Scale your Apps and your People (This time for free)

Teri Patrick Thumbnail
Teri Patrick
Published January 30, 2018
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The free, Super-NetOps training program from F5 addresses a critical need faced by nearly every large business: How to break down operational silos and get the right teams doing the right work in close collaboration and with an eye toward driving better business outcomes.

It is hard to overstate the scope of change confronting businesses over the last decade or so. The shift in control over information from businesses to consumers, the speed at which competitive offerings hit the market, and the relative ease with which customers shift brand allegiance all drive an increased urgency for businesses to innovate, improve customer experience, and discover new sources of revenue. For most businesses, application development teams are key to securing a successful future. Yet those teams are often hampered by IT systems and practices that have failed evolved at pace with the business challenges. There is frustration on both sides, of course. IT teams face enormous pressure to minimize risk and keep IT costs down even as demand for services escalates.

While some application teams have responded by bypassing IT, going straight to the cloud and addressing as many operational issues as possible through code, this approach is inherently self-limiting. Network operations teams have decades of experience deploying, managing, maintaining, and securing applications that development teams often lack. In an F5 survey earlier this year, we found that while DevOps and NetOps professionals respect each other’s priorities, there is a desire for better collaboration, more automation of network services and, on the DevOps side in particular, greater access by developers to the production pipeline.

Over the past two years, F5 has been actively working with customers to address the gap between network operations teams and the developers who want to consume more operational functions as a service rather than submit a ticket and wait. BIG-IP, as a product, has long been highly programmable. However, most BIG-IP admins have only been trained to provision BIG-IP services though the GUI or command line and few understand how to define and deliver services as part of a continuous deployment pipeline. Plus, as any student of the DevOps movement will tell you, the challenges that DevOps methodologies address are as much cultural as technical. Closing this gap is not just about products–it’s about reassessing attitudes around risk and identifying and removing constraints of all types: technical, cultural and business process.

Announced today, the result of these engagements is a new training curriculum that we and our partners have developed and delivered to over a thousand customers in the past several months. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the curriculum, which includes a hand-on lab component, is continuously refined based on lessons learned from every engagement.

The Super-NetOps curriculum teaches network operations professionals the concepts and skills they need to create a service catalog for developers to access on demand, and to provide those services in a continuous deployment pipeline. It also covers the cultural and process changes that are fundamental to the DevOps movement, but that have largely bypassed traditional network operations teams. The Super-NetOps program addresses a critical need faced by nearly every large business: How to break down operational silos and get the right teams doing the right work in close collaboration and with an eye toward driving better business outcomes.

The training is free to customers and non-customers alike, although it does assume familiarity with BIG-IP. It includes a fully provisioned lab environment and step-by-step guides that have been thoroughly tested in the field. We will be adding additional resources and course material over time and, of course, we invite questions and suggestions. You can check out the free training here.

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