Key Criteria for Evaluating NetDevOps Solutionsv1.0

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. Specific NetDevOps Capabilities
  7. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. About Ivan McPhee

1. Summary

As enterprises demand more from their networks, network changes must be faster and more predictable. To achieve speed and reliability, application delivery teams leveraging agile methodologies are turning to hybrid, multi-cloud architectures to ensure compliance and enable rapid iterations in response to market conditions. Unfortunately, however, most existing network deployment, configuration, and management tools and processes don’t provide end-to-end automation and self-service networking.

In addition, in-house efforts to automate are usually unsatisfactory. Network automation is a massive undertaking involving thousands or tens of thousands of individual components. Few enterprises have the IT leadership or skills needed to oversee large-scale automation initiatives. Inadequate change management controls lead to circumvention as engineers make temporary, stop-gap fixes that introduce errors or lead to additional problems when it’s time to upgrade. Moreover, legacy equipment is difficult to automate due to inconsistent configuration and management processes.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has focused a spotlight on network tools and processes. As countries entered lockdown and more and more employees were ordered to work from home, network teams scrambled to implement more agile ways to deliver high-performance, reliable, and secure network infrastructure. While network automation solutions were already emerging on the horizon, the pandemic is driving demand for advanced NetDevOps solutions, beginning with the automation of network deployment, configuration, and management processes spanning the data center, cloud, and edge, including 5G.

Also known as DevNetOps or intent-based networking (IBN), NetDevOps alleviates network management challenges and increases agility by applying DevOps behaviors, culture, and principles to network operations. Minimizing manual administrative tasks such as configuration changes, service provisioning, and security tasks, NetDevOps helps eliminate human error as one of the root causes of network downtime. NetDevOps also encompasses continuous monitoring, measurement, and response, automatically triggering remediation alerts and tasks when configuration drift from the desired state is detected.

Despite being a relatively new technology, more and more organizations are adopting NetDevOps solutions to one extent or another. This GigaOm Key Criteria report outlines critical criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting a NetDevOps solution. The corresponding GigaOm Radar report provides an overview of notable NetDevOps vendors and their offerings available today. Together, these reports can help educate decision-makers, providing critical insights for network automation initiatives.

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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