Looking Forward to Networking Field Day 16

Networking Field Day is coming up next week, and we’re happy to have Pete Welcher returning as a delegate. He’s getting to revisit a company he saw at a previous event, Apstra and their intent-driven networking solution. Overall, Pete is looking forward to the presentations and talking to his fellow delegates.


Apstra’s Unique Approach to Networking

Pete Welcher looks at Apstra’s intent-based networking automation solution, which he first saw at Networking Field Day last November. The company has a intention-based engine and a working fabric model, which Pete sees as a possible solution to organizations that want to automate without the hassles of scale. For Pete, it’s a solution to “fiddle-ware”. Instead of training an IT team on how to manage a series of kludgy scripts and programs, they can standardize around Apstra.


WAN Design Is Changing: What That Means for You

Based on discussions at Networking Field Day last year, Pete Welcher put together of why and how WAN design is changing. Pete sees this being driven by the needs of SaaS and cloud-based apps, which require low latency. This manifests in three design choices, centralized, decentralized, and regionalized internet access. This is a really thoughtful look on the topic, make sure to check it out!


Troubleshooting Lessons Learned

Pete Welcher shares his lessons in troubleshooting, in this case it was the dreaded complaint of “the Wi-Fi is bad”. He breaks down how he approached two different scenarios with different companies. Both ended up using Netbeez’s client-side monitoring solution to help get regular and accurate upload and download speeds, which saved both human time, and increased accuracy. Make sure to checkout Pete’s post for an in-depth look into his techniques.


Network Verification with Veriflow

Pete Welcher saw a demonstration of Veriflow’s continuous network verification solution. In it, he saw some similarities with what he saw from Forward Networks last year at Networking Field Day. Both use formal verification of a network, with Veriflow pulling information from devices on the network and building a topograpghical model. Pete still has many of the same questions about how this would work as he did for Forward Networks, but ultimately his conclusion is “cool stuff”!


Ixia: Good Defense Leads to a Good Offense

Pete Welcher wrote up his thoughts on what he saw from Ixia at Networking Field Day last year. The company has a diverse and sprawling product line, so Pete focuses the post specifically on their Network Packet Broker solution. Pete sets up the conversation by considering the benefits and costs of setting up network taps. This nicely sets up what he saw from Ixia’s Visibility tool, which seems to be a nice solution rather than tapping everything. This concentrated approach let’s a network engineer prioritize what they are looking for, rather than capture everything and trying to make sense of the mass of data.


What’s New in Networking: Docker at TFD12

Pete Welcher got a look at Docker’s plans to improve their networking from their presentation at Networking Field Day last November. Pete is still trying to wrap his head around what containers mean for networking. But in this post, he raises some prescient concerns. With the proliferation of containers and micro-services, he sees a world with the network getting even chattier, as container-based app components “pass the buck” to other components to actually get work done. It’s an interesting concern, and it’ll be interesting to see how this is addressed and hopefully resolved.


To SD-WAN or Not to SD-WAN — and How?

Pete Welcher has been seeing a lot of competing SD-WAN solutions, including a lot from presentations at past Networking Field Day events. He runs down how to determine if these solutions are ideal for your operations. First, if you’re heavily investing in a lot of Cisco routers, just use IWAN. But for organizations with equipment coming to end of life or need ease of deployment without much more needed than routing and QoS, SD-WAN is worth a look. Make sure to read Pete’s piece for all the details.


Viptela: SD-WAN for Enterprise

Peter Welcher wrote a piece on what he saw from Viptela from November’s Networking Field Day. Unlike other SD-WAN vendors specifically targeting service providers, Viptela is squarely focused on the enterprise. Peter seemed really impressed not just by Viptela’s robust routing capabilities, but also their security. Their solution easily allows for rekeying, and includes tamper proofing. If someone gets a hold of an edge device, they won’t be able to use it to backdoor into your network. Seems like a lot of really well thought out solutions!


SD-WAN from VeloCloud

Peter Welcher reviews what he saw from VeloCloud at Networking Field Day in November. He came away impressed with the company. In a space that’s increasingly crowded by players with a legacy in WAN optimization, VeloCloud distinguishes itself. Peter was particularly impressed by their support for service chaining and partnerships with virtualized firewall vendors. Overall, Peter sees what VeloCloud is doing as proof that SD-WAN has carved out a definite use case in the enterprise.


NFD13: SolarWinds Presents Its New NetPath Tool

I don’t want to put words into Peter Welcher’s mouth. But in his post about SolarWinds’ NetPath tool, he straight up says, “[i]t turns out, I was very impressed with the new NetPath tool!” Not a lot of room for ambiguity there! SolarWinds presented at Networking Field Day this past November, and spent the entire session going over NetPath. Peter really enjoyed the presentation, not just for what NetPath could do, but also learning the journey SolarWinds took to refine and develop the tool.


NFD13: Forward Networks Comes Out of Stealth to Impress

Peter Welcher reviews what he saw from Forward Networks once they came out of stealth. Peter seemed impressed with how Forward is able to put together a database model of network configurations that can be searched and indexed independent of actually operating on the network. This can then be used for fast troubleshooting, as well as testing configurations to make sure they’re operating within a desired state. Overall, Peter sees this as a way to not spread you senior enterprise talent too thin. While there isn’t any automated remediation backed in, the powerful forecasting tools they present make it possible to better utilize talent in your organization.


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