Automated Testing & Intent Verification for Network Operations

Jason Edelman considers why networks often lack the robust testing tools that are the bedrock of software development. He recently saw a solution from Veriflow at Networking Field Day that might move networking closer to having better preemptive testing. They offer built in consistency and intent-based checks to define the state of the network and when something appears out of compliance. He also likes that their platform exposes all of this functionality via a RESTful API.


Apstra: Networking by Intent

Pete Welcher got to see more from Apstra at last month’s Networking Field Day. The company is pushing back on other companies jumping on the intent-based networking bandwagon, calling it “intent washing”. Pete remains impressed that the company clearly defines what they mean by intent, remain firmly hardware agnostic, and approaching their intent fabric as a single managed entity. This presentation focused on how developers can use Apstra’s intent-based features, which impressed Pete with the versatility for a number of different network roles.


NFD16 day two – Cisco Project Starship a.k.a. Intersight

Gian Paolo Boarina takes a look at the debut of Cisco Intersight, which he saw at Networking Field Day last month. This allows for admins to manage remote servers via a Cisco SaaS portal, including UCS B-Series servers, C-Series servers, and HyperFlex. Gian sees as allowing MSPs and system integrators to more easily scale, as they can monitor and manage their servers through a single dashboard.


Is the Data-Driven Network Next Step in Networking?

First we had software-defined network as the buzzword de rigueur. More recently intent-based networking has increasingly crept into marketing parlance. But Terry Slattery thinks he might have found a new network paradigm at work, one that has so far escaped buzzwordification. He postulates the data-driven network, which would use real time big data analytics on raw network traffic, and then use the results to optimize the network. Terry cites Cisco Tetration, Arista Networks, Apstra, and Veriflow Systems as example, all of which he saw at Networking Field Day last month.


Kentik Finds Truth in the Traffic

Pete Welcher did his homework before seeing Kentik’s presentation at Networking Field Day last month. He watched their prior presentations and was familiar with the company’s offerings. After all that, the company managed to impress Pete with their latest appearance. Read the full post for his detailed impression, but overall, Pete liked that Kentik allows for quick usability with built-in queries and reports, with actual anomaly detection, rapid reporting, and data collection across appliance silos.


Intent-Based Analytics: What is it?

After their presentation at Tech Field Day last month, Apstra’s Sasha Ratkovic shares a post defining intent-based analytics. Their solution is based around formally defining a single source of truth from which you can reason about the presence of change. This allows for analytics based on that criteria, rather than a constantly fluctuating current state.


Seeing Tetration in action – NFD16

At Networking Field Day last month, Amy Arnold saw a presentation on Cisco’s Tetration. The platform uses machine learning to proactively create security policies based on current flow information. Amy was impressed to see that this not only has the ability to predict security policies based on current flows, but that the system can integration with services like Splunk or Phantom to communicate with devices to isolate traffic.


Arista’s Programmability Strategy

Jason Edelman takes a look at the five components of Arista’s programmability strategy, as presented at Networking Field Day last month. These include EAPI, OpenConfig, NetDB Streaming, Turbines, and EosSdk. Jason breaks down each, weights the merits of the approach, and concludes with how he’d like to see Arista evolve their roadmap down the road.


NFD16 day two – Apstra

Apstra defines “intent” for their IDN solution as “the definition of the expected outcome”. After seeing their Networking Field Day presentation, Gian Paolo Boarina appreciated their ease of use, without sacrificing important features like robust configuration validation. Instead of merely backing up different device configuration throughout the network, Apstra has designed a “snapshot of intent” that generates configurations as needed to fit it. Its a powerful model, albeit one that calls for substantial trust.


Intent-Based Networking: What is it?

Apstra’s Sasha Ratkovic posts about what exactly is intent-based networking, based on their recent presentation from Networking Field Day. He reviews why organizations should be motivated to implement IBN, defines what Apstra specifically means by “intent”, and outlines how such an adoption can fundamentally lead to more agility and availability for your network.


Pluribus Networks… Wait, where are we again?

Although he had followed the company for a while, Chris Marget appreciated an update on Pluribus Networks at Networking Field Day. While he appreciated the company’s use of Solaris to back Netvisor switching OS, the introduction of Netvisor on Linux is a welcome addition. It allows you to manage network devices using specific protocols through a single device via their Netvisor Fabric. One of the other standouts was Pluribus Networks’ “fantastic telemetry and flow analytics capabilities”.


Preserving and managing intent using Apstra AOS

Apstra’s AOS is a platform to allow network engineers to design a network based around an intended purpose or function, rather than muddling with an existing architecture who’s original intent can only be guessed. Amy Arnold points out that AOS simply isn’t a tool for building an initial configuration, but also a way for making revisions in a controlled manner, while documenting intent. This takes intent out of the realm of a network engineers thoughts, and forces it to be explicitly stated in a single source of truth.


Cisco Intersight – A Transformative Evolution

At Networking Field Day, Cisco presented on release of Project Starship, now called Intersight. This is a cloud-based systems management platform to manage Cisco UCS and HyperFlex within one interface. All of this is designed with security in mind, while leveraging actionable intelligence from their customer base.


NFD16 day one – Arista

Arista’s Networking Field Day presentation definitely struck a chord with many delegates. Gian Paolo Boarina is no exception. In this post, he highlights some of the topics covered, including EOS programmability, Network Automation, Telemetry, and Routing Architecture Transformations. Gian sees Arista really differentiating from competitors with their approach to programmability and telemetry, with the latter offering a clear, fast, easy to use GUI.


KEMP Presented Some Interesting Features at NFD16

KEMP Technologies presented at Networking Field Day last week, and Chris Marget shares his thoughts on what he saw. The three features that stood out were the new ability to use KEMP’s UI to manage non-KEMP load balancers, easy service migrations between KEMP instances via vMotion, and their unique licensing model. Chris digs deeper into each, so make sure to read the full post!


Networking Field Day 16 Summary

Derik Winkworth shares Apstra’s reflections on their Networking Field Day presentation. At their second event, Apstra focused on how their AOS platform can be applied to developer roles to enable true intent-based networking. Make sure to watch both of their presentations to get up to date on the exciting possibilities.


NFD16 – Gigamon and Splunk (with a Dash of Phantom)

At Gigamon’s Networking Field Day presentation last week, the emphasis was on how hard security is in the modern data center. The company showed how with their platform and partners like Splunk and Phantom, they can radically simplify this process and bring true visibility to your network traffic.


Cisco Launches Intersight: Cloud Managed UCS and HyperFlex

Cisco unveiled Intersight at Networking Field Day, their SaaS platform for unified UCS and HyperFlex management. Rich Stroffolino wrote up his thoughts on the announcement. For him, it shows a commitment by Cisco to services and expanding their customer base as their path to the future.


Network Field Day 16

Gian Paolo Boarina returned from his first Networking Field Day event having seen presentations from eight different companies. The topics ranged from network visibility, to analytics, intent-based networking, SDN, and more. We’re looking forward to hearing Gian’s impressions of each!


NFD16 delegate

We were very excited to be able to have Gian Paolo Boarina join us at Networking Field Day last week. We’re looking forward to seeing his reactions to the presenting companies after his first event. It’s always interesting to get the perspective of someone drinking straight from the firehose for the first time.