There is so much going on at Itential. We just reported they expanded automation across Cisco SD-WAN, a new automation gateway for network automation and now – new APIs which allow organizations to move towards network infrastructure as code.
The new API Services enable organizations to implement NetDevOps concepts and move toward Network Infrastructure as Code. Itential’s new services and tools equip network engineers to incrementally adopt modern CI/CD principles for advancing network automation and programmability.
“The complexity of today’s networks, combined with the lack of investment in modern application concepts, has created a situation where network management applications are constraining the ability to support business and consumer demands,” said Chris Wade, CTO, Itential. “By incorporating a Network Infrastructure as Code approach to automation, enterprises can use Itential’s modern agile software development principles to build, test, validate, and deploy network changes and adopt existing investments in the infrastructure as code ecosystem.”
Itential was designed for DevOps and NetOps teams to accelerate the move toward software-driven networks through automation and agile network operations. NetDevOps allows organizations to adopt CI/CD pipelines with the ability to build, test, validate and deploy changes before they are made to the network. These principles greatly improve velocity and quality while catching errors for a continuous improvement methodology.
Itential’s NetOps pipeline capabilities include:
- Build – Create the building blocks of your infrastructure
Dynamically render configurations from a library of expert built templates that combine reusable chunks of configuration to create composite configurations. Transform data from one format into another and run optimizers to eliminate redundant or poorly designed config.
- Test – Ensure your infrastructure change does what you intend it to do
Simulate the change before you make it and compare simulation outputs to known desired outcomes. Check to see if your change affects any pre-existing functionality.
- Validate – Ensure that your changes are safe
Check that a configuration is error-free, before you deploy it to a device. Run a security scan to see if you’re running compromised software and run a security scan to see if you’re exposed to network threats.
- Deploy – Deploy your infrastructure changes to your network
Leverage tools like Ansible, Terraform, SDN Controllers, and Orchestrators to push changes to your network. Update operational support systems to stay in sync with your network changes and keep track of your changes by tagging and versioning them when you deploy.
To support the community’s efforts to develop NetOps pipelines, Itential’s new Developer Tools and API Services aim to ease the adoption of Network Infrastructure as Code.
- TemplateIDE – An interactive templating environment that simplifies the use of templates for automating network operations. TemplateIDE enables NetDevOps teams to create, edit, and update multiple types of templates such as TextFSM, Jinja2, and Mustache to both intake network device output for key points of data as well as generate network configuration input. In addition, TemplateIDE provides a dynamic library of the most commonly used templates, mitigating the need to write templates from scratch.
- JSONtoSchema – intelligently and dynamically generates JSON Schema based on user provided JSON objects. The JSONtoSche mabuilder makes it easy to quickly visualize and update changes to the JSON Schema.
- Config Validator – Enable NetDevOps teams to find and catch network configuration errors before they are pushed to the network. With Config Validator, powered by Batfish, easily determine if a device configuration is syntactically correct by verifying and validating the output of auto-generated network configuration, before trying to apply the config to a device, minimizing the risk of outages.
- Policy Analyzer – Assess your network policies such ACL and Firewall for correctness, overlap, and performance with Itential’s Policy Analyzer. Evaluate MAC, IPv4, IPv6 for validity and calculate CIDR block optimization.
“We are excited to work with industry partners like Itential to accelerate the use of network automation and help organizations of all sizes build software-like CI/CD pipelines for their network,” said Ratul Mahajan, CEO, Intentionet. “Itential’s new Config Validator service powered by Batfish, helps introduce networking teams to this foundational element of a CI/CD pipeline.”
As digital transformation continues, companies need to be more agile and efficient. We applaud Itential for their initiatives here which allow for more agile network configuration and deployment.
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