CI/CD NetDevOps Pipeline

68% of organizations highlight improving CI/CD as a primary focus of their application modernization efforts. According to EMA, this is similarly reflected in what’s being seen with network engineering as well. In fact, Shamus @ EMA surveyed network teams to find that DevOps (NetDevOps) and CI/CD initiatives are the number three driver of network operations strategies behind only public cloud and SaaS adoption.

What is CI/CD?

It’s stands for continuous integration / continuous delivery and grossly means that teams can make many changes that are continuously integrated into the “build pipeline” for software without breaking things. CI/CD principles define how developers do this; and in the case of NetDevOps, how network engineers do this for their networks (as opposed to how developers do it for application builds).

To understand more, here’s a well-written article that defines CI/CD very clearly.

How does this apply to Network Configuration Management (NCM)?

In order to integrate with a CI/CD pipeline, network automations need to be “callable via software”; meaning, they need to have an API to call each automation.

In many legacy network configuration managers, the API simply doesn’t do that. Legacy NCM APIs are available for integration of data between systems, like integration with ServiceNow or LogicMonitor, but they don’t provide access to things like “initiating a backup via API”.

The BackBox Automation Platform for network teams takes an API-first approach to automation. Every automation in BackBox is accessible via API.

By extension then, since BackBox’ NCM capabilities are built on automation, all the things you’d want to do with NCM are available via API and can become a part of a CI/CD NetDevOps strategy. For example, a backup can be easily integrated into a workflow so that before any potentially destructive changes are rolled out (like a software update) a backup is taken (automatically). Similarly, testing after the fact can be automated to ensure that the operation was successful and if the tests pass, another backup is taken. If the tests fail, a roll-back can be initiated. All of these automations are built in BackBox (without writing any code), but then run/triggered externally by the NetDevOps pipeline.

We’ve called this set of API capabilities programmatic NCM and we’ve delivered this because of the increasing importance of CI/CD to network teams.

Learn more about BackBox NCM capabilities.


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