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NetDevOps: DevOps applied to networks

- Reading Time: 3 minutes
NetDevOps: DevOps applied to networks

For several years now, the DevOps movement has been gaining momentum in software development. And yes, through a paradigm shift, companies developing a DevOps culture are gaining in agility, efficiency, speed, reliability and more.

Given all its advantages, the movement is growing. Traditionally, it applies to software, mobile applications and infrastructure. But what about networks? Networks are essential to guarantee uninterrupted connection to all data. This is why the NetDevOps approach is emerging. Here’s how.

What is the NetDevOps approach?

NetDevOps is an approach that applies the principles of the DevOps movement to networks. This is all the more important as the IT infrastructure offers a multitude of services to guarantee the connection between data. However, the rigidity and complexity of the network can sometimes become a bottleneck.

Consideration needs to be given to all elements of the infrastructure, such as manufacturers, vendors, firewalls, switches, load balancers and other network equipment.

But rather than adopting a sequential, manual approach to all these components, the NetDevOps approach develops a global approach. This enables visibility across all silos, and prevents these devices from becoming obsolete (and therefore less resilient) to meet the needs of DevOps teams.

Ultimately, the aim of NetDevOps practice is to ensure that network infrastructure is deployed at the same pace as systems, applications and software.

In other words, the network evolves in line with the needs of the organization. And this is reflected on several levels:

  • Operational reliability: by centralizing and reinforcing the various parameters, the NetDevOps approach ensures that the network runs smoothly.
  • Heterogeneity: the network is able to support different data volumes and technologies, without losing performance.
  • Speed of execution: the network infrastructure responds in real time to the needs of development teams.

Good to know: according to Gartner, only between 2% and 10% of organizations have implemented this NetDevOps approach.

How can DevOps practices be applied to networks?

Several DevOps principles can easily be transposed to networks. Here are the main ones.

Network automation

Inherent in the DevOps culture, the automation of tasks (such as infrastructure configuration, deployment, testing and monitoring) can also be applied to networks. And without affecting workloads.

Thanks to this automation, teams can free themselves from repetitive, time-consuming tasks and focus on higher value-added tasks. This means they can deliver much faster, while improving quality.

Automation is all the easier on the network because machines don’t make mistakes. They can repeat the same operation dozens, if not hundreds, of times, without an error surfacing. This is not necessarily the case with manual configuration (isn’t it said that to err is human?).

Infrastructure as a Code

IaaC means thinking of infrastructure as code. It’s exactly the same with network configurations.

For NetDevOps to work properly, it’s best to use a code version management tool like Git. Thanks to its functionalities, it simplifies the application of DevOps principles to networks. For example:

  • The repository contains the initial configuration that serves as the basis for new network equipment.
  • Versioning makes it easy to track changes, and even go backwards if necessary.
  • The branching system manages different production configurations (some stable, others still in the testing phase).


Continuous integration and deployment are essential DevOps methods. But how do you apply them to networks? Here’s how:

  • Modify the infrastructure: as a reminder, this is treated as code. This makes it easier to manage via a versioning tool.
  • Continuous integration: the new configuration is deployed on a specific infrastructure (such as a virtual machine). This simplifies automated testing.
  • Continuous delivery: all errors detected are corrected. And if no errors are identified, the new configuration can be deployed in production.
  • Continuous deployment: this involves automating the deployment of all changes accepted during the previous phase.

Develop a NetDevOps approach with DataScientest

At DataScientest, our aim is to train the IT, development and data experts of tomorrow. That’s why we integrate the issues of today’s most modern companies into each of our training courses. The NetDevOps approach is just one of them. Through our training courses, you’ll learn to consider all the components of software development, not just the application, but also the networks. Come and join us!

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