AI Assistance Without Leveraging Infrastructure Data, With Forward Networks

AI has become a critical yet contentious component in networking, as vendors seek balance between leveraging its benefits and protecting the sensitive data it runs on. Forward Networks has innovatively addressed this challenge with its AI Assist and Summary Assist features, enabling network engineers to streamline their use of the Network Query Engine (NQE) without exposing critical infrastructure data. These tools epitomize strategic AI implementation, delivering powerful assistance within a data-secure framework to optimize network management while safeguarding company-specific information. Learn more in this article by Aaron Conaway, sponsored by Forward Networks.

Let Someone Else Install Your Campus Network

As Aaron Conaway posted, Nile showcased their comprehensive campus network solutions at Networking Field Day, emphasizing their end-to-end service that extends beyond hardware delivery to include detailed network planning and on-site evaluations. Their approach ensures not only installation but also up-to-date firmware and secure configurations managed via a cloud-based system, challenging the traditional “install now, secure later” methodology. Nile further distinguishes itself with ongoing management, monitoring, and proactive problem and replacement services, offering an innovative model for organizations lacking significant capital expenditure budgets.

No Inventory, No Proper Management

At Networking Field Day 34, Forward Networks, Inc. showcased the substantial advantages of implementing a digital twin for network management. The digital twin provides a dynamic and thorough inventory by constantly analyzing the network to reflect its current state, automatically updating documentation, and enhancing compliance and automation efforts. Aaron Conaway emphasized the crucial need for up-to-date network visibility, asserting that reliable network management is impossible without a comprehensive and current understanding of one’s network infrastructure.

Out-Of-Band Management – Useful Beyond Catastrophe

Aaron Conaway reflects on his participation in Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live, where he learned about Opengear’s out-of-band (OOB) management solutions. While traditionally used for catastrophic events, Opengear discussed how OOB gear can also be utilized for provisioning, device configuration, and monitoring purposes. This expanded functionality enhances day-to-day operations and remote troubleshooting capabilities, making an investment in OOB networks worth considering. Read more at Aaron’s blog!

Overlay Management

Aaron Conaway highlights his participation in Tech Field Day 27, specifically focusing on Men & Mice, a company that presented Micetro, their overlay management product for DHCP, DNS, and IPAM. He explains the benefits of using an overlay management system like Micetro, such as centralized changes, deferred service expertise, and scalability.

IP Address Management in a Modern Dynamic Network

In this episode of On-Premise IT Podcast, recorded at Tech Field Day event in California, delegates Aaron Conaway, Jeffrey Powers and Michael Davis take the lid off the pain points of managing DNS and DHCP in large networks. Check out the full podcast on Gestalt IT’s Youtube channel or your favorite podcast platform.

Modular Network OS With Nokia SR Linux

At the most recent Networking Field Day, Aaron Conaway, a Field Day delegate, took focus on Nokia’s presentation. He especially was interested in their SR Linux, which is a modernization of the 20 year old SR OS. Aaron states “this gets us into a world of streaming telemetry!” Take a look here for more from Aaron on Nokia.

Modern Analytics Can Come From Anywhere

After seeing Cisco Meraki present at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live US 2019, Aaron Conaway considers the possibilities of being able to integrate cameras with systems like badge readers. This would allow for really extraordinary things like sending the security team a video of a developer trying to get places he should be going. Or, perhaps, the camera can be smart enough to know that an event is happening and do something about it.What if we looked at security cameras in a completely different light? What if the camera becomes something else? Enter the Cisco Meraki Motion Search 2.0 software features for MV cameras. This package takes video to another level for the second-generation MV cameras.

Nyansa Voyance at NFD18

In this post, Aaron Conaway takes a look at Nyansa’s Voyance, which he saw at Networking Field Day last month. This network analytics solution focuses on user experience. He focuses on how the Voyance Crawler sits inside a network, looking at a variety of data points, from wireless controllers to API calls and more. This is correlated to get a full understanding of how a user experiences a network, and provides suggestions on how to remediate issues.

Automating My World

Aaron Conaway talks about how he goes about automating his world and the tools he uses to do it. He mentions Python, Rundeck, and Ansible, who he recently saw present at Networking Field Day 18.

Off The Cuff – Conferences And Social Media For Engineers

The Network Collective Podcast panel at Cisco Live US discusses the career changing value of conferences and social media for network engineers.

ASIC Programmability from Barefoot Networks

Barefoot Networks presented their fully programmable Tofino switch at Networking Field Day last month. It left an impression on a lot of our delegates, including Aaron Conaway. He came away impressed that Tofino is the opposite of a fixed-function ASIC. By being fully programmable, the switch is essentially a blank slate, that can be completely reprogrammed in a software update taking 50ms. The other implication is that the switch can insert tracking information natively to your traffic, all while maintaining high performance. It’s a total rethink on how a switch can behave. This may put the burden of providing features to the switch OS makers, but it still turns a switch from something fixed in stone to a dynamic part of your network.

QoS? Really?

QoS? Really?

Aaron Conaway

Long-time Network Guy