I don’t know which is more exciting: the fact that there’s no rain forecast for the next two weeks or that we’re hosting Cloud Field Day 16 at the Forward Networks headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. It’s a nice dose of synchronicity that we get a break in the rain to dry out and clean up and we get to host several of the top minds in cloud computing.

One of the toughest challenges our customers face is securing their traffic in a multi-cloud environment. Ensuring traffic passes through choke points in the on-prem network is hard enough; once it enters the cloud, traffic becomes much more difficult to monitor.  

Our co-founder, Peyman Kazemian, and senior cloud field engineer, Craig Johnson, will demonstrate how Forward Networks' digital twin can verify security policies in multi-cloud networks. We’re excited to show the delegates and attendees how our platform offers single-pane-of-glass visualization and verification across the entire network.  

Using the example of a company merger, Craig will demonstrate how we discover all possible traffic paths a packet can take and verify that security policies are enforced on-prem and in the cloud. 

Craig and Peyman are up first at 8:00 a.m. Pacific, Wednesday, January 25, 2023. You can view presentations live via the Tech Field Day LinkedIn page. If you can’t attend live, the recordings will be available on demand via YouTube.

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.

Last month we introduced our Network Query Engine (NQE) at Cisco Live Europe and to a very impressive technical audience as part of Tech Field Day 2019. If you didn’t have the chance to read through our introduction blog, NQE leverages the internal network data model that Forward Networks builds and manages to allow users to query their network infrastructure details like a database. These queries can be quickly built to confirm network health, proper configurations, effects of a change, device or interface status, etc. A few representative queries that customers have described to us and that are now possible include:

By viewing all network details as a data source, users are able to query on issues globally across their entire network, looking for any anomalies, in one quick sweep. This has rarely been possible before, without an enormous amount of usually custom effort. The alternative is to check for conditions at each device, one at time, across a large network. Scripts that automated these kinds of custom checks across network devices are very tedious to develop and maintain, especially across different vendors and device types. Forward Networks now makes it easy to build queries in only a few minutes, based on the normalized, vendor-neutral data model in our platform, with a very flexible new query language, GraphQL.

GraphQL was developed by Facebook and turned into an open source project in 2015. It offers enormous flexibility in defining what information is returned, independent of the data model, making it much more efficient for almost every use case than typical interface APIs. GraphQL query statements are natural to embed in programming or scripting languages, like Python, to further compare or analyze the extracted data, or format the results.

Now See the Demos

But, the best way to get a handle on how NQE works is to see a quick video we built that explains how it can be used inside our Forward Enterprise platform, how a sample query is built and how the information can be leveraged. Check out the short demo below:

A lengthier and more technically advanced use case was presented as part of Tech Field Day. Our lead NQE engineer, Andreas Voellmy, shows how we can compare BGP routes in downstream and upstream routers to confirm they were all exported correctly as advertised. This situation actually caused a severe outage at one of our service provider customers, so they wanted to be able to continually check for this scenario. To be able to programmatically verify this across an entire SP network, with many vendors, on a daily basis is a huge time saver and eliminates future errors for them now. Check out Andreas’ demo that replicates their use case here:

The feedback we’ve gotten since we introduced NQE has been universally positive, and not only from the Tech Field Day audience, like this comment from Bob Laliberte, Sr Analyst at ESG:

For years organizations have been trying to extract value from the data available to them in large complex network environments. Unfortunately, manual efforts and inefficient collection and normalization procedures have held them back. Fortunately, Forward Networks has unlocked the ability to quickly, easily and programmatically convert network data into knowledge and actionable information leveraging its Network Query Engine feature.” - Bob Laliberte, ESG

Network IT engineers realize that NQE gives them a really accelerated approach to automate almost any of their network analysis and health status checks. Our platform provides many useful ways to analyze the network end-to-end, but NQE allows customers to query the collected and normalized data in thousands of ways and use cases that we didn’t design for.

A few final quick points to know:

Want to learn more or get a live demo? We’ll show you how NQE can help accelerate your networking tasks and processes in minutes.

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