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In order for your Network to run smoothly and reliably, it should be customized and adjusted to your individual needs, and allow for fast and efficient service and changes. It’s for this reason that Profindis operates on the NetOps work model, where we automate Business-IT alignment processes through a responsive and programmable infrastructure.

But what does that mean? To understand how NetOps works and why it is so important, it is crucial to explain the DevOps work model first.

Traditional approach to Software Development

In a traditional approach to software development, customer requirements are turned into specifications which are then coded by a software developer. After weeks or months of programming, the completed software is passed over to the operations team for implementation. Due to discrepancies between the artificial development and the real product environments, the software moves between the development and operations team to be adjusted. This adjustment process is very time consuming, inefficient and cost-intensive.

Introducing the DevOps Work Model

DevOps stands for Development and Operations. It removes the barrier between the development and operations departments and integrates them into a dynamic team. Its aim is to facilitate and speed up the process of software development and implementation. It uses tools and techniques to automate infrastructure and workflows that continuously measure application performance, thereby increasing efficiency enormously. Instead of coding the whole software in the first place, with DevOps the code is divided into small segments. These small segments can usually be tested and deployed within hours or minutes instead of months. This makes DevOps more responsive to customer needs, and allows for faster innovation, better quality and more frequent releases.

What is NetOps?

NetOps stands for Networking and Operations. It uses the tools and techniques derived from the DevOps work model and applies them to IT-networks.

DevOps + Networking = NetOps

SDN / SD-WAN and NetOps

With the rise of Software Defined Networking (SDN), there is also an increased demand for faster software development in the area of networking. The programmability of network infrastructure has brought network engineers and software developers closer than ever. Thus, the communication between these two parties became essential. Both have to speak and understand the same language now, which is telematics.

That’s why NetOps plays a fundamental role now in order to keep networks agile and responsive to business requirements.

SDN / SD-WAN Products need Customizations

With the rise of Software Defined Networking (SDN), there is also an increased demand for faster software development in the area of networking. The programmability of network infrastructure has brought network engineers and software developers closer than ever. The communication between these two parties has become essential. Both are required to speak and understand the same language – known as telematics.

That is why NetOps plays a fundamental role in keeping networks agile and responsive to business requirements. SDN / SD-WAN manufacturers already offer very powerful and well-functioning products. However, these products are mainly designed to serve the global market with its diverse industries and are therefore standardized. Individual adaptations are necessary to address the respective industry and the needs and wishes of the customers. For manufacturers, it is impossible to adapt products to the individual requirements of every single customer.  Fort that reason, many companies seek out third party specialists that work on the orchestrator’s northbound APIs to support their SD-WAN customization process.

NetOps at Profindis

Our NetOps team consists of experienced network engineers that understand software development and software developers that understand network engineering. Our developers are telematics engineers and most are CCNP certified. In order to achieve the most effective results, both groups work in synergy.  We merge our 15 years of experience in networking and our skills in software development to offer you professional services all around your SDN / SD-WAN project.

SD-WAN Tools developed by Profindis:

  • Bandwidth Utilization Tool (BUT)
    The customer can set their own threshold and alerted when bandwidth utilization becomes critical for their business needs including application analysis.
  • Configuration Audit Tool (CAT) for Edge devices
    Compare configurations, find out and display differences.

Consulting and Support with your existing SD-WAN Solution:

  • Manufacturer Independent
  • Certified Cisco Partner
  • Certified Silver Peak Partner

Our Focus:

  • Automation, Programmability, Orchestration, Virtualization, APIs and Templates

Technologies:

  • Cisco, C++, Java, Spring, Python

You need more Information?

Did we arouse your interest? If you would like to have more information then contact us here!

How to ensure your configurations are not altered or compromised.

Thousands of sites have been rolled out successfully since the release of our SD-WAN tool, the Profindis Deployment Portal. In this blog post, we explain the functioning of our feature “Configuration Monitoring and Surveillance” and how it can be useful to you. To become more familiar with the Profindis Deployment Portal, click here.

Monitoring your processes is key for error and incident prevention of your network. As the network becomes larger, monitoring and surveillance are inevitable.

