Podcast: Apstra leads the way for intent-based networking (IBN)
This is green and the publisher of Telecom reseller. To deal with monster corrupt, who's the founder and President of abstract? Thank you for joining me today. Thank you. I'm delighted to be here. This is going to be a very interesting podcast. We're GONNA. BE TALKING ABOUT CISCO. We're going to be talking about their announcement to improve its intent based networking IBM portfolio and we're gonNA. Be Talking about abstract story within that story but I mean what is what does that stress? So, it was founded in two thousand fourteen and you. You're mentioning ten business working Astra Pioneer incentives networking. We came out the felt into thousands of extend and delivered the first in ten based networking products on the market. So, right there. Maybe we should talk about a difference because what I'm hearing. Is You pioneered the idea? So? Were you actually in front of CISCO AND THAT ONE? Oh Yeah. We worship think it's well documented I. think that's a Cisco you know. Calling their products under the umbrella in ten days networking in two thousand seventeen. I think they up on stage and They talked about in ten days networking redefining. That's working for the next thirty years, but it was bullying two thousand seventeen in fact astro. Again of product was launched or a Os one. Though which is the first intended networking product on the market? hit. The markets in July of two thousand sixteen. So you'RE A. Curve. Well Yeah. At the ends you know we found it after. Deliver on intended networking and you're asking about the difference as. Well intended networking As with, be that abstract. Think of it as a tool that's both architects and others us so I think the number one say differentiator. Is that what we want is to unify architects and operators under one umbrella. Usually problems in the Parisians happened decree because the architects would have a vision of how the network needs to be. They build a beautiful network, and then they toss it to the operators right, and then you know the operators got go off on their own, and then you know it. In the sense the nets were deviates from the original intent. With Astra I think of it as this very powerful nation software that Bush architects and operates is us to essentially also made the entire life cycle of. Designing Building Deploy and then operating your network, including moves adds deletes. Changes including you know ultimately Changing your security policies or adapting your security policies or compliance policies, etc.. It keynotes in based networking. Is that you can closing loop read? So, what does that mean closing the loop? If you, think automation you know typically You're You're automating writing configurations to thousands of devices through scripts right and to like you press about them, and then you know these Chris Ron, and then essentially configurations are pushed on tons of devices, but then that's it. You know you're hoping. Hoping that everything works out as expected closing the boots. The Duluth is this notion that is. We're also collecting telemetry in time continuously gathering a whole repository, if database of the state in your network and we are performing tests against all of the state, insead time continuously to ensure that your network is as the moments delivering on your intense and so this notion of closing the loop. Is a combined with pushing configurations right so pushing corporations, but then verifying that indeed network is. It's critical to incent business working all. That's possible. The same tools not as enough thoughts. Now you did this and came up with this idea and twenty sixteen. What what existed before witnesses replace or take the place? Yeah so before in ten days networking what you have is what you call basic donation right, which is essentially. What was talking about right this this you know you. You know that you WANNA. Push configuration to switch right, and then you say well, you know the difference between the completion of this which and this other switches. Maybe some of the variables Ip address the. The. The the the the specific V., land etcetera, and so you're right up. Scripts writes You know that will help you. Stay time right, and so instead of pushing competitions manually by typing I think people were you're essentially writing Chris could be an answerable or or curling, no or some other tools in that's helped. You essentially pushed competitions faster to too many many devices. The problem there is because you're not. closing the loop, right? You're not verifying that as of the same tool that indeed you know your network. If delivering on what you want, many times, we have tuitions, and that well documents that where you know by making one mistake, right? You're not pushing the wrong configuration up to thousands of device devices. are very familiar with the feeling. It's almost like if you know. PTSD. You. Know you're on a on a you know you have your pinky on the answer, but then you're just praying. But before you press that indeed, you're going to get the results you want, and if you don't you're you're you're really? Out of commission, you're you don't west of starts is all you know if you cancer network anymore, and that's engineer has gone through that nightmare, nightmarish scenario, and so this is the type of tools that existed before in networking. So you, introduce this twenty sixteen. Ended companies start to adopted. Yeah. We quickly the in production and what we're seeing is that since then it's advocating It's been it's been asked erasing at a very fast rate, and it's really exciting to see I think that's when we launched initially were still this kind of resistance in the sense, you know especially network engineers. Who you know because of the last thirty years how they've done things right? If they you know through their CIS, etc were they're very close to the Cli, Cli is the command line interface, which is essentially how you manually configure a typical fiscal switch right, and so you know it's like you need it. We need to move them from a place of you know thinking about specific configuration commands who replaced? Carrying about outcomes right so it's not about you know what what specific configurations you put your network. It's more about you know. What outcomes do you expect your effort to deliver on your building and Network for a business reason? What are these business outcomes that you you needs to care about but over time I think because networks are so critical reading the. The continue becoming so