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.
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.
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