The enterprise network is a nexus of connections, systems and peripherals which becomes a level more complicated with the multi-vendor models of today’s businesses. A solution that collects valuable data from across various points in the network and serves it up to the engineers to work with can make analysis and maintenance of such vast and complex network infrastructures a lot simpler. At January’s Networking Field Day event, IP Fabric presented the IP Fabric Automated Network Assurance Platform that is the self-same solution that we just talked about, only better.
In Pursuit of Network Assurance
Network assurance is a small name for a jumble of perpetual processes each of which is critical to the integrity of a network. They include but are not limited to config verification, device state checkups, substantiation of policy implementations and overall understanding of device behaviors and interactions. In the light of that, it is safe to say that network assurance demands a deep and wide understanding of the network topology on the whole and for that clear end-to-end visibility is key.
Manually, this is all grunt work. It costs time and money, not to mention a lot of steam. The processes themselves are so cumbersome and nebulous that it’s all sweat and elbow grease and even so, a clear top-down view is difficult to achieve. Without a solution that automates the long and repetitive jobs, it’s a costly process that could keep companies perpetually in never-ending cycles of data finding.
IP Fabric Takes the Boring Part Out of Network Engineering
IP Fabric Network Assurance Platform takes the grind out by introducing network automation but takes it a step further with optimized end-to-end visibility. IP Fabric’s key goal is to eliminate the onerous search for information in the network. A plug and play platform, IP Fabric automates this by pulling up facts from different parts of the network and processing them into ready-to-consume intelligence. That makes the three principal goals of network engineering- security, availability and compliance a lot easier to achieve.
With the ultimate goal of improving network performance, it delivers timely intelligence thereby enabling engineers to always be in the know. Records of historical trends and snapshots of models allow users to compare network status of today with that of yesterday on the platform.
IP Fabric’s 3-Step Way of Acquiring Information from the Network Over
At the recent Networking Field Day event, IP Fabric showcased its Automated Network Assurance Platform. After discussing all its key features, Daren Fulwell, Product Evangelist, IP Fabric offered a detailed demo of the product and took questions from delegates attending the event.
IP Fabric does network assurance the smart way. The Network Assurance Platform functions in three steps. In its first phase which is Discovery, it crawls through the entire network choosing and gathering bits and pieces of information with the purpose of developing a comprehensive model of the network. This is an API and CLI based process which means discovery takes place at the configuration and connection levels.
With the information it gathers, it then creates a vendor-agnostic model which offers an overarching view of everything in the network, especially from the point of view of functionality and policy. The models are the blueprints for understanding the connections and interactions between devices.
In the final stages of its operation, the platform makes the data accessible to those who want it and in a format that is most relevant to them. IP Fabric builds the models based on the data captured from all over the network in a way that anybody anywhere in the hierarchy can make sense of it. With the API opened up, now the data is readily available to the network engineers who require it to do their individual jobs.
At the heart of any good network is automation. So, not having automation is not an option with today’s multi-vendor networks. In more than one way, IP Fabric Network Assurance Platform contributes to the overall network performance by solving a multitude of the challenges of network maintenance. It shortens the mundane and rigorous process of collating dependable and actionable intelligence from across the network into an automated cycle, while also ensuring that optimal end-to-end visibility which is so hard to achieve with hybrid networks. What took days before can now happen in minutes. Looks like the job of network engineers got a lot simpler.