critical and and because of the fact that you know at the end of the day. That's works. Engineers are being asked to do a lot more with less recipes. Nets seems not growing. Yes, the importance and the scalable networks are growing. They started embracing automation to help them especially those tools that them deliver better predictable outcomes. And so and so I'd say, and now she's be Cisco and what they've done in pushing the whole intent, based networking approach and every. The other vendor out there leaving with software and automation right, this is a no longer the exception is now the norm, but and so we've seen Volusia, and over the last year been exciting to watch. No. Let's dive a little bit deeper into some of the things you've been discussing. A lot of our readers deal with maintenance. You've been talking about how they stricly have done it now how they can do with IBM one. You need to know about abstract mate with Cisco. Well with. first of all think of it as a turnkey solution rights so you you deploy the software and essentially with Astro, if you are in the process of building and you pods right in your networking father in networking infrastructure, essentially with Astra, you're able to get the whole network designs built deployed, and you start operating. Get within half a day right so it's it's simple. It's really about the simplicity of operating your network and so a lot of times in the. Software bet the best type of software hides complexity right? What's makes in that poll? iphone attractive right then especially when it came out, I was this whole interface that made. It Complex Operation Super Simple right and that's what abstract Oh that's. We are simplifying the operational model and doing it in the way that delivers reliable experience, and so that's that's the first thing you need to know about APPs. in terms of you know Azran, how relief and that's looking specifically Cisco What after those two? That abstracts outs the specifics of the hardware? So after as multi vendor solution, it doesn't only work for one type of hardware or one type of vendor if works across. Various vendors, essentially all they sadly spenders CISCO, but also every stuff, juniper, Dal, and the open alternatives right cumulus, which now. Has Been acquired by not with itself has been acquired by and video. You know becoming another of. choice that customers can deploy. A and with Dell Sonic the know how much you know or knows about sonic, sonic. If fascinating developments in the last year, where essentially it's an open source switch writing system that delivers on all of the enterprise features that enterprise care about and so it's a viable kind of option. white label essentially option that's not is to your options from established vendors in. If you'd like, we can talk more about the importance of multi vendor. If that's something that you think is the you know, it's interesting to your audience. Well I. Think it is I think most of our readers contend deal, manage a multi vendor network, and indeed many other readers who are the other side of the desk serve customers who are managing networks like that, and of course let's talk about the the the diversity that network in the context of Migration So how does this fit? Yeah absolutely right so Your career. You I'm glad to hear that. In fact, that matches our experience in that in that you know we're seeing. interprises become increasingly more multi vendor in fact in days where? You can source your empire networking infrastructure from one vendor. Over right and the reason is it compliments stuff? Things one you know. Let's take the example of how when Cumulus acquired by men and all the sense. In the context of the larger and company. And video is focused on machine, learning educations you know a especially these high performance clusters and these high performance clusters have very stringent requirements on the networking side very specific requirements on the networking site. That's what you need is networking. That is optimized. For for education, right. Namely you need to have. A also need to have some low Nathan. Etc So i. think especially like stack will be critical to get the most performance of your. It'd be cluster, and so this is where you're going to bring in some video. That's getting into. You're into your network, right? And then you may have some more generic you know. type of education's whereby you can use more cost effective, as which is not especially low latency. Just you know W- switches work well Do the job respite. They're more cost effective offense for that. You'RE GONNA. Use another nets. Networking Vendor maybe open networking options such as Dell and then maybe as at the fabric layer to put it to kind of bring it altogether, US established under such as fiscal or every so so that's one aspect. The? Other aspect is clouds right. Now with the last year's organizations move workloads to the cloud. and now they want to bring these These workloads back on premise the easiest way to do. This is to use those on premise solutions that cloud providers have delivered to the markets you know with with aws were talking about w outposts, or with as your as. Iraq! That's your now deploying in your in your network, which also have their own specific networking. and so you can imagine. With The compliments wants of all of these trends. How you're going to end up with a multi that's works and so having a multi vendor network management tools becomes critical in fact, you know. Bringing in management stuff, and that's what management software from a single hardware vendor is it past with dense? You'RE GONNA get stuck with this vendor whereas your business requires you to bring in all these other vendors into the mix. Now how does the security sector into this? Great Question. So. Security so so if you think of networking intense, right what outcomes you're looking for from your network. One is ability right. You know you only have the ability for specific. Workloads to you know a server or a virtual machine in some other rats, and then that's where. Is Delivering on that intense, and it could be at the three. The other intense is security. The also have compliance. You have product of experience, but security is really key right then you know with security. What you want is to ensure that your policies in terms of. How particular machinery particular application reaches another virtual machine or server or application? You know if the are being enforced in your network and you WanNa. Know for a fact that they're being enforced recipe visibility into your