F5 Networks Launches 'Super-NetOps' Free Training With Focus On App Services, Automation


F5 Networks has launched a "community-based" training program aimed at helping tech professionals transition from delivering application services on an old-school ticket model toward providing them as a service in a DevOps model.

Called Super-NetOps, F5's training course is free and available on demand.

Teri Patrick, F5 senior solutions marketing manager, said in a recent blog post that the new training program seeks to ease tension between corporate IT and application development teams. "Application development teams are key to securing a successful future," Patrick wrote. "Yet those teams are often hampered by IT systems and practices that have failed to evolve at a pace with business challenges. IT teams face enormous pressure to minimize risk and keep IT costs down even as demand for services escalates."

Joel King, principal architect at World Wide Technology, a large St. Louis-based solution provider that works with F5, said the new training program allows partners to be the "first to educate" customers on the rapidly changing role of the infrastructure engineer.

"The opportunity for WWT is to make our existing customers successful, and it opens up new customer opportunities, as well. It's adding value rather than simply selling hardware."

"The industry is re-inventing the role of the infrastructure engineer, and it's enabling a significant shift in the skills needed to operate the private cloud and public clouds," King said. He said F5's Super-NetOps program is a natural fit with WWT's own Advanced Technology Center.

The program also represents a shift away from traditional training programs, King said. "All the major OEMs have offered product training for many years, but what was a multi-day training at an off-site location has become concise, targeted and available via web portal."

The Super-NetOps program combines product training with programming tools and techniques designed to give customers' operations teams the tools they need to "at least think like a computer scientist," King said, and get familiar with concepts like version control, APIs and structured data.

The program familiarizes network operations professionals with the concepts and skills they need to build a service catalog for developers to access on demand and to provide those services in a "continuous deployment pipeline," Patrick wrote.

Courses also cover the cultural and process changes that come with adopting a DevOps model. Overall, the program helps "break down operational silos and get the right teams doing the right work in close collaboration and with an eye toward driving better business outcomes," Patrick said.

The courses include both video instruction and guided, hands-on labs that demonstrate how to deliver application services in an automated tool chain.

The course includes two modules that cover DevOps methodologies, automation, orchestration and infrastructure-as-code. F5 expects to roll out an expanded curriculum over the next few months, including training on security, DevSecOps, agile methodologies, application language frameworks and third-party automation enablement.

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