arrow down
Arrow down
Arrow down
Arrow down

In the world of networking, misconfigurations and inconsistencies can lead to significant issues for businesses, especially those in highly regulated industries such as financial services. One Fortune 500 financial services company experienced a nightmare scenario with their MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) settings, resulting in application and performance problems. Fortunately, the company found a solution in Forward Networks' digital twin. This blog post will delve into the MTU issues faced by the company and how Forward Networks helped them overcome these challenges.

The MTU Nightmare:

The financial industry is known for its tight control over deployments and configurations. However, this also means that any misconfiguration or inconsistency can have severe consequences. The financial services company had been facing application issues and performance problems that had been occurring randomly, making it difficult to identify the root cause. Eventually, it was discovered that there was a misconfiguration in the MTU settings of a cross link between core devices. While jumbo frames were enabled north and south, this cross link was set to a lower MTU size of 1500. The issues became more apparent when the primary path failed, and traffic started traversing this misconfigured link. The network devices had to fragment the traffic, resulting in processing delays.

Before incorporating Forward Networks' digital twin technology, the company had programmers writing custom scripts to identify misconfigurations. These scripts were scattered across personal drives, making it challenging to consolidate and analyze the vast amounts of data they generated. The team became overwhelmed with Excel files containing close to a million lines, making the investigation process nearly impossible.

Recognizing the need for a more efficient and centralized approach to network analysis, the company turned to Forward Networks. The company saw promising results with Forward Networks' digital twin solution, which offered out-of-the-box capabilities to address their MTU issues. Forward Networks provided a pre-built script specifically designed to identify MTU misconfigurations, convincing the company of the platform's suitability for their needs.

Although the pre-written script provided by Forward Networks yielded results, the company still needed to narrow down the information it wanted to see. Despite not being a programmer, one of the company's network engineers was able to customize the script using educational resources provided by Forward Networks and the company’s user community. The engineer successfully created a tailored solution that only displayed infrastructure MTU information, filtering out unnecessary data.

By leveraging the capabilities of Forward Networks' network assurance and intent-based networking platform, this company saved a significant amount of time by automating the identification of MTU issues. Forward Networks enabled them to replace manual, fragmented scripts with a centralized solution, empowering their engineers to analyze network data more efficiently. In turn, they have minimized downtime and ensured that their network infrastructure is robust and reliable.

Trying to convince SecOps teams they need more data is like trying to convince a drowning person they need more water. SecOps teams are so overwhelmed they can’t even respond to 67% of the alerts they receive. On average, SecOps teams receive 4,484 alerts per day and spend over three hours per day manually triaging the alerts, costing $3.3 billion annually in the US alone. (Source: Vectra 2023 State of Threat Detection)

The problem is that the high-volume of data they are receiving lacks context. When you receive over 20,000 CVE announcements and over 1.5 million alerts, you do not need more data; what you need is actionable, timely data that provides context and a path for remediation.

Forward Enterprise is integrated with the NIST database and endpoint scanning solutions, Rapid7 and Tenable. This integration provides security teams a prioritized remediation report of the vulnerabilities that exist in their network ranked by exposure.

Join our co-founder, Nikhil Handigol on Thursday, August 24th at 2:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. PDT to see this in action.

During a live technical session, Nikhil will demonstrate our Tenable integration and highlight how the solution delivers complete attack surface visibility, empowering SecOps to proactively identify impacted hosts with critical vulnerabilities accessible from the Internet or other critical exposure points in seconds.

You’ll see how the integration with Tenable delivers an actionable exposed host report that incudes:

Most importantly, Nikhil will demonstrate how a mathematical model of the network helps make the plethora of network vulnerability data actionable.

Register for your seat now. [If you miss the live session, it will be immediately available on-demand via that same link.]

There are many ways a digital twin can make enterprise networks more secure, agile, and reliable. Actually, there are more ways than we envisioned when we came up with the technology and we’re constantly learning from our customers.

Guru Ramamoorthy, VP, Global Head of Network Architecture, Engineering, & Operations at S&P Global, shared how his company uses Forward Enterprise to leverage the data in his company network to help their developers during a keynote presentation at ONUG. S&P Global is a leading provider of financial industry data, including rating indices, benchmark analytics, and data for capital and commodity markets. The company operates 100 offices, 51 data centers for multi-cloud providers, and 37,000 employees to deliver that essential intelligence to over 100 countries.