Configurations of Network Devices Ensure Secure and Reliable Connections

Configurations are central to networking and are also potentially the most vulnerable too. It is only with the right codes and commands that devices can connect and communicate with each other to correctly perform the desired services. They contain all the information necessary to securely and reliably send data from one point to another. In practice, monitoring configurations is rarely used and its benefits are underestimated.

Compromised Configuration Files

In most cases, compromised configuration files do not suggest a malicious attempt to hack your network. More often than not, it is a result of troubleshooting or testing on-site which may have modified some configurations. Deviations in files usually go unnoticed until they start creating problems.

Start Monitoring your Configurations Periodically

With our SD-WAN solution you will be able to track each and every single configuration in your network. With the integrated Periodic Triggered Service you are able to set time intervals during which all configurations will be reviewed. You are able to customize the settings and include or exclude any device from this procedure. If a deviation is detected, the system will immediately inform you. It will tell you which device is affected, provide you with a comparison between the original configuration and the running configuration, and show you where the changes were made.

Autocorrect Altered Configurations

This tool allows for manual or automated corrections for your comprised configurations. By activating the autocorrect option, deviations found in altered configuration will automatically be replaced by the original configuration. This feature enables very quick interventions and prevents further complications by tackling potential root causes directly.

You need more Information?

For more information or to see our SD-WAN solution in action, contact us here!

How to Manage all your Configurations with a Couple of Clicks

Thousands of sites have been successfully rolled out since the release of our SD-WAN tool, the Profindis Deployment Portal. In this blog post we explain the functioning of our feature “Version Management” and how it can be useful to you. If you are not familiar with the Profindis Deployment Portal, learn more on this page.

Configuration Changes on Network Devices

When working in a midsize or large network environment with hundreds or thousands of sites, things can easily get out of hand. Protocolling during the change process is a tedious task. When it comes to configuration changes of network devices it is very difficult to maintain a systematic overview. Many devices require different versions of configurations. This can be due to differences in hardware platforms, ISP (Internet Service Provider), geographical conditions and the availability of certain WAN technologies. Additionally, some devices need to be updated to a newer version, others may need a slightly different version or maintain their old version. This can be further complicated when several changes are required at once.

How can Version Management help you with your Configuration Changes?

Version Management allows you to easily view and access all available configurations as well as track which configuration is attached to which device.

For example, in order to update a router or a switch to a newer configuration version, we start with a master (or basic) configuration, which consists of the main commands and codes that all devices have in common. Next, instead of changing the master configuration, we create a delta configuration. This delta configuration only contains commands that amount to the basic configuration without altering it. The delta configuration varies according to the individual requirements of each device or device group. The result is a new configuration which now, through a couple of clicks, can be addressed to the desired network devices. The Profindis Deployment Portal will then automatically roll out the configuration changes.

Version Management shows the history of the configuration development in form of a tree diagram.

Of course you can add as many delta or basic configurations as you want. The Version Management will always keep track and give you a clear picture of which configuration is on which device and vice versa.

Version Management maintains a Traceable Overview

Sometimes things simply do not work out the first time and new configurations might lead to complications. In a traditional setting, we would have to go through all the commands and codes in a configuration to find the error. Version Management allows for more efficiency, as it keeps a traceable overview of all configurations, allowing to easily return to the previous version by disabling the last delta configuration. The traceable system also allows for easier communication between all parties involved in a project.

Did we arouse your interest?

For more information or to see our SD-WAN solution in action, contact us here!

Why we need experts that are capable of both Software Development and Network Engineering.

 

The boundaries are starting to blur

The boundaries between software development and network engineering are no longer clear and explicit. While each have typically kept to their separate domains, with the advent of SDN (Software Defined Networking), it is becoming more and more important for network engineers to cooperate with software development. Given the current changes, it is only a matter of time until a networker without knowledge of programming languages such as Python or Java can no longer operate in his or her work environment.

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

SDN includes several types of network technologies, aimed at making networks more agile and flexible. In a Software Defined Network, a network administrator can monitor and modify traffic from a central control panel without having to touch individual network devices. Compared to the traditional method, in which commands are entered manually via the Command Line Interface, this new approach saves time and resources. Also, potential sources of error can be successfully eliminated due to the automation and optimization of processes. This results in several benefits for Software Defined Networking, including: centralization of control, automation of processes and application of programmable tools that can be adjusted to any network infrastructure.

