Ronny Lam


Two Scoops of Automation, Please!

Two days ago I wrote about the missing community of NetDevOps, referencing Jeremy Schulman who did a talk at Network Field Day #5.

The next day he writes a blogpost which is totally in line with my posts.

I think automation to NetOps is a lot like eating ice-cream. Everyone wants some. Everyone wants something different. No-one really wants to make it. And absolutely no-one wants to clean up the mess.

Once they get over the hurdle and start automating things and start to integrate these things into other IT-systems they are unstoppable. But to change that culture takes time. Right now we are changing organization by organization, individual by individual, until we get an unstoppable movement. It has happened to sysops, it will happen to netops too.

Vendors can create APIs, SDKs, cool frameworks, but someone has to write the code to make it all work together! Someone needs to maintain the code, support features, deal with the pesky users, etc.

Exactly, and roll-your-own is not a solution for every organization. That’s why we and other commercial tools came to life. Puppet on JunOS is a very good start, but who has a Juniper only network? We need multi-vendor solutions to automate today’s networks. I am sure Puppet will finally support other vendors too, but that is impossible without leaving the agent-model or network vendors developing Puppet-agents.

Let’s start this movement. SDN, NFV and all the other acronyms are helping us already.