automation, or intent-based networking (IBN)—relies on automation and intelligent infrastructure management to increase efficiency and ensure network availability, quality, and reliability.
NetDevOps encompasses the abstraction, codification, and implementation of network Infrastructure as Code (IaC), using programmed, automated workflows to eliminate configuration drift, thereby embedding quality and resiliency within the network. A continuous integration, delivery, and deployment pipeline ships code through the different development environments into production, triggering comprehensive validation and compliance tests along the way. NetDevOps also includes continuous monitoring, measurement, and response, automatically triggering remediation alerts or tasks when detecting configuration drift from the desired state.
NetDevOps alleviates challenges and increases agility by applying DevOps behaviors, culture, and principles to network operations. It minimizes manual administrative tasks (such as configuration changes, service provisioning, and security tasks), reducing human error as one of the root causes of network downtime.
And by automating the planning, configuration, testing, and deployment of network infrastructure, the NetDevOps pipeline reduces the lead time between development and implementation. In addition, it enables small incremental changes to be injected into the network with minimal effort and zero end-user impact, resulting in increased agility, quality, and speed of operations.
This report provides an overview of the vendor landscape based on the following table stakes, which are mature, stable solution features common across all vendors:
Automated workflows: Automated workflows provide complete lifecycle management functionality to configure, deploy, and upgrade network elements seamlessly. A collection of carefully orchestrated building blocks, automated workflows split higher-level activities into subtasks linked to network events, triggering either proactive or reactive actions encompassing inventory checks, pre-checks, post-checks, show-commands, user forms and approvals, scheduled background tasks, and other tasks.
State awareness: The state of the network is monitored in real-time with full protocol and transport neutrality. Awareness of automated network infrastructure deployments and implementations is required to ensure the desired network state is achieved and maintained. State awareness enables the continuous synchronization of the network state and configuration in real-time using open, state-streaming APIs. It also provides advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning analytics capabilities for visibility, troubleshooting, and compliance.
Infrastructure as code (IaC): Network configurations are abstracted as code for replication, reuse, repurpose, or testing, providing optimal resource usage. Used in conjunction with continuous delivery, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) manages infrastructure (connection topologies, load balancers, networks, and virtual machines) in a descriptive model to reduce environment drift by eliminating inconsistencies leading to deployment issues requiring manual resolution. Furthermore, based on the principle of idempotence, IaC ensures you always end up with the same end state, irrespective of the starting state.
On-demand elasticity: On-demand elasticity is the ability to spin up and down test, development, and sandbox infrastructure environments on demand without jeopardizing compliance, governance, performance, security, or stability. Unlike scalability, for which resources are added to accommodate larger loads, elasticity allows network resources to be dynamically added or removed based on changing application traffic patterns such as seasonal or peak traffic surges.
Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD): Commonly associated with DevOps, CI/CD supports agile networking with continuous integration, delivery, and deployment. Closely integrated with on-demand elasticity, CI/CD for networks represents the ability to spin up network infrastructure services using tools familiar to application developers—such as Bitbucket, Docker, GitLab, GitHub, and Jenkins—on an as-needed basis.
Self-service access: Robust, role-based self-service access to network infrastructures—such as DHCP, DNS, firewalls, load balancers, and other network services—allows development teams to consume networking services easily and quickly. Eliminating network team provisioning and configuration bottlenecks, self-service access allows application delivery teams to initiate the automated deployment and configuration of network services while ensuring compliance.
The list of vendors included in this report is by no means exhaustive. As a new sector meeting the demand for agile networking, we anticipate rapid evolution in the next 18-36 months. New players will emerge with lean, innovative solutions, while established networking vendors will compete by acquiring solution vendors and expanding critical partnerships. With many different NetDevOps vendors and options available—and the landscape evolving—choosing the best NetDevOps solution for your organization depends on your use cases, existing software stack, architectural choices, and in-house capabilities.
