March 10, 2021

Actions Not Words, Demos Not Slides

by Brandon Heller

In network operations, it’s never the same day twice.

Most network engineers love this aspect, but it has a dark side. The best plans often fall to the wayside—in an instant work stops and firefighting begins.

In the last year, I’ve been part of a whole-day colo move, diagnosed an outage in the middle of the night, and resolved a slow performance issue. I know what the networking operations experience is like, and I know how much better it can be. 

Enabling others to solve every network problem at “global enterprise-scale”—faster and with more confidence is… let’s just say, very motivating. Especially when the networks are composed of multiple clouds, tens of thousands of devices, and are managed by multiple operations teams. I think about it like this:

If network behavior and insights were instantly available, you could speed up pretty much every network operations or engineering task.

In over seven years, I haven’t come across anyone who disagrees!  Everyone who has personally felt the stress of an outage, wasted a week tracking down a problem that ultimately was outside the network, or even spent too long with a simple ticket, doesn’t just agree—they feel it.

People in network operations and engineering wonder—is this even possible. The first questions are always of the “does it really work,” “how long will it take to set up,” “how much risk does it add,” and “can my team use it” variety. Not only do I hear these questions—I ask them of my vendors. Yes, it’s possible; we’ve been doing it at full scale for lots of companies you know, including Goldman Sachs for years.

Network operators and engineers don’t just need to see it to believe it. They need to deploy it, use it, and then have their coworkers use it, to believe it. 

The first step is seeing it. We joined Networking Field Day 24 to show what a day in a network operations professional’s life using the Forward Enterprise Platform looks like, from unboxing to integrations—covering killer use cases between. Instead of death-by-PPT, our field engineers, the technical experts who work side-by-side with our users to deploy Forward Enterprise, gave live demos and took questions. To make it easy for you to find content that’s relevant, we chunked it into short segments.

If the potential of instant network insight excites you—and you think maybe, just maybe—more time in the day could enable your team to be more proactive—then I’d like you to pick one thing you’ve recently had to spend time on, and check out the corresponding video below.

With the hands of our field team driving this, you’ll see what it’s like with the Forward Enterprise Platform. And if that passes your sniff test, as it’s done for many Fortune 500 enterprises already—reach out and schedule a personal demo. We’ll answer your toughest questions. We want to!

In fact, I dare you to pick one task from the list below that you or your team have done recently, and show me why instant access to info and insights WOULD NOT transform the speed of that task, and get your team on a path to faster, more proactive operations. 

Here’s what we covered, over a complete “day in the life”:

Unboxing to Up-to-Date, Searchable Network Model—15 minutes to Insight

Knowing the network topology’s detailed state is the first step in ensuring that your network is agile, predictable, and secure. Watch our Technical Solutions Architecture team leader, Elyor Khakimov, create a usable map and comprehensive collection of network data in less than 15 minutes without disrupting the network.

Path Analysis—Using Automation to Combat Complexity

After spending 20 years in the field helping network operations teams resolve issues, Technical Solution Architect Glen Turner knows that immediate access to actionable network behavior information is key to solving complex problems quickly. In this live demo, watch Glen use the search functionality within the Forward Networks Platform to analyze paths and reduce time spent troubleshooting to the seconds it takes him to type in a query into a search bar. 

Security Breach—Going back in time to resolve a leak

Need to find and resolve a data-leak issue but don’t have hours to do it? Armed with only four MAC address characters and the Forward Enterprise search bar, Senior Technical Solution Architect Scot Wilson shows how he’s used the Forward Networks platform to do it in four steps and under 10 minutes.

Audit—Search Billions of Lines of Config in Seconds

A simple typo caused a major network outage. The Forward Networks Network Query Engine (NQE) ‘s Google-like search capabilities helped resolve the issue in seconds – not hours. Customer Success Manager Jack Shen demonstrates how he did it and how NQE makes audits faster and more accurate.

Workflow Integrations—Solve Problems Faster by Getting the Right Data to the Right People

Without context, even the best applications only partially streamline ticket resolution. Senior Technical Solutions Architect Kevin Kuhls takes you through a live demonstration of our ServiceNow and Splunk integrations to show how quickly incidents can be resolved when context is automatically shared. 

Do you want to see more content by engineers for engineers and have only 5 minutes?  Check out our YouTube playlist Forward Fixes – no hype, just actionable information, in roughly five-minute chunks.

Still skeptical? I get it, and I challenge you to put us to the test, request a demo and give us your toughest challenges.

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