The Network Operations (NetOps) and Development Operations (DevOps) functions utilise similar tools, methods and techniques to improve the customer’s experience when building a flexible, software-defined network designed to suit their needs. With multiple functions spread across the business, these teams need to collaborate to improve the digital experience for businesses end users.
How DevOps and NetOps collaborate to reduce customer issues
Customer expectations have changed around speed of delivery, driven by cloud technologies and the major CSPs. This shifts the perception that things should be delivered faster. DevOps and NetOps teams are typically in different groups or different functions in an organisation. There is generally a handover, with lengthy documentation until everyone is comfortable with the application and their role in designing, building or supporting it.
This long and tenuous process is where DevOps comes in. DevOps says, “This is too slow. It loses focus on the critical deliverable: software that satisfies a business need.” One team should be responsible for everything, from start to finish.
By deploying these DevOps techniques, and having a communication and delivery framework in place, NetOps can create an optimised way of working. A collaborative approach will bring development, infrastructure, network and security teams together, aligning the network with the needs of the business.
Resolving customer problems
DevOps and NetOps teams can help speed up problem resolution too. If a customer shows a developer a problem with the application, it’s very likely the developer will be halfway through a fix before the day is out. Or the developer will say “it was never intended to do that…but it’s a good idea – we’ll try to add it.” This is how Colt’s portals are operated, with continual testing and small enhancements regularly made to the tools. Similarly, NetOps work in collaboration with DevOps to provide network automation, so customer issues can be solved in an agile way.
Most importantly, DevOps makes every developer a proxy for the customer. They have an understanding of what the application is supposed to do from a business point of view, and a vested interest in saying, “if I was the customer, I would want the application to work like this.”
How businesses can utilise DevOps and NetOps
The DevOps teams are vital in digital transformation as they provide the in-house resource for projects that aim to automate processes, increase security or foster cross-functional communications.
On top of this, DevOps teams manage the deployment, integration and perform continual testing of the implemented tools. When it comes to cloud networking, DevOps and NetOps teams can assist in integrating the cloud platform into the systems, with the adoption of APIs.
How Colt utilises its DevOps and NetOps team
At Colt, we’ve been operating with DevOps teams for the past few years. Operating in this way means our focus is on the customer, with changes and fixes being implemented quickly.
The DevOps concept evolves further into the network space with Colt’s NetOps function. By leveraging powerful automation and other new technology, NetOps helps stay agile and respond quickly to new events or changes, without the burden of the manual effort required historically.
As an example, Colt’s On Demand portfolio of services combine our DevOps and NetOps teams to provide a seamless customer experience for provisioning services in real-time, via the On Demand Portal. Customers can use the portal to spin up services to the cloud, enterprise buildings, data centres and the public internet.
Want to learn more about DevOps, as well as NetOps and their role in cloud migration projects? Download our definitive guide to NetOps to find out more.
Simon Farrell, Senior Specialist – Network On Demand, Colt Technology Services
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