We recommend using this report to explore the different NetDevOps solutions and delivery models available on the market, identifying solutions and vendors matching your business requirements, use cases, and capabilities. Then contact the relevant vendors for additional information on features, deployment models, and cost.
It was a pleasure to work with Chris. Chris possesses verydetailed technical knowledge and solid experience, but neverlost sight of his strategic and business goals when using that knowledge and experience.
Graham McKinley, Overture Networks
Chris is an excellent organizer and leader with vision and energy.He pulled together the Colorado Chapter of the Internet Society,wrote the inital by-laws and saw the process through to the actual chapter formation.
Karen Mulberry, Internet Society
Chris is objective, strategically insightful, sharp and on top of his game. He’s a great collaborator who is willing to change his approach mid stream or whenever, to accommodate others. He’s a very dedicated professional with strong personal leadership qualities as well as being open and willing to inspire and empower others.
Duangthip Chomprang, Internet Society
Chris was an amazing colleague to work with. I admire his ability to understand very technical concepts as well as business and market driven ones. He has amazing stakeholder management skills, and has the ability to build relationships and manage working groups and teams. He is a true leader who is very passionate about whatever he is working on. His desire for framing strategic direction and leading execution would be an asset to any organization. I would welcome any opportunity to work with Chris again.
Rupal Patel, CableLabs
Chris is a really hard working person. Very smart technically &could handle issues very promptly. Was very nice working with him.
Chris is a superior problem-solver withgreat people skills and ability to ask the really hard questions. Ateam player who is engaged and approachable, I expect Chris will have significant impact in the tech industry.
Deb Gerring, CableLabs
Chris is an excellent worker with a driving pulse for new technology and leading the industry. His work ethic is second-to-none and his teaming with others always ensures fantastic collaboration with positive outcomes. I am confident that Chris will continue to drive new technology evolution in our industry.
Mike McNamara, tw telecom
Chris is a great asset to any company. His dedication and drivefor results makes him a consistent high achiever.
Henry Yu, tw telecom
Chris is a talented technologist with a keen eye for marketing. This combination of skills has been a powerful asset in his role. Over the course of the 4 years that I worked with Chris, he presented at numerous events & conferences, and was a thought leadership partner. He was pivotal in honing Myriad360’s mission and developing a cohesive strategy for the company. Chris earns my highest recommendation.
Kirsten Gonzalez, Myriad360
Chris is a strong team player with tremendous attention to detail. His approach was always well thought out with solid backing tohis ideas. His role and growth in the company were key to itssurvival. He was also very willing and able to wear multiple hats and was a flexible asset to have on hand.
Mikael Rasmussen, WavMax Broadband
He would always be available as a sounding board for complex issues and provided me with amazing insight on long term planning and ways to scale up teams and business processes.
Alex Tief, Myriad360
Working with Chris has been a real pleasure. He is open, friendly, intelligent, discreet, skilled, productive, driven, resourceful and trustworthy! Our organisation has really benefitted from Chris’s skills and knowledge.
Howard Baggott, Internet Society
Chris is one of the most brilliant technologists and charismaticspeakers I’ve met in a long time. He’s an absolute creative, has amind focused on solutions, and is driven by a deep belief in whathe does. He’s both an inspirational leader and great colleague. I’d work with Chris again any day of the week.
Lia Kiessling, Internet Society
Chris was the driving force behind the creation of the ISOCColorado chapter. I appreciated his leadership and technical skillsand his determination. I enjoyed working with Chris on this project and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Yannis Konstantopoulos, Lumen Technologies
Chris is a focused individual, willing to go the extra mile to helpcustomers, and do the job correctly. He is a great teacher, and a smart man.
Tyson Schaetzle, Tikkom Wire
I have worked with Chris on several projects over the years. His leadership, cooperation, and execution skills are first class. Chris looks at the big picture, identifies necessary actions, builds a plan, and gets the project done
Richard Jimmerson, ARIN
Chris is one of the sharpest minds you will be lucky to come across, whether in a personal or professional setting. His ability to cut through the noise and see the relevant elements and data in any situation is remarkable.
