“AI Assist” Is Better Than “AI Do It for Me”

John Herbert feels cautious towards AI, particularly when entrusting it with network control, advocating for human oversight to validate AI-generated solutions. But he appreciates Forward Networks’ AI Assist feature for creating natural language queries that help users engage with the company’s Network Query Engine (NQE), while retaining the option for manual evaluation and tweaking. Furthermore, Herbert finds value in the Summary Assist tool, which provides natural language explanations of NQE queries, enhancing user understanding and trust in the AI’s output.

The Amazing Way Observability Shapes Automation

The benefits of automation far outweigh the potential perils, mainly because more than 70% of IT decision-makers have acknowledged reduced employee workload with automation’s help. Visibility and automation share a close relationship, with data being a prerequisite for both. Saha further explains how with proper implementation and integration, networking automation can significantly improve the entire system’s efficiency while reducing the need for human-based control. This Networking Field Day Roundtable discussion focuses on the promise and pitfalls of network automation.

Progress Flowmon Is a Triple Threat for Network Traffic Monitoring

John Herbert sat on the delegate panel at the most recent Progress Tech Field Day Showcase. In his post he talks about how Progress’ Flowman offers visibility into data flows, network security, and application performance all in one platform. Check out John’s thoughts, at the Gestalt IT website, on how these tasks require parallel infrastructures so that Flowman is absolutely positioned as a triple threat in the monitoring space.

Why Haven’t I Tried ZeroTier Before?

This past January, ZeroTier presented for the very first time at Networking Field Day in the Silicon Valley. John Herbert, a field day delegate, was very intrigued by ZeroTier’s creation of an arbitrary virtual ethernet switch through which devices can communicate. Check out why John will now be using ZeroTier’s solution.

Cisco Intent-Based Networking Roundtable

Join the delegates from Gestalt IT’s Tech Field Day Virtual Cisco Live Experience as they dive into the latest intent-based networking announcements from Cisco. Listen in as they discuss the importance of network policy, user-defined networks, location tracking, and SD-WAN. Tom Hollingsworth leads the expert panel of Phil Gervasi, Shala Denise, Jonathan Davis, John Herbert, and Jody Lemoine.

Meraki in the Middle – Smart Security Cameras

John Herbert got to hear from Cisco Meraki during Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live US 2019. The company detailed their new second generation MV security cameras, which John sees as a entering into a new market for the company. These fall somewhere in the middle between consumer cloud-managed cameras and high end centrally managed enterprise one. In terms of features and quality, Meraki’s cameras approach the high end, but with the same underlying cloud-managed simplicity with which it has approached wireless, switching and security. For John, the new lineup looks “really neat”.

Viavi Enterprise Provides Unexpected Network Insights

John Herbert takes a look at Viavi’s Observer products, which he heard about in depth at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live US 2019. This includes Gigastor which can capture packets at line rate and retain the raw packet data, GigaFlow which ingests flow data from sources for analysis, and Apex that unifies the other solutions into a single digestible interface. For John, the combinations offers huge value to network and security operations.

Cisco SP Nails It at NFDx

John Herbert was at our Networking Field Day Exclusive event with Cisco’s Service Provider business unit this week, and he felt their presentations were excellent. They delved into segment routing, zero touch provisioning, OpenConfig support for their IOS XR platform, and more. If you want to catch all the technical deep dives, full video of the event has been posted. Check it out!

New Year, New Post, NFDx!

John Herbert is back on the blogging path in early 2019 and he’s excited! He’ll be starting off the year with a Networking Field Day Exclusive from Cisco’s Service Provider group. You can watch the event along with John on January 15th, or check out his coverage of what he saw afterward. We’re looking forward to both!

Change Doesn’t Have To Be a Four Letter Word

Change to a network inherently exposes an organization to some risk of something going wrong. John Herbert looks at Cisco’s Network Assurance Engine, and how it helps admins do testing of a change state and extensive validation to help reduce that risk, and make change much more manageable.

Verify, Or Die Trying: Observations on Change Management

John Herbert takes a look at the challenges of change management in a network, and how Cisco’s Network Assurance Engine can make the process much more reliable and consistent.

Mellanox, Ixia and Cumulus: Part 3

At Networking Field Day, Mellanox presented with their partners Ixia and Cumulus Networks. John Herbert has been giving each company a look in a series of posts, with this final iteration looking at Cumulus. Based on Debian Linux, the company’s Cumulus Linux distribution offers some enticing features for a network operating system. It includes a broad range of hardware support from multiple vendors, and allows both network and linux admins to use the CLI they are most comfortable with for configuration. In the end, John concludes that it’s a “pretty sweet product.”

Mellanox, Ixia and Cumulus: Part 2

John Herbert continues his look at Mellanox’s presentation from Networking Field Day. In this post, he focuses on what he saw from the company’s partner, Ixia. He looks at their IxNetwork, which provides end-to-end network validation. John outlines the novel way IxNetwork does this, and why it could be particularly valuable to service providers.

Mellanox, Ixia and Cumulus: Part 1

John Herbert enjoyed hearing from Mellanox at Networking Field Day earlier this year. They were one of the “behind the scenes” companies that are pervasive, but often unnoticed. They made a case for their Spectrum / Spectrum 2 ASICs for white box vendors, noting considerable performance benefits over competitors.

Off the Cuff – NFD17 Wrap Up

In the most recent “Off the Cuff” episode of Network Collective, the crew discussed what they saw at Networking Field Day last week. What happens when six delegates sit on a podcast together? Magic!

Networking Field Day 17 (NFD17) Redux

John Herbert shares his parting thoughts from Networking Field Day last week. He touches on the two dominant themes he saw from the presenters, ever increasing automation and an emphasis on telemetry. He shares his favorite presentations as well. Make sure to watch the recorded video of the presentations to see for yourself.

Automatic Product Pitch Generator

John Herbert shares some fun for your next enterprise networking event, including a Networking Buzzword Generator and a buzzword bingo card! In the words of the buzzword generator: Our ground-breaking Next Generation Networking product predictively automates your environment through RESTful APIs, a single pane of glass, and network modeling.

Cisco, Mellanox, Ixia and Cumulus: Last Day of NFD17!

It may be his ninth Networking Field Day event, but John Herbert found a lot to be excited about at his most recent event. If you missed any of the presentations, be sure to check out our full video from each company. There’s lots of interesting presentations on automation, network fabrics, and hybrid cloud services.

Diving Into Design With The Aruba 8400

John Herbert takes a look at the design behind the new Aruba 8400 switch and why little things like airflow and linecard layout can help solve manufacturing issues. He also discusses how the new generation of switches like the 8400 can bring increased performance to locations that may not have the support of a full datacenter environment.

Can Teridion Really Boost Internet Throughput?

John Herbert invokes a little Morpheus voice to talk about Teridion. They want to make internet transit faster. Sounds easy right? Doesn’t SD-WAN already do this? John points out that SD-WAN simply lays software over the public internet to replace previously private circuits. But the actual speed can be changed by every service provider in that route. Simply prioritizing by the least amount of service provider hops doesn’t mean it’ll actually be faster. Teridion claims that they have a solution to increase throughput by 5 to 20 times more than current internet speeds, just by accounting for this. They do this by having traffic routed through their Teridion Global Cloud Network, which has servers spread through numerous locations and SPs. They pull latency and speed info constantly to make create an optimized route for traffic. This could be very valuable to any SaaS company.