Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


Network Automation Journey

A systems engineer NetOps perspective

Network devices play a crucial role; they are not just in the Data Center. It's the Wifi, VOIP, WAN and recently underlays and overlays. Network teams are essential for operations. It's about time we highlight to the configuration management community the importance of Network teams and include them in our discussions. This talk describes the personal experience of systems engineer on how to kickstart a network team into automation. Most importantly, how and where to start, challenges faced, and progress made. The network team in question uses multi-vendor network devices in a large traditional enterprise.

NetDevOps, we do not hear that term as frequent as we should. Every time we hear about automation, or configuration management, it is usually the application, if not, it is the systems that host the applications. How about the network systems and devices that interconnect and protects our services? This talk aims to describe the journey a systems engineer had as part of an automation assignment with the network management team. Building from lessons learned and challenges faced with system automation, how one can kickstart an automation project and gain small wins quickly. Where and how to start the journey? What to avoid? What to prioritise? How to overcome the lack of network skills for the automation engineer and lack of automation and Linux/Unix skills for network engineers. What challenges were faced and how to overcome them? What fights to give up? Where do I see network automation and configuration management as a systems engineer? What are the status quo and future expectations?


Photo of Walid Shaari Walid Shaari