Chris is intensely focused, dedicated, and capable. He absorbs and synthesizes data quickly, finds the leverage points, focuses on what matters, and delivers results. Any high-performing team will get a boost from engaging with Chris.
Andy Fisher, Myriad360
Together we conquered many challenges, won impossible battles in the vendor industry and created a unique security practice. He has an interesting set of talents of being an engineer, innovator, and a thought leader, but never mixes any of these roles. That is what makes him successful as a leader. “Never be comfortable” is what Chris would tell me, which is what pushed me to do my first tech talk. I now have dozens behind me within some of the largest conferences known in the security vendor industry. Chris is nothing short of supernatural.
Leo Cruz, Myriad360
His intelligenceand wit are only outshone by his friendly and helpful nature. Working with Chris is always a pleasure and a smashing success.
Susan Forsman, tw telecom
Through the several tasks that we spent together in a professional environment, I have seen Chris accomplish things that many would consider impossible – both as a professional and technically – and neither has been a disappointment. Chris is a calculated risk-taker. He has an uncanny way of determining what the target market needs and has the capability of tweaking his designs and implementations accordingly. As a pragmatic leader and a realist, he can grasp ideas in a holistic manner and still pay attention to minor details. Chris has a well-deserved reputation as someone who is diligent and personable – two qualities that define him completely. As someone who is a creative thinker and possesses a can-do attitude, Chris is a pleasure to work with.
Kyle Smith, Markley
Chris isvery knowledgeable, is always willing to explain and discuss, andis great at pulling together everyone’s input and moving things forward. Working with him has been a great experience.
Lisa Ruby, Motorola
Chris was always on top of current technology and how thistechnology would fit into his current network environment. Chriswas a pleasure to work with and will be an asset to any organization lucky enough to hire him.
Steve Braden, Streakwave Wireless
I enjoy working with him on a professional and personal level.
Diane Turley, tw telecom
Chris is extremely knowledgeable and, more importantly, readilyshares that knowledge with his peers to promote better overall understanding and improvement.
Dan Zumar, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
Chris is an exceptionally energetic individual, a talented thinkerand an accomplished public speaker. He is a very rewardingperson to work with due to the level of organization he brings toevery project. He has vision and probity, a rare combination. I has been a great privilege to work with him.
John Springer, ARIN Advisory Council
I’ve never met anyone who worked as hard as he did at learning and absorbing new skills and technologies and then applying them to his work. He’s a very fast learner and an asset to anyone who has the fortune to work with him.
Kaelyn Bowman, Virtella Communications
In a wireless organization the network your products operate on needs to be reliable, dependable and operating at top efficiency. Chris made sure that was a reality. Chris was a leader in the day to day operation of our network, on initiating improvement designs for the future and helping out the other departments to close performance gaps. There was never a problem to hard to solve, a solution he was not willing to seek out or a cutting edge idea he hadn’t already researched.
Wayne Gibson, WavMax
Chris is an engineer and leader of the highest caliber as demonstrated by his ongoing volunteer responsibilities within the Internet technical community and his unwavering drive.
Connie Kendig, Internet Society
I count my time working with Chris among my most rewarding professional experiences. Chris is someone with a voracious appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the world around him. While these traits make him an incredible thought partner that excels at introducing new concepts and riffing off the ideas of others…it also makes him a multiplier, someone that helps others sharpen their own thinking by forcing them to be more introspective, to be more curious about what’s possible, and to think critically and objectively about the reality of a situation.
Chris is a tide that raises many boats, not just through his ability to cultivate innovation and promote positive disruption, but by the example he sets. Chris is one of the most accountable people I’ve ever known and consistently demonstrated a knack for bringing order to chaos, prioritizing diffuse – and often conflicting – objectives, and producing positive outcomes in situations where the deck seemed stacked in such a way that that doing so appeared impossible.
