Inside the Shift Left for Networking


By: R. Scott Raynovich

We have published a new whitepaper produced by Futuriom with sponsor Itential. Download it here.

The shift left is a strong trend we have been following in both the cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity markets. It’s an important concept, originating in the DevOps world, describing the need to create more dynamic, automated systems. In software development, the cycle is described as moving from left to right – from design to production.

In short, imagine the development process of building and testing an application or a service. It starts with code, on the left side, and moves to the right with deployment onto infrastructure. Modern cloud developers created the model of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), in which software can be built, tested, and deployed continuously.

In the past, these two worlds have been disconnected. As everything shifts left, infrastructure managers and developers need to develop applications and infrastructure together.

What Is Shift Left for Networking?

For networking infrastructure, shift left pushes business goals, testing, and quality control of the infrastructure or service further to the left in the development process. The idea is to identify issues or optimizations as early as possible. For example, you might want more people testing the code or the features earlier in the development process to identify defects or needs – by shifting left. What’s interesting is that the concept of shift left is spreading – it’s now a term being used in cybersecurity implementations as well.

The holy grail of the shift left in networking is to build networking functionality directly into an application, making networking part of the software development process itself. Imagine every application being built with defined networking characteristics that can automatically identify and configure network connections once it goes live.

New Paper: The Rise of NetDevOps and the Shift Left for Networking

In a cooperative research paper with Itential, Futuriom has outlined some of the key components of the shift left and how it can be implemented. This paper covers:

  • What Is the Shift Left & What It Means for Networking
  • The Rise of NetDevOps: Unifying DevOps and NetOps
  • Leveraging CI/CD Tooling for Network Automation
  • Right Tools for the Job: A Blend of DevOps & Low-Code Tooling
  • The Benefits of Network Infrastructure as Code
  • How Itential is Enabling Infrastructure as Code for Network Automation
  • Keys to the Successful Shift Left for Networking

You can download The Rise of NetDevOps & The Shift Left for Networking here.