Ronny Lam


Can Puppet Solve the Network Configuration Dilemma?

Last week we already learned about [Puppet for JunOS], but apparently I missed another presentation from Network Field Day #5, according to this post from EMA:

In recent months both Cisco and Juniper have been talking about Puppet … At the Network Field Day event, Cisco demonstrated onePK + Puppet.

It looks like Puppet is on the move, from being a popular tool for DevOps now conquering the network. EMA also confirms that a lot has to be done in the network teams, which are still lagging behind:

The NOC, in sharp contrast, has remained stubbornly resistant to automation and EMA has research data that supports this phenomenon. One of the major sticking points has been and continues to be change & configuration management of network devices. The process is largely manual, making it slow, inefficient, and subject to errors. This is particularly bothersome for sysadmins, when they make a request to network operations as part of a deployment scenario, say for a new VLAN. The networking component has quickly become the long pole in the tent.

In 2011 EMA already identified the need for this change as stated in their product brief about NetYCE, the company and product I help to develop.

Solutions like NetYCE’s YCE Platform represent a new approach that EMA believes will become increasingly common as IT strives to remove operational risk from service delivery infrastructures.

It took a while, but we are now seeing a change in attitude towards this topic. It might be the influence of SDN that is not only bringing a paradigm shift in networking technology but also in network operations (culture).