Rick Kenney, Myriad360
Chris Grundemann was among the most energetic and competent members of our Council throughout his time as an elected member. I found(find) Chris a most thoughtful man who brought insight and experience to the role, but was also always a genuine and professional member exerting leadership with tact and good humor. I think highly of Chris both as a technical professional and community leader, but also as a trusted friend.
Bill Darte, ARIN Advisory Council
Chris is highly technical and has excellent organizational andfollow up skills. I assigned Chris several initiatives whileassigned to my team and his performance was exceptional. He isself motivated and has extensive technical knowledge.
Ray Whinery, Time Warner Telecom
We hired Chris with high expectations. He quickly proved to be agood choice as he grasped new concepts exceptionally well andshowed an aggressive personal learning regimen, surpassing his peers. I would highly recommend Chris in his future endeavors.
Ryan Privette, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
Chris has the talent to completely embrace and encompass atechnology and from that drive results. It is obvious that Chrisenjoys sharing his knowledge base and ideas with others. It wasa pleasure working with Chris.
John McQueen, Broadcom
One thing everyone should know about Chris, he always providesnothing less then quality customer service and technical support. His professionalism and skill far exceeds all expectations because he always goes the extra mile.
David Corbett, tw telecom
Chris consistently generates and delivers on new and creative ideas both within the guided bounds of a project or team goal as well as when left unbounded and allowed to explore. In addition Chris is a great team player willing to help whenever asked. Chris is also a competent and organized leader with great communication skills capable of managing projects from inception to completion.
Joey Padden, CableLabs
Chris is one of the most professional individuals I have ever worked with. His dedication to the success of our organization was paramount. I always relied on him to engage in intricate troubles knowing they would receive appropriate attention and follow through. Chris is an immediate asset to any organization and is most certainly.
Jim Meslovich, CenturyLink Business for Enterprise
We appreciated his work ethics andclarity of thought. His mind was always on the “next step” and kept us all on our toes.
Ed Partch, American Tech Support
As Chris’ Editor for Exploring IPv6, a Day One book, he kept tohis schedule, output exceedingly lucid prose, and gave a sense ofinstructional design to an extraordinary tough technology todeploy. On time, better than could be expected, and executed with grace.
Patrick Ames, Juniper Networks
Chris is technically creative, hard working, and extraordinarilyeffective at working with both internal and external technicalexpert communities. A pleasure to have had on the team atCableLabs. I fully expect him to significantly move his organization and the industry.
Tom Lookabaugh, CableLabs
Chris was one of the go-to guyswhenever there were complex problems. He has the knowledge,desire and potential to advance in any position he chooses. It was a pleasure working with him.
Ushesh Desai, Virtela Communications
Chris was an excellent coach, mentor and problem solver. Chris consistently possesses a “can do” attitude while taking on more and more responsibility and taking the time to fully understand, upskill and learn as required for success. Chris is very organized and patient. He is proactive in identifying and addressing risks and issues that could erstwhile derail hard-earned successes. Chris’ list of talents and intangibles is long, but never a surprise once you get the opportunity to work with him.
Scott Perricone, Myriad360
Chris is always happy to contribute to a discussion or to an issue and is more than happy to lend a hand to both assist team members with their tasks or to lend his expertise in order to benefit the requestor. He is constantly providing knowledge transfer in a peer to peer manner, engaging others to work together to move a project forward or to resolve an issue. Most importantly, Chris is an open and honest communicator about whatever the topic of the moment is, something that is refreshing in today’s world. I could always count of Chris to lend his opinion or his ideas to any subject matter, and this becomes an important contribution for any team. Chris has tremendous talent and is a very hard working, team player. I would welcome Chris to my team at any point in the future.
Paul Diamond, Markley
Chris is a consummate professional. Motivated, expressive,talented in everything he attempts. His skills in making thingshappen for the better are top notch.