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ONUG was created in early 2012 by Nick Lippis, of the Lippis Report, and Ernest Lefner (pictured below, right, with representatives from Forward Networks), formerly of Fidelity Investments to address the need for a smaller, more user-focused open networking conference. The ONUG semiannual conferences reflect the work being done in working groups throughout the year to drive standards, interoperability and innovation. The conferences include sessions from IT business leaders, updates from the Working Group Initiative members, hands-on tutorials, interactive labs, real world use cases, proof of concept demonstrations, and a vendor technology showcase.
As Nikhil mentions, he is currently on the Monitoring and Analytics working group. In Nikhil's presentation, he describes the primary functional areas of Forward Enterprise: Search, Verify and Predict. The Search capability is a powerful query engine to search for network attributes, state and configuration details across the entire network. It goes well beyond the ability to search box-by-box, but can search on end-to-end network behavior, such as identifying all the possible paths between a source and a destination, including filtering traffic by a variety of attributes or results. Forward Verify can test all of your network requirements and policies to determine whether the current network design and configurations could potentially result in a policy violation. Forward Predict allows changes to network device configurations to be tested in a safe sandbox environment away from the live network, and to reverify if network policies are either repaired and or if changes introduced new violations.
Organizations can now analyze and verify if their network implementation is currently aligned with their network intent, i.e., the sum of all policies and compliance requirements that are generally articulated and represented at a higher, more abstract level than networking and security protocols and box configurations.
Understanding, modeling and verifying network intent is generally thought to be the first step towards intent-based networking, which Gartner describes as the "next big thing". After watching Nikhil's presentation, learn more about how Forward Networks can help your organization along the path to intent-based networking at https://staging4.forwardnetworks.com.