Dissecting Cloud Networking

Sulagna Saha’s recent piece on dives into the complexities and challenges of networking within the cloud ecosystem. The article sheds light on how organizations can navigate the intricacies of cloud connectivity, security, and architecture to optimize their network operations. Readers are guided through the nuances of cloud networking, based on a roundtable discussion hosted by Tom Hollingsworth at Networking Field Day last month.

Unveiling the Power of Digital Twins

The concept of digital twins is revolutionizing how we interact with and manage complex systems, demonstrated in Greg Grimes’ article on the subject following the Forward Networks presentation Networking Field Day. Read more in this LinkedIn Pulse article.

AI is Smarter Than Your Average Network Engineer

Recent advances in AI for IT have shown the huge potential for changing the way that we do work. However, AI can’t replace everyone in the workforce. In this episode, Tom Hollingsworth is joined by Rita Younger, Josh Warcop, and Rob Coote as they look at how the hype surrounding AI must inevitably be reconciled with the reality of real people doing work.

Guaranteed Performance Outcomes With Nile Access Service

At Networking Field Day, Suresh Katukam, Co-founder and CPO of Nile, introduced the Nile Access Service architecture, aiming to alleviate complexities in modern networks by providing guaranteed performance outcomes. Nile’s approach simplifies network operations with streamlined solution architecture, integrating wired security, wireless coverage, and management into a service-consumable model. The company emphasizes eliminating the pain points of product-centric innovation by unifying disparate technologies under a service that promises broad automation, AI-driven observability, and zero-trust security by design. Read more in this Gestalt IT article by Sulagna Saha!

Improving Network Operations With a Doppelganger From Forward Networks

Forward Networks introduced innovative ways to improve network operations using a digital twin of any network at Networking Field Day, simplifying complex environments for diverse operational teams. Their solution, Forward Enterprise, captures detailed configuration and state data, enabling queries through a SQL-like language without requiring deep knowledge of specific vendor syntax. Additionally, their AI-powered features, AI Assist and Summary Assist, transform natural language into precise queries and summaries, respectively, facilitating even quicker access to critical network information, thus enhancing efficiency across the board. Read more in this Gestalt IT article by Bruno Wollmann, sponsored by Forward Networks.

Using AI to Enhance Forward Networks NQE

In this article, Tom Hollingsworth highlights Forward Networks’ new AI Assist feature for their Network Query Engine (NQE), emphasizing a user-friendly approach to complex network queries. This feature allows professionals to input plain language requests which are then translated into precise NQE syntax by AI, ensuring transparency and fostering a deeper understanding of the underlying system. Forward Networks’ approach to integrating AI not only streamlines the process of extracting network insights but also acts as a learning tool, bridging the gap between user intent and technical query execution. Read more in this Networking Field Day article sponsored by Forward Networks.

Forward Networks – Building Complete Confidence in AI Systems

At Networking Field Day, Forward Networks unveiled AI Assistant, a natural language interface enhancing its platform with generative AI, signifying a leap in network technology usability and trust. Distinguished from ordinary AI tools, AI Assistant harnesses the power of Forward Networks’ digital twin technology, ensuring validations and accurate, trusted responses in complex IT environments. The integration of AI Assistant simplifies data access through natural language queries, accelerating tasks for IT professionals and paving the way towards autonomous, self-healing networks. Read more in this Gestalt IT article by Sulagna Saha.

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.

Everyday Networking With Aviz Networks’ New Smart Assistant, Network Copilot

Aviz Networks unveiled its Network Copilot Smart Assistant at Networking Field Day, a groundbreaking solution designed to redefine AI-enhanced networking by going beyond just data analytics to deep, seamless integration with existing network infrastructure. This Smart Assistant stands out with its ability to ingest and process vast network data across any environment, leveraging pre-trained open-source language models for robust, personalized network optimization. Aviz Networks’ Network Copilot is poised to transform everyday network operations, offering capabilities like compliance analysis, capacity planning, and advanced troubleshooting through an intelligent, vendor-neutral platform that simplifies and accelerates network management. Learn more in this article from Gestalt IT.

The Network Digital Twin GOAT

The concept of a digital twin in network engineering moves beyond simple emulation, offering a comprehensive replication of a production environment’s topology for advanced testing and assurance, akin to what Google Maps is for the planet. Forward Networks elevates this idea by aggregating extensive configuration and state information to mathematically model a full-scale digital twin, blending data center, cloud, and campus networks into a searchable data lake for robust analyses. This transformative technology has proven indispensable in complex network scenarios, enabling professionals to visually trace paths, validate compliance, and predict the implications of network changes with an unprecedented level of detail and accuracy. Read more in this article by David Varnum, inspired by Networking Field Day 34!

The Continuing Evolution of Forward Networks – Networking Field Day 34

Reflecting on Networking Field Day 13, Rob Coote discusses the Forward Networks platform with its groundbreaking digital twin technology, allowing a detailed grasp of network configurations and potential impact of changes. Since then, their continuous evolution was showcased at Networking Field Day 34, where Forward Networks revealed its integration of AI and LLM into their established platform, providing a refined, natural language query experience and heightening network visibility. This trajectory not only illustrates Forward Networks’ commitment to innovation but also exemplifies how AI, when thoughtfully applied, can significantly enhance the utility and sophistication of tech solutions in network management.

Forward Networks Now With More AI

Amidst the ubiquitous influence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives, Forward Networks stood out to Josh Warcop by integrating AI with a robust data-first approach, as showcased at Networking Field Day. Their creation of a digital twin for network infrastructure ensures precise data, allowing AI to effectively communicate with it, bypassing the challenges of manual data modeling. Forward Networks’ Network Query Engine, equipped with an AI Assistant, generates human-readable queries, bridging the gap between complex data systems and operator expertise and fostering trust in AI’s capabilities within network management.

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.

Nile – Network as a Service – Considerations for Adoption

Attending Network Field Day gave Ryan Lambert a first-hand look at Nile’s innovative Network as a Service (NaaS) offering, a service model that manages and maintains a customer’s network infrastructure. Nile stands out by not only managing and monitoring networking equipment but also engaging with partners for on-site surveys to ensure top-notch performance, guaranteeing service levels for the hassle-free operation of customer networks. However, it’s important for customers to understand the shared responsibility in such managed solutions, particularly regarding the physical environment and specific requirements, ensuring Nile’s service guarantee aligns with their needs.

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.

Forward Networks – The Tale of an Aptly Named Company

In Ryan Lambert’s LinkedIn Pulse article he delves into the capabilities of Forward Networks, a company he says lives up to its name. The company creates a Digital Twin of network data, encompassing router configurations, route tables, and firewall policies. Lambert emphasizes the practicality of this approach, enabling users to gain insights into network behavior, potential vulnerabilities, and operational breakdowns.

“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.

New Networking Ideas at Networking Field Day 34

Networking Field Day 34 is February 28! It promises to showcase Forward Networks’ AI-driven network operations tools, Aviz Networks’ SONiC-based enterprise solutions, and NaaS insights from Nile. With a blend of newcomer energy and returning expertise, the event offers live presentations, interactive delegate discussions on pressing industry topics, and opportunities for the audience to engage with innovative network technologies. Tune into the live stream on the event page or the Tech Field Day LinkedIn page, engage with the conversation using the event hashtag, and catch up on sessions afterward on the Tech Field Day YouTube channel.