Key Criteria for Evaluating NetDevOps Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. NetDevOps Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Ivan McPhee

1. Summary

Managing networks is challenging, time-consuming, and resource intensive. Moreover, despite the advances in network observability and manageability with 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 will need to work smarter by utilizing fully automated solutions based on proven DevOps principles.

NetDevOps (see Figure 1) encompasses the abstraction, codification, and implementation of network infrastructure as code (IaC). Using programmed, automated workflows to codify network configurations, NetDevOps embeds best practices, quality, and resiliency within the network, triggering comprehensive validation and compliance tests while enabling the predictable and repeatable provisioning of networking components. A continuous integration, delivery, and deployment pipeline shipping code into production, NetDevOps includes continuous monitoring, measurement, and response, automatically triggering remediation alerts or tasks when detecting configuration drift from the desired state based on a single source of truth.

Figure 1. NetDevOps’ Core Components

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.

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of the NetDevOps solutions market and highlight vendors and products that excel. This Key Criteria report identifies capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technology) and evaluation metrics for selecting a NetDevOps solution. The corresponding Radar report provides an overview of notable NetDevOps vendors and solutions that excel. Together, these reports offer essential insights for network automation initiatives, helping decision-makers evaluate solutions before deciding where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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