A year ago Derick Winkworth (@CloudToad) and I introduced Apstra and AOS® version 1.0 at Network Field Day 13. Without a doubt it was an AOSome event! If you missed the show you can catch our videos here. Derick and I focused on the AOS data center application, and with it introduced concepts of Intent-Based Network Systems. Since Apstra’s launch the industry has rallied around IBN. I am so excited to be a part of Apstra, pioneering this new technology and approach that I like to call the “Iron Man suit” for network professionals. At NFD13 we showed you AOS from the network operator’s point of view, that is, how networking teams can use AOS to automate network services in the data center. Many companies have asked us how they could build their own Intent Based Networking applications on AOS. Given such tremendous interest, Derick and the team will be back at NFD16 to give you a peek under the hood and feature parts of AOS that drives all IBN applications.
So why would Apstra present software developer materials at Network Field Day? The reason is simple: network professionals are highly educated consumers of new technology. When you buy high tech stereo equipment, for example, or a new high tech television, you want to educate yourself on all the features and functions. You are not planning to build your own stereo or TV — but you want to know how it all works, and knowing all the details helps you make informed decisions to ensure you get the right products.
At Apstra, we work with companies that have a mandate to automate the operations of their network services: from design to deployment, to ongoing operations. At these companies, we meet with two very different groups: the network engineers and the software developers in the corporate IT tools team. These tools teams are largely focused on non-network related projects, leaving the networking teams without the tools they need to do their jobs in the agile manner the business demands.
For the network engineers, the internal tools teams are much like network equipment vendors — the network engineers must make feature requests and wait. Network professionals are caught between a rock and a hard place — the business demands agility but struggles to achieve it. The network engineers recognize that AOS provides the core features and capabilities required to address the distributed complexities of their unique network services. So even though the network engineers themselves are not software developers, or would not want to build their own IBN applications, they see AOS as the technology their tools team can use to quickly deliver the network automation solutions they need.
So here is what you’re in store for at NFD16: Our CTO, Sasha, and Derick will start by discussing the IBN core concepts, in real and practical terms, and give you the opportunity to engage in an “Ask Me Anything” style session. Sasha will walk you through a story describing how to build IBN applications and will demonstrate AOS features and tools to support it, such as graph-based pub/sub mechanisms, live queries, and GraphQL. Damien, from our Advanced Solutions Engineering team, along the way, will take you through a set of code examples and use-cases related to customizing the AOS application for data center networking.
On behalf of myself and the entire Apstra team, we cannot wait to be a part of NFD16 event!