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Expert Q&A on CloudGenix Free DevOps, NetOps, and ChatOps Training Course

Want to uplevel your skills and learn new strategies to boost the performance of your cloud-delivered branch infrastructure?

We talked to CloudGenix experts Mike Korenbaum, senior product line manager, and Tanushree Kamath, senior technical marketing engineer, about why you should attend our free CloudGenix 3-day DevOps training module.

The training curriculum, held over three days in 60 or 90-minute sessions, will teach you:

Visit our YouTube Channel to view all  three modules.

Below, Mike Korenbaum Tanushree Kamath answer questions about what skills you can expect to learn in these sessions, how you can apply these in-demand skills in your organization today, and why you can’t afford to miss this info-packed course.

Q: Why do we need DevOps methods for deploying an enterprise network at scale?

Mike Korenbaum: To understand why DevOps is important, we need to contrast it with the traditional method that network engineers have used for deployment. Traditionally, you would log into each individual device and type in specific command structures on a device-by-device basis, which can lead to administrator errors, fat fingering, inconsistencies across sites, right? Obviously, this is cumbersome; you have one thousand locations and have to log into one thousand devices, into which you type a number of commands. Not only is this challenging to execute, it’s hard to document your changes accurately.

In contrast, the DevOps model is instantaneous and automated. The architecture of the SD-WAN platform is controller-based, and the CloudGenix Cloud controller provides you a single source of truth to all of your configurations. You will no longer need to access one thousand devices; you will learn how to access a single site, the controller, and program all of your configurations via the RESTful HTTPS-based API.

We’ll also discuss the CloudGenix Config utility, which is a utility that leverages the CloudGenix SDK that allows you to provision networks at scale. The Config utility allows you to perform tasks like configuration templating, allowing you to easily automate thousands of site deployments.

Tanushree Kamath: Important to mention is that the session will include an introduction to Network-as-code. This, essentially, allows you to integrate the CloudGenix Config utility with Continuous integration tools (CI) like Jenkins or Travis. This allows you to automate the entire process from end to end, providing you with abilities like templatization, as Mike said, as well as additional control over your single source of truth, the repository for all of your configurations. Plus, for the first session, you will not need to have any Python expertise to benefit from these learnings — that’s how easy these strategies are to master, allowing you to use simple controls to manage your entire network.

Q: Why learn how to program with the CloudGenix Python SDK?

Tanushree: This second session will be for someone who wants to understand the CloudGenix API world and build utilities to automate their day-to-day network operations. This session will provide an introduction to our SDK, which is a lightweight wrapper around the CloudGenix RESTful HTTPS-based APIs. You’ll understand what we offer for create, read, update and delete (CRUD) operations in our AppFabric. You’ll learn to modify resources in the CloudGenix AppFabric with the power of APIs, rather than having to log onto the controller or using CLI to manage all of your configurations.

For this course, there is a prerequisite that attendees have some understanding of Python, which, as we will explain, is more than worth the effort to learn.

Q: Why is there so much emphasis on Python?

Mike: That’s where the industry is moving. If you’re a network engineer who’s looking to evolve their skills, learning a programming language like Python is going to benefit you greatly — not just when it comes to CloudGenix SD-WAN deployments, but for doing automation work with any other major cloud provider, like Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google, and the like. They all have Python SDKs and RESTful APIs that you can leverage. This training is CloudGenix-specific, but a majority of these learnings can be translated to other systems.

Q: What is ChatOps and how can enterprises leverage it to streamline management, monitoring, and troubleshooting of their enterprise network and applications?

Tanushree: Most enterprises are shying away from email – they’re using modern chat applications such as Slack or Microsoft Teams for their collaborative work. The good thing about these apps is that they come equipped with Bots. ChatOps is the use of these bots to facilitate collaboration between all the different tools in your day to day operations. ChatOps allows help desk and support teams to access information about the CloudGenix network from their chat application.

We’ll be talking specifically about the CloudGenix integration with Slack. The result, for attendees, will be that, if you’re ever curious about your network performance, your site health, your application performance — or anything on your CloudGenix AppFabric — you can just open your Slack app on your smartphone and send it a natural language request. You don’t have to be on the office network on your phone — you can just query your network, dispatch support cases, and figure out what’s going on, without the need to have your laptop by your side.

So, we’ll go over that Slackbot integration, show you how to install it, and then show you how to customize that utility to build your own plugins.

Mike: To add onto that, ChatOps will give you the ability to support not only Level 1 engineers, but executives who need quick operational updates. As an example, picture a Director of IT at a large retail organization. When she walks into a store, she wants to know how systems are actively performing: Does it have any open or active issues? Are there application SLA violations or active alarms? Rather than logging into the CloudGenix console, she can simply send a quick natural language note to Slackbot. The Slackbot will then immediately return back high-level information — all of the connections are up, there are no active alarms and no application SLA violations. Everything is clean from network perspective. This gives executives the ability to rapidly understand the state of their network, applications, and services to assess business impact and, if needed, dispatch the appropriate resources to troubleshoot.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for our DevOps course — be sure to register for the free 3-day curriculum today. Prior to training, we recommend taking a Python 101 course. You can view recommended courses here.