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Reduce Mean Time to Innocence with Hop by Hop Visibility

USE CASE
Most enterprises today have multiple cloud migration projects underway or in the planning stages. By moving more on-premises applications and data to third-party cloud platforms and accelerating digital transformation, these organizations look to support remote or hybrid workforce collaboration, serve customers more effectively, increase business agility and resilience, reduce costs, and more. 

While the potential benefits of cloud migrations are significant, these complex IT projects are tough to execute and optimize. They’re made even more challenging and costly due to the lack of visibility that network and security teams have across the organization’s cloud estate, which typically includes multiple cloud platforms running and hundreds or even thousands of apps. 

So, when a performance issue arises between the on-premises environment and the cloud, or between clouds, it can take teams a long time to prove network innocence before they can even start to resolve the issue with their cloud providers. Whether addressing a performance issue or an outright outage, time is money, and fast resolution is imperative for business continuity and positive customer experiences. 

No More Troubleshooting in the Dark

Your network and security teams’ struggle to understand what’s happening across your cloud estate is due largely to a lack of appropriate tools. The tools they use to validate connectivity and security for on-premises networking are completely different from those used for the cloud — and between clouds. 

Cloud topology is also represented much differently from on-premises topology. 
Cloud Providers do not share nomenclature
Complicating matters further: Cloud providers use their own nomenclature, methodology, visualization, and toolset. And when virtual machines are thrown into the mix, visibility effectively drops off a cliff. Provider tools can visualize traffic up to a virtual device, such as a Palo Alto Networks L7 firewall, but once the packets enter the firewall, there’s no information on how they were manipulated by the device and where they subsequently went.

The Forward Enterprise platform from Forward Networks helps your teams overcome these challenges by providing a clear visualization of your cloud estate alongside your on-premises environment in a single normalized view. That view includes your entire cloud inventory — every instance and object associated with every provider — and how those objects relate to and interact with each other and where they’re located, including geographically. At a glance, you can see what’s happening now and over time in your cloud environment. 

Anytime you want to explore more information about a specific element within your network, like a cloud platform, firewall or transit gateway, you can just click on that element in Forward Enterprise. For example, clicking on a platform in your environment from a major cloud provider, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or Microsoft Azure, could show that you have four virtual private cloud instances (VPCs), one transit VPC, and several subnets related to that platform.
Detailed Information about multi-cloud resources is always available
The Forward Enterprise platform offers hop-by-hop visibility, from access points through multi-cloud, allowing your teams to get granular when troubleshooting cloud performance issues. They can determine exactly how, and how effectively, traffic is moving between your on-premises environment and any instance in your cloud environment, and between points within your multi-cloud environment. 

Your teams can quickly identify problems and issue tickets to appropriate teams to investigate and resolve problems. They can also confirm that redundancy and availability are meeting expectations. And they can verify the security posture between zones, both on-premises and in the cloud.

A Single Source of Truth for Your On-Premises, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud Estate
Forward Networks’ mathematical model creates a complete and always current digital twin of your physical, virtual, and multi-cloud network estate, including config and state information for all network elements and your hybrid or multi-cloud environment. The digital twin provides a comprehensive view of all network behavior, with visibility into every possible path a packet can take. It brings mathematical certainty to network security validations by enabling security operations teams to:

VISUALIZE network layer 2 – 4 topology and all possible traffic paths within a single pane of glass including on-premises, Cloud (AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure), and virtualized environments. Then, drill down to specific devices and traffic flows, including configuration and state data. View the global network in a single view or drill down to a single device.

SEARCH the entire estate as simply as a database. Our browser-like search feature performs complete end-to-end path analyses across the network for both on-premises and cloud infrastructure. This also enables you to locate devices and access detailed information on their location, configuration, and state in milliseconds. 

VERIFY that the security policies are extended to the cloud using purpose-built (custom) intent checks. Continuously audit the network and receive actionable alerts for non-compliance with your security policies. Know that applications are compliant before provisioning them.

COMPARE network changes over time to understand their impact on the network and prevent incidents from reoccurring. The network collector frequently scans the network, taking and saving network configurations, topology, and device state snapshots. These “snapshots” become a searchable historical record of network behavior and compliance at any point in time. And the behavior diffs feature makes it easy to quickly find and compare snapshots to identify changes that may violate your security policy.
Explore All Aspects of Your Compute Environment With Forward Enterprise
See for yourself how the Forward Enterprise platform can help your network and security teams to monitor and verify all your clouds through a single pane of glass and explore any object in your cloud environment to ensure everything is working exactly as it should be. To see this feature and the power of a network digital twin in action, please request a demo.

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Verify security policies in the cloud


Deploying traditional security controls is ineffective in the cloud since defensible perimeters are erased, component virtualization and decentralization obscures visibility, and automated configuration tools are required at scale. Forward Networks can help you verify that the same policies you have in place on-prem are being enforced in the cloud by enabling engineers to visualize cloud and on-prem environments in a single normalized view. 
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Automating security for cloud application provisioning

Often conducted manually, secure application provisioning can be painfully slow; essentially eradicating the benefits of cloud. Without a single source of truth and the ability to visualize all potential traffic paths, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that the intended security and connectivity policies are applied to new cloud applications. Which is why we’ve extended the secure application functionality of Forward Enterprise to the cloud. 
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Avoid costly inter cloud routing mistakes with an intent check

A Google search for “unexpected AWS charges” returns hundreds of thousands of results.  In addition to economic consequences, inefficient traffic routing to and from your various cloud instances and other services can also lead to bandwidth and latency issues that undermine network and app performance. By using the intent check feature in the Forward Enterprise platform, you can identify and fix inter-cloud routing mistakes across all your cloud instances.
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An intuitive approach to visualizing, monitoring, and verifying your multi-cloud estate in a single pane of glass

While the cloud delivers on the promise of agility, it also creates challenges in understanding traffic behavior from the point of access, within and between clouds. With the Forward Enterprise platform from Forward Networks, you can now visualize and monitor your entire estate in an always up-to-date, vendor-agnostic model where data is presented in an intuitive, actionable format — in a single pane of glass. 
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