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data center management best practices

The goal of NetDevOps is to take the collaborative, highly efficient processes that work so well in DevOps environments and apply them to networking workflows. The result is a fast, tightly integrated pipeline that delivers high-performance software and services. One of the keys to successful NetDevOps transformation is efficient management of data center and colocation infrastructure, using technologies like Infrastructure as Code (IaC), automation, orchestration, and environmental monitoring. Let’s discuss how these data center management best practices contribute to NetDevOps.

Data center management best practices for NetDevOps transformation

These best practices will help you manage your data center infrastructure more efficiently, and they enable the application of DevOps principles and practices.

Infrastructure as Code/Network as Code

Often, one of the biggest bottlenecks in a software development pipeline is resource provisioning. Spinning up new VMs or nodes with manual configurations is time-consuming, leaving developers sitting around waiting for new environments before they can begin working. Infrastructure as Code, or IaC, aims to streamline the provisioning process by turning all infrastructure configurations into software code. IaC configurations are stored in a centralized repository and can be deployed over and over again, which saves time and ensures consistent configurations across systems—like development, test, and production environments.

Network as Code uses the same technology to manage network device configurations, such as routers and switches. Probably the most commonly used Network as Code technology is zero touch provisioning (ZTP), which deploys device configuration files over the network and executes them automatically. This enables efficient and remote deployments and updates of large-scale and hyperscale data center networks.

Turning data center configurations into software code makes it easier to integrate these workflows into a DevOps pipeline. It also ensures that networking and operations teams can provision new infrastructure at the velocity needed for fast-paced DevOps release cycles.  

Vendor-neutral automation

Automation is one of the foundational principles of NetDevOps because it speeds up processes while reducing the risk of human error. In the data center, automation tools and scripts are used for device configurations, network and power load balancing, system backups, vulnerability scanning, and more. The challenge is in ensuring all these automated components are compatible with your data center infrastructure, especially in multi-vendor, hybrid, and hyperscale environments.

That’s why vendor-neutrality is a major data center management best practice. Using vendor-neutral hardware will make it easier to deploy your choice of automation tools without modifying your scripts for each device. Even better, a vendor-neutral DCIM (data center infrastructure management) solution provides a unified interface from which to create and deploy automation tools while being able to dig its hooks into every component of your data center infrastructure.


Even in a vendor-neutral environment, keeping track of all your automation workflows can be challenging. Data center orchestration is sometimes defined as “automating your automation,” because it reduces the need for administrators to manually execute automated scripts and workflows. This makes automation even more efficient and reduces the workload for administrators, giving them more time to work on new technology initiatives that bring more business value.

Orchestration solutions can also react to situations in real-time, often much faster than human beings are capable of. For example, DCIM orchestration can monitor for usage spikes and perform automatic load balancing before a network administrator has even had time to read the alert message. Data center orchestration makes it easier to maintain optimal performance and respond to changing network conditions.

Environmental monitoring

The environmental conditions in a data center can have a huge impact on the performance and lifetime of your equipment. However, if your infrastructure is housed in remote colocation facilities, you may not have staff on-site to physically monitor things like temperature, humidity, and air quality. Data center environmental risks can cause system shutdowns, performance issues, and equipment failure, so you need a virtual presence to detect and mitigate these threats.

Environmental monitoring systems use sensors to collect data on temperature, humidity, power, airflow, and other important conditions in the rack. Administrators receive automatic alerts when conditions exceed optimal levels, so they can act quickly to remediate the problem. In addition, some systems include analytics and automated playbooks that make it even easier to optimize data center performance. Environmental monitoring ensures that administrators can keep data center infrastructure performing optimally to support NetDevOps pipelines and services.

How Nodegrid empowers data center management best practices

The Nodegrid DCIM orchestration solution delivers everything you need to follow data center management best practices and achieve NetDevOps transformation. Nodegrid’s vendor-neutral hardware and software can directly host your choice of Infrastructure as Code and Network as Code scripts and supports integrations with any third-party automation solution. ZPE Cloud provides centralized DCIM orchestration that unifies all your automation behind one pane of glass, with the ability to “say yes” to any vendor’s hardware. Plus, with Nodegrid’s cloud-managed environmental sensors, you can keep your infrastructure running at peak efficiency to power your NetDevOps transformation.

Learn more about data center management:

→   Top Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Trends of 2022
→   Data Center Modernization Strategy: How to Streamline Your Legacy Environment
→   Why Choose Nodegrid as Your Data Center Orchestration Tool

Want to find out more about how Nodegrid can help you with these data center management best practices?

Contact ZPE Systems today!

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