CI/CD for Network Automation

Incorporate CI/CD and DevOps practices into network automation and orchestration initiatives to gain greater velocity, improve quality, and reduce risk.

mulitple light gray lines organized into a hexagonal treatment with additional lines coming out of it

The Leading Edge of Network Automation is Infrastructure as Code

With Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) having transformed the software development process, networking teams are now looking to incorporate CI/CD practices into their network automation and orchestration initiatives to gain greater velocity and improve delivery.

Innovative teams are deploying pipelines across their network domains – IP, optical, cloud, wireless, data center, and edge to streamline their network configuration lifecycle activities. They are using repositories like Git to create config code branches and maintain versions, using Continuous Integration pipelines to execute automated test activities, and utilizing Continuous Delivery techniques to reduce risk during production deployment of the network code.

Blog: How You Should Treat the Network as Software

watch an on-demand webinar: using ci/cd to accelerate network automation & orchestration initiatives with infrastructure as code iconography

Itential NetOps Pipeline for Network Infrastructure as Code

At Itential, we’ve been working to overcome these challenges for our customers, and to help them embrace Network Infrastructure as Code methodologies, we have built a platform to better enable network engineers to achieve these goals. Our platform aligns with software engineering-oriented functionality like API exposure and ability to integrate with a wide range of CI/CD tools, while staying flexible for network engineers no matter their level of software development and scripting skill. To do that, we are continually evolving our approach towards a NetOps Pipeline for Network Infrastructure as Code.

updated cicd pipleline to netops pipleline for network infrastructure as code with 4 phases; build, test, validate and deploy

Itential’s NetOps Pipeline Capabilities

blue icon of vertically stacked squares on white background to represent the build phase of the cicd pipeline for infrastructure as code

Build

Use the power of the Itential Platform to automate the generation of the NIaC payloads.

  • Dynamically render configurations from a library of expert-built templates. TemplateIDE >
  • Combine reusable chunks of configuration to create composite configurations.
  • Transform data from one format into another.
  • Run optimizers to eliminate redundant or poorly designed config.
  • Utilize integrations to submit code changes to repositories and interact with pipeline toolchains.
blue icon of beaker and gear on white background to represent the test phase of the cicd pipeline for infrastructure as code

Test

The Itential Automation Platform can enhance the NIaC pipeline test stage to improve quality, identify problem areas, and automate a wide range of testing scenarios utilizing native Itential functionality along with test functionality provided by tools integrated with IAP.

  • Simulate the change before you make it.
  • Compare simulation outputs to known desired outcomes.
  • Check to see if your change affects any pre-existing functionality.
blue icon of product screen with a checkmark on white background to represent the validate phase of the cicd pipeline for infrastructure as code

Validate

Itential provides a range of native capabilities and Pre-Built Automations to perform validation prior to production deployment.

  • Check that a configuration is error free, before you deploy it to a device. Config Validator >
  • Run a security scan to see if you’re running compromised software.
  • Compare config changes against gold standard configuration rules to confirm compliance of the change
  • Leverage Itential integration capabilities to interact with tools such as Batfish to provide additional levels of validation.

Deploy

Deploy your infrastructure changes to the network.

  • Leverage tools like Ansible and Terraform to push changes. Automation Gateway >
  • Update operational support systems to stay in sync with your network changes.
  • Keep track of your changes by tagging and versioning them when you deploy.
watch an on-demand webinar: how to create and deploy new applications by integrating ci/cd with network change processes
watch an on-demand networking field day 21 presentation: how itential enables network infrastructure as code
read a blog post: how you should treat the network as software

What’s Next?

Try Itential’s developer tools.

Try the Itential Automation Platform.

Learn more about the NetOps Pipline.

Know Your Network. Automate Your Network.

Get Started with Itential Today.