Profindis combines Software Development and Network Engineering

With our many years of experience in the networking industry we know what matters most: Practical Knowledge. A software developer without knowledge of networking will be just as unable to write an SDN program as a network engineer without knowledge of software developing. Instead of having software developed by a third party, we place great importance on ensuring that our employees not only have first-class qualifications in network engineering but also the necessary skills in programming network-related software. Through our field-proven knowledge in telematics as well as in C ++, Python and Java, we enable a smooth integration of the two technologies and can therefore provide our customers tailor-made SDN solutions.

Expert Leasing

If you need expert support for your project, contact us here!

Most SD-WAN products lack flexibility.

Rollouts until now

Large rollouts with hundreds of locations and, as a result, hundreds of network devices such as routers, switches, or firewalls take several months or even years to complete if configured manually. The rollout costs are correspondingly high. While there are tools and SD WAN products that address this problem, the solutions are too general and have little or nothing to do with the workflow of the migration and integration of the affected network. Moreover, they are often expensive and usually oversized for the requirements of a migration.

Smart automation tool with Single Point of Management

Over the course of many major projects, we have developed the Profindis Deployment Portal, a smart automation tool. Simplicity, Security and Usability guided us through this process, allowing us to create a powerful tool that has diverse and complex modes of application, yet is very easy to use, highly secure and moulded to the customer’s needs.

With our portal, everything can be controlled through a Single point of Management. Instead of copying and pasting configurations and command lines into the interface, all the functions are accessible through the click of a mouse. That is not only more convenient, but also helps eliminate human error.

Easy and safe deployment of new devices

Unlike other portals, the Deployment Portal offers the innovative ability to provision new devices automatically. While automatic configuration of running devices was within the realm of possibility, automatic configuration of a new device has not yet been offered.

A traditional approach to deploy a new device would include a technician on-site with decent networking skills. The technician’s job is mainly to plug in the device and create an initial configuration to establish a connection to the network. After that the real configuration is executed by a network engineer who accesses the device via remote.

With our tool, network devices such as routers, switches and firewalls can be configured in a few minutes, regardless of location. The technician simply has to plug in the new device and trigger the rollout process through the Portal. Thanks to the graphical, intuitive interface, even a low-skilled technician can easily operate the tool.

During the whole process the technician never has access to configurations and passwords. Therefore, rollouts are always safe, even if a third party carries them out on your behalf.

Your way to automated rollouts

Need to speed up your rollouts? Then contact us here and we will arrange a demo appointment with you.

The best of the best: dm renews its wide area network

Profindis implements future-oriented WAN network for dm-Drogerie Markt

With almost 39,000 employees in more than 1,800 branches in Germany alone, dm-Drogerie Markt is one of the leading drugstore chains in Europe. To secure this position in the future, the company has to be able to master a wide range of technological challenges and meet increasing requirements.

The implementation of a more powerful hardware and a cross-company logistics platform was followed by the migration of the WAN network. Due to the increasing requirements of the drugstore chain, the maximum scalability limits of the WAN network were reached. In addition, an IPv6 protocol was lacking, which is necessary for future internet services.

For the migration, FILIADATA, the internal IT service provider of dm, has brought an experienced and competent partner on board with Profindis.

Numerous challenges mastered professionally

“The migration to IWAN was not an easy task with 3,200 routers in 1,800 branches”, explains Nasser Abu-Alia, managing director at Profindis. “Thanks to our many years of experience in the migration of networks with several thousand branches, we were convinced that we could successfully implement the project.” In addition to the large number of routers, the migration within three weeks during operation and without downtime was another challenge.

Profindis implemented an optimized Cisco IWAN solution based on BGP. Through intelligent routing a dual-active concept has been implemented and a third route via LTE established. The solution is fully redundant, provider-independent and suitable for the use of all bandwidths. In addition, with the IPv4 and v6 dual stack, the solution is well prepared for the future.

dm is satisfied

“Right from the beginning, we were convinced to have found the right partner with Profindis. Their experience and the intelligent concept were definitely crucial to this project. The transition to the new WAN has worked excellently,” summarizes Christian Stäblein, Head of IT at FILIADATA / dm.

In the last 5 years, Profindis has already migrated several large networks to intelligent WAN solutions. However, the migration at dm wasn’t the biggest project so far. Profindis has designed and successfully migrated more than 25,000 sites over the last 5 years.