into The compliance of your network to your security policy is key right and. You know I say this and. It sounds obvious, but you'd be shocked. How many times an organizations have no idea? What Acuity Hustler. They have in their network infrastructures, and that's because they don't have that visibility, but they don't have the tools to essentially confirm for them that India. It's their policies are being applied and that the network is behaving, asked for the policy, so with Astra what do is collecting the state, and then we're doing continuous validation. We have this single source of truth. You know for a fact that your security policies are indeed being implemented in your network, and you know that if there's an deviation there, the tool will alert you, and in fact, you can also have the tool. He'll the situation very quickly, and so that's. Why you need to have the foundation in terms of the state and the visibility in real time, and all of this continues validation for us to be able to on top of foundation. Apply your security. Policies so intense as networking is foundational. To to securities it kind of the basic hygiene, you need in the network in order for you to have the ability to enforce and confirm your security policies. Now you know we should also talk about it. In the in the context of the Cova crisis is going on right now. no for many of our readers some cases they've had to move entire contact centers, large flocks of workers, who they did not intend to make mobile or remote. To remote. And so they're contending with that work situations that are very different or very new. does does this impact is? The impact then. I absolutely Kobe as you say, erect It's you know. What it is, it's really accelerated this whole trend around digital transformation. Right everything we're GONNA be doing now is through our screen. Right I mean. The? And it's went beyond anything before right now. Physical whether it's even stunning or events writes conferences. You know and of course we must work. And ultimately If you think about this networking is at the core of it all right. In fact, you know Garner sad, that's. Your Ti- times more likely to fail as your digital transformation. This is if you don't transform your network I. And I mean that's the August in the sense that you know. How can you you know deliver on digital transformation? If you're nets, work is being managed manually. It just becomes a pity on scalable right and with go ahead. You don't to be sending people everywhere right in terms of you know. Sending people could remorse vice to consider the networks you have the ability to remote control your network right, and how can remote control your network? The way through powerful Automation Software Association software that essentially enforces the policies whereby declare your policies, the desired outcomes of your network, and then you have. The software essentially worked with all the right systems in order to. Implement this follow policies enforce them, and then through the continues citation, Luke ensure that those policies are being implemented right and when released to remote work, you can think of the you know. This trend been going on which is companies have headquarters where you know. The majority of their employees were at the headquarter and we had you know it's past. Their best insured that policies within the network of that's headquarters facility essentially mess intense met the needs of their users, and then we spent. It's you know seeing We work type colocation facilities, right and that model. Has to change it right where now you need tremendous policies in every we work or remorse, replica location facility, and now you know what what we're seeing is. Every employee is working in their own home. Right now you went from having one or two headquarters to you know dozens of sites and now two thousands of different homes where you need to be implementing policies, automation software networking automation software in base of the Mason software is essentially the only way you can manage this. So you know we've been talking about this so far. This is really interesting stuff for readers. Can you give us some use cases or examples? Of of this process in motion of intent base networking being applied. Yes sure. Maybe the first example is Bloomberg Bloomberg built. A great headquarters. In London and They have there and there's MEKA network. Network essentially. is where all the accident happens, and you know whereby they ultimately serve four hundred fifty seven million households worldwide. You can imagine the that's worth these to be. Super reliable I have the right level of. Performance. And also a multi vendor networks, and you know essentially Bloomberg after trying, but quite a few different approaches ultimately implements as strengthen based. In the media and that's where you know back in London. Socio that's. One you know exciting example. I can say and then just more recently We've announced. The, elastic right this. Is. The company's plant in. Differs, Switzerland's first infrastructure is a service and bare metal providers, and what they wanted to do is allow their customers. Provisions their own service does and They needed the best of breed solution because on one hand. They want high-performance they want. To give high-performance to that. high-performance expedience to their to that customers and number two. He needs to be super simple. Essentially this customers nipple have it very simple operational model to proficient their own services, and so especially for the hardware they used you know offensively openness working with a minute ox, which is now part of Nvidia which is. What in in in in their estimation, what the best of breed solution for the is and you know that provide this simple model? They used abstract and based a networking. So. Are Your services available directly to end users or do you do? Do you operate through partners? Yeah so we sell. Become the rats but in most cases we actually sell through a network of partners We have a Partner Program called after partner advantage with different tiers It's actually every. Program and we do have a a network of resellers and distributors across the globe. And so, if you are a reseller out there, that's interesting, interesting Asra certainly reach out to us. would love to hear from you. So where can we learn more about abstract? Asks rather come. Once thank you very much for joining us today and I know we're GONNA be talking about this topic and the related topic very soon, but for now thanks very much. Thank you.