As a company dedicated to providing insightful data that drives meaningful decisions, S&P Global understands the value of providing access to information. However, the information developers needed to be efficient was inaccessible, making it more challenging to develop and provision new applications.

At Fall ONUG ‘22, Guru gave a keynote speech where he explained how his team uses Forward Enterprise to make network data universally accessible and useful while sharing some of the benefits they’ve reaped and their modern approach of federating IT.

Developers don't have to learn networking; they use the Forward Enterprise digital twin to provide them with insightful information so they can make informed decisions without having to wait for responses from busy team members. Moreover, making this data accessible frees up engineers who were, in his words, “supplying the same information again and again and again and again.”

As many people are aware, S&P Global merged with IHS Markit. By relying on their digital twin, they integrated the networks in under six months; the same work would have taken them years using previous tools and methodology.

Guru also discusses how Forward Enterprise helped his team accelerate cloud migrations. The company has always been in the cloud and has migrated several hundred applications. In his keynote presentation, he shares how Forward Networks accelerates the cloud journey.

See the full Keynote Presentation here.

To learn more about how a digital twin simplifies merging networks following acquisitions, view our recent webinar.

For a tailored discussion with an engineer and full product demo, click here.

Hack weeks and hack-a-thons are like foosball tables; if you don’t have them, are you even a tech company? These events, once revered for innovation, are now relegated to being blasé and often perceived as little more than playtime for engineers. As someone who’s worked in tech for longer than I care to admit, I had started to ignore them - until I came to Forward Networks.

I’ve just experienced my third Forward Networks Hack week - and what I find remarkable is that while teams are free to choose any idea they want to pursue, they always focus on delivering customer value and making life easier for the people who use the platform on a daily basis.

A cynic might say they do this because customer value is the most heavily weighted judging criterion. Or that they want to win a coveted HackWeek letterman's jacket and commensurate bragging rights. Those who listened to the presentations know better. Our engineers talk about our customers as close personal friends, with a level of caring I have not encountered before joining the Forward Networks Family.

Over half of the concepts presented in our Hack Week sessions quickly become new platform features. (We’re still a small start-up with a lean engineering team. Otherwise, I genuinely believe all the ideas would become part of the platform.) This is a testament to the passion we have for supporting our customers.

Other companies bill their Hack Weeks as time for employees to “experiment, create, test, and learn” or to “explore novel and even heretical ideas.” Engineers at established companies have described Hack Weeks as: "We’ll all be building things that are separate from our normal work and not part of our day-to-day jobs.” While this sounds fun and creates the opportunity to deliver valuable innovation, it’s unlikely to benefit customers in the short term.

Our Hack Weeks combine creativity and competition with real-world problem-solving. The collective goal is to deliver features that enhance our customer experience within a quarter.

I can’t go into detail about the specific projects that our engineers presented without teasing new product features, but I can say this: the underlying theme was delivering otherwise inaccessible data in an intuitive manner. The data uses include improving efficiency, preventing human errors, improving decision-making, securing the network, and reducing manual efforts.

Hack Weeks should be about solving your problems - not chasing rainbows.

We are asked to purchase something 4,000 times every day; that’s roughly once every 13 seconds during our waking hours. These “requests to purchase'' often come in the form of marketing messages that test the bounds of credibility. In the software industry, most of us have trained ourselves to question vendor promises vociferously. And vendors have earned this skepticism through years of launching “slideware” or incomplete products that turned customers into unwitting beta testers.

Technology decision makers are rightfully skeptical. They want proof that a solution will perform as promised and that it will work in their environment. Furthermore they need to be comfortable that the solution can be deployed without introducing security risks or performance issues. As a company pioneering a new category (network digital twins), we get that.

Our co-founder, Brandon Heller, loves it when people don’t just take our word for it about the Forward Enterprise platform capabilities. He also absolutely loves talking with people who don’t believe we can do things like:

Brandon is going to be sharing our platform and how enterprises are using Forward Enterprise to solve very complex problems and show the platform live. Bring your skepticism and your questions and put him to the test.

