In 2019, with the growth of the company came the growth of its complex networks. This Major Video Game Developer (MVGD) started to realize that in order to continue providing innovation, increase speed to market, and ensure security to service their customers, they needed to adopt network automation as part of their company fabric. MVGD was having network latency issues, along with problems with unorganized/inaccurate data. In addition, there was a need to increase speed to deployment, security, configuration consistency, and visibility. The Engineering Leader at MVGD said, “If we didn’t start to automate our environment, we would have failed as an organization to grow and service our customers.”
MVGD initially engaged with Network to Code in 2020 and shortly after became a trusted partner. Network to Code continues to be an extension of the MVGD team, and together both teams are executing on multiple fronts. Network to Code is a Gartner-recognized network automation leader and solution provider that, since its founding in 2014, has been committed to drastically changing the way networks are deployed, managed, consumed, and operated daily by leveraging network automation and DevOps technologies and principles. Network to Code provides a variety of strategic consulting and professional services to define, design, implement, and support outcome-driven network automation solutions, along with enterprise training. Network to Code also sponsors and supports the open source Network Source of Truth (SoT) and Network Automation platform, Nautobot, launched in 2021.
Network to Code has reimagined what a Source of Truth needs to be to truly enable network automation. Nautobot is an extensible SoT at every level, from data models and data sources to external integrations. Its REST and GraphQL APIs expose functionality, and Nautobot apps extend it. Integrations with configuration management, change management, and chat systems allow Nautobot to extend any workflow. This extensibility enables Nautobot to pull data from any Source of Records (SoR), centralize it, normalize it, and extend it back with enriched context and value. As Nautobot eliminates the practice of managing spreadsheets and data across disparate systems, it eliminates risks from configuration errors and costs from additional operational time. When Nautobot is deployed as a Source of Truth, it becomes possible to document the intended network state and realize the full potential of network automation.
In order to address the network latency issues, problems with unorganized/inaccurate data, speed to deployment, security, configuration consistency, visibility, and more, MVGD and Network to Code created a plan. In the partnership, the challenges were solved with the following network automation solutions:
The Network to Code team developed and enhanced Nautobot as MVGD’s new Source of Truth (SoT), and all Points of Presence (PoPs) were integrated; in addition, a Nautobot plugin was constructed for circuit maintenance, and data was leveraged for alerts based on tags and operational state via integration to providers. Configurations were rendered in a consistent manner across all devices, and data accuracy was increased by data audit jobs to ensure consistency and accuracy of data inputs/outputs and records of intent.
Thanos (microservices), Grafana, Telegraf, and GNMI/GRPC are all components of the new telemetry stack that was built and provides Visibility and Observability into network operations. Telemetry data is normalized via collectors and then appended with tags coming from their centralized SoT, Nautobot. The Infrastructure as Code for Telemetry stack is a fully automated deployment on K8s leveraging GitOps technology via Flux, and automatically deploys updates upon code repository changes.
Automation is now a top priority at MVGD for many teams, including Networking, Security, and Hosting. As MVGD continues to develop more automation tools, additional teams continue to adopt the culture of automation as part of their business processes. Automation Teams throughout the organization are benefiting from what Network to Code is helping to build. In addition, other teams have been able to consume Automation as a Service through Nautobot and other tooling that Network to Code has helped build. In the partnership with Network to Code to deliver automation, the MVGD team has been able to increase speed to market by 2X since adopting network automation, allowing the team to drive strategy and focus on long-term projects.
Network to Code continues to focus on delivering automation at MVGD every day. Through agile development, Network to Code and MVGD work together in two-week sprints and ultimately tackle challenges one by one. At the start of the partnership, MVGD focused on designing and building a strategic design that enabled them to be tactical soon after. MVGD is not done automating, they continue to drive manual repeatable workflows to automation by leveraging the Network to Code team’s expertise.
“Network to Code are industry experts; and at MVGD, we only partner with the best.”
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