Network complexity is at an all-time high. Between legacy technology, hybrid-multi-cloud environments, and networks cobbled together by mergers and acquisitions, it’s impossible for people to keep track of the network, its topology, and behavior. The idea of trying to trace a path through a multi-cloud network seems akin to being asked to pull a rabbit out of your hat.

Chris Gundermann of Gestalt IT recently wrote about “Multi-Cloud Security Requires Multi-Cloud Observability with Forward Networks.” Chris is an expert on networking and multi-cloud technology. In the article he covers the importance of observability and its benefits.

According to Gundermann, “Network observability serves as a linchpin for maintaining a secure and resilient network infrastructure. In the realm of multi-cloud, achieving that observability is even more challenging due to the absence of unified visibility across cloud platforms. Forward Networks has risen to that challenge by extending their digital twin technology to major cloud providers.”

Read the full article to understand how Forward Enterprise helps SecOps teams control their network and prevent incidents.

TLDR - check out the Enterprise Strategy Group eBook, End-to-End Networking Visibility and Management.

If you have a single vendor, single cloud homogenous network where everything is documented, you know where every device is, and you know all the possible paths in your network, then you are a networking deity.  

Realistically, nobody has a “simple” and fully documented network. Mainly because enterprises grew over time with the organization. New equipment was added as needed or as part of an acquisition. The typical enterprise environment now includes dozens of hardware vendors with devices running a multitude of operating systems, billions of lines of constantly changing configuration code and multiple public clouds. For most of the practitioners we’ve worked with, this means a “simple” task like physically locating a device will take days to weeks. Even the most basic troubleshooting activity can take hours to complete.

 It’s impossible to adequately manage or secure what you cannot see. End-to-end visibility is table stakes for mitigating risk when making changes, having visibility over remote workers, and securing the network.

There is general consensus among engineers that increasing network complexity is making visibility the biggest challenge and highest priority for protecting network health. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group eBook, End-to-End Networking Visibility and Management, there is a multitude of drivers for increasing network complexity:

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group eBook, End-to-End Network Visibility and Management, October 2022.

Most enterprise IT shops are approaching network visibility manually, creating Visio diagrams or excel spreadsheets to document topology and inventory.  At best, these documents are out of date the moment they are published; in actuality, they are often months, even years old. In an era of highly distributed networking and remote work, this approach is unacceptable.

Network visibility is one of the key features of Forward Networks’ network digital twin technology. A large financial services firm that deployed Forward Enterprise discovered that only 25% of its network lab inventory was accurate. Many of the devices they thought were on the network had been decommissioned, and the majority of devices in-service were not documented. This was the most highly monitored portion of their network. As their network leader said, “The depth of what we do not know about our network is far greater than what we do know.” 

To learn more, we invite you to read the Enterprise Strategy Group eBook on End-to-End Networking Visibility and Management. To see how your company can gain detailed end-to-end visibility in a single platform, please meet with one of our engineers.

Businesses today are rapidly adopting new IT models to keep up with evolving customer needs: virtualization, cloud applications, IoT deployments, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and more. This constant digital transformation has made enterprise data operations and networks incredibly complex – a problem that is only intensifying as time goes on.

Enterprise Strategy Group recently found that 66% of organizations view their IT environments as more or significantly more complex than they were two years ago. And since 46% of the respondents also noted that planned to continue upgrading and expanding their network infrastructure, that network complexity is only expected to increase.

Despite this, IT teams are somehow expected to take on the herculean task of overseeing networks spanning thousands of devices—all with their own proprietary operating systems (OS) and different configuration rules, across various geographic locations, and numerous corporate environments – while ensuring ubiquitous connectivity, cloud and mobile integration, internal and external collaboration and conferencing, and high levels of data integrity and security.

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