Because Brandon says that for him to trust applications - he needs to get his hands on the keyboard. Everyone who registers will receive a free two-week trial of Forward Cloud through AWS Marketplace - that way you can put your hands on the keyboard and experience the platform for yourself.

When: 11:00 a.m. Pacific/2:00 p.m. Eastern, September 28, 2022


Where: BrightTALK


Register Now


One lucky attendee will win a new Series 8 Apple Watch (must be present during the live session to win).

If you’re too excited to wait for the session, we got you - get a personalized demo from one of our field technicians where you can ask questions and focus on the use cases that are most important to your company (Security Verification, Cloud Modeling, Network Assurance).

Your network, security, and cloud teams spend a lot of time and energy trying to extract timely insights from your enterprise network data, so your organization stays on top of risks and continually improves network performance. But what if they could quickly search your network environment like a database to better understand everything in it — and whether those objects were operating as they should?

Forward Networks’ Network Query Engine (NQE) not only makes that possible — but also easy. NQE is a unique, user-friendly, end-to-end experience in the Forward Enterprise platform, and it’s a powerful tool for surfacing your network data gold, so you can use it to your advantage. The insights you can bring to light with NQE can help you make more informed decisions to improve the health, functionality, and security of your enterprise network environment, including your hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

We developed NQE a few years ago in response to requests from our customers who wanted to do more with the configuration and state data that our platform collects, parses, and normalizes. NQE provides an open platform for accessing structured data about your enterprise network as human-readable, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data in a fully parsed form. By structuring and normalizing this data, NQE makes it actionable for your entire IT team — as well as for other key stakeholders in your IT organization who need quick answers about network behavior, security, and more.

NQE query results can be turned into verification checks that the Forward Enterprise platform runs with every snapshot it takes of network configurations and device state, so you can monitor trends over time. Importantly, once NQE queries are written, they will continue to perform as the network changes and ages. (NQE also integrates with data about your network that you already have!) 

This Thursday, July 28th at 11am PT, Dr. Andreas Voellmy, the inventor of NQE himself, will be discussing how NQE is used to automate design validation, inform decision-making with accurate inventory, and proactively check for misconfigurations to prevent incidents. Register for Dr. Voellmy’s talk here!

If you’d like to learn more about NQE — including why it’s unique and the many benefits of using it for your business — check out our new white paper, Make the Impossible Possible With Forward Networks’ Network Query Engine (NQE). It includes real-world use cases that highlight the bottom-line business value that organizations are realizing by using Forward Networks’ NQE. (For one of these companies, that value was over $6 million in savings from identifying and eliminating unnecessary IT costs!)

When you’re ready to see for yourself how the NQE feature included in the Forward Enterprise platform can help you surface your enterprise network data gold faster while easing the workload burden on your teams, you can schedule a demo.

I’m not proud of this — but I’ll admit it…. Sometimes when I’m having a 💩 day at work, I can make myself feel a little better by hearing about someone who has (or had) it worse. If you are like me, you don’t have to admit it to anyone, we’ll keep it secret. Maybe you simply enjoy hearing about someone else's misery, I won’t judge; instead, I invite you to pull up a chair and join us live for Network Field Day 27 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific today January 26, 2021

Derick Winkworth (@cloudtoad) is going to share the worst day of his work life; the day he discovered the large financial services company he worked for had been the victim of a major breach. Who doesn’t love a story that starts with, “There I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when I saw my coworker who lives in another state walking towards my desk”? Maybe not Derick, but for the rest of us, it’s riveting! 

Derick instantly knew that this unscheduled visit was not a cause for celebration, a feeling that was confirmed when his colleague said, “Hey, bud, I don't know what you're doing right now, but basically, you're not doing that anymore. Your life is over for a long time.”

Derrick will unpack the worst breach he’s experienced and how they resolved it. He’s also going to show how the Forward Networks platform could have saved untold hours by preventing the entire event from ever having happened.  

Our theme today is The Power of Network Data!  In addition to Derick’s bad day (month really) and how it should have never happened, several of our top engineers and one of our founders will present – we hope to see you there!

The full line up:

You can also join Derick live on February 23, 2022 at 11:00am PST. Derick will be presenting the latest Forward Fix Live on BrightTALK, hosted by Scott Arky, Systems Engineer.

Top cross