Sep 21, 2017

Networking Field Day 16 Summary


Network Field Day 16 was a good day for Apstra. Sasha Ratkovic, our CTO and co-founder, Damien Garros, Consulting Systems Engineer, and I all presented to a great group of people. This was our first opportunity to show the world what the Apstra Operating System (AOS®) looks like under the hood. We were excited to show developers and DevOps minded folk, who might leverage AOS to build custom network automation applications, the power that they have at their fingertips.

We first talked a little bit about how the network engineering family is growing with a new specialized persona: the Network Automation Architect. This isn’t necessarily a developer, but someone who has deep network engineering expertise that can work with developers to model end-to-end network services and their supporting mechanisms. By providing developers or DevOps folks with the right details (and using AOS as the automation platform), people in this new role will have a serious impact on the operational effectiveness and service delivery capabilities of the broader organization. Fewer mistakes, more uptime, faster application delivery. Isn’t that what IT is all about?

For the remainder of the presentation, Sasha and Damien went back and forth as they walked the audience through a few examples, with demos (all this is real, no slideware here!) showing how one might approach the problem of modeling where applications are located at the edge of the network. With this information, we can craft interesting queries for AOS such as “show me where congestion is happening for application foo.” We also talked briefly about more complicated examples such as using VRFs to establish isolated forwarding domains in the network to contain various security zones. I do love me some VRFs!

There was a very important theme, however, throughout the presentation: Test-driven engineering. Both for the network and for developers building on top of our platform. At Apstra, we firmly believe that any Intent-Based Networking System must validate the state of the underlying systems both at the device and the more abstract inter-device level. In other words, changes in the network should always be tested by examining the resulting state of the network. For developers building apps on top of AOS, they need the right development tools to validate that their apps are working as expected before they are deployed. Again, AOS provides that!

Click on the links to the right to watch each section of our presentation. When done, reach out to us if you have any questions. In fact, schedule an on-site demo! It’ll cost you nothing but time, and I promise it’ll be worth every second!