Introducing IP Fabric V6
Home
>
Blog
>
Stay agile through change with IP Fabric

Stay agile through change with IP Fabric

4 minute read
Home
>
Blog
>
Stay agile through change with IP Fabric
Updated: December 14, 2023
June 26, 2023
Updated: December 14, 2023
4 mins

As the business world becomes increasingly dynamic, it is essential that networking teams are properly equipped to match it. Teams need to be able to achieve a level of network agility to ensure their environments match their business intent and adhere to their Source of Truth (SoT).

What do we mean by 'Network Agility'?

Agility in the networking sense is the ability to make ad-hoc changes in a secure and proactive way, whilst being able to near-instantly validate the success of these changes. Network agility has a plethora of characteristics, but there are four we consider key:

  • Automation
  • Visibility
  • Rapid end-to-end change validation
  • Scalability

IP Fabric provides all of these. Let's look at some real-world scenarios where IP Fabric can enhance network agility in the face of upheaval and change.

Mergers and Acquisitions

A key challenge that requires businesses to implement a resilient and agile network approach comes from the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process. What exactly are the main challenges here, and how can IP Fabric help ensure resiliency and agility?

M&A Challenge 1 - Systems integrations

Seamlessly integrating separate network environments can present quite a challenge. This requires an understanding of the respective legacy systems in place, (including hardware, software and applications in use by each). It also requires a verification of their compatibility. Determining whether there is partial or complete compatibility is no guarantee however. This is especially the case if either company relies on static, manual documentation which can easily become outdated. Depending on the complexity of the networks in question, manually mapping out every detail could take months, or years, and stall the M&A process.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing full end-to-end visibility of both networks by mapping them out in an automated manner. This includes the entire end-to-end path of both networks, including device inventories and code versions, to ensure components are compatible.

Gaining this information allows for a more accurate assessment of the feasibility of merging the two environments, both technically and financially. Using IP Fabric to gather this information is also far quicker than relying on 'traditional' (or outdated) discovery and documentation methods. The ability to schedule discovery queries or perform them ad-hoc means teams have constant assurance around what they have and where they have it, guaranteeing that issues are addressed proactively.

M&A Challenge 2 - Understanding infrastructural behavior

Integrating networks not only requires an understanding of what each network contains, but also understanding of how the network behaves. This includes configurations and forwarding behavior and policies. Obtaining a detailed understanding of the way the networks behave and interact helps to de-risk and accelerate the integration process.

IP Fabric helps by: Our automated discovery feature helps by allowing engineers to establish topological maps of their networks, complete with accurate, up to date data-flow diagrams. This lets them examine network behavior and determine how the infrastructure behaves as a whole. As a result, teams can pre-empt what effect the changes bought about by the merger will have on how their networks function, and how they can best counter them.

M&A Challenge 3: Ensuring continuous network security

Merging networks increases the attack exposure surface of the entire environment. Ensuring security is adequate and uniformly applied can pose a massive challenge.

IP Fabric helps by: Being a scalable solution. As you merge environments, the platform scales with the network to maintain a consistent end-to-end view. Security policies can then be applied consistently across the entire environment so that it remains protected, regardless of the size of its exposure surface.

IP Fabric's REST API function can be leveraged to verify that merged environments remain resilient to vulnerabilities:

Say you're not sure about a component from a particular vendor that is present in one network, and not the other. Take said component, make a REST API call to the Mitre Corporation's Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) program's database, and you can obtain all the information on potential CVEs relating to that particular model. Using this data, you can determine whether it would be safe to include that component in your network, or whether it would introduce a new vulnerability into your joint network.

For more information on IP Fabric and the CVE database, check out Chief Evangelist Daren Fulwell's piece on it here.

BlogPostImage1 Mesa de trabajo 1 copia
IP Fabric can help establish order from the chaos of an M&A

Scaling network size to match your operations

There are other kinds of changes that a network can undergo. Perhaps a company receives a major financial investment, or starts to see enough success for them to expand their operations. When business intents change, there are some challenges that IP Fabric can address to increase the speed at which the network can be effectively adapted.

M&A Challenge 1: Knowing what to add

Increasing the size of a network by adding new components requires an understanding of what you currently have, and what you CAN add that is compatible enough to avoid any breakage. For example, if a network uses EIGRP, knowing in advance that you can't implement Aruba switches and routers will help avoid a part of your network becoming unreachable.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing complete visibility of the end-to-end paths in your network to determine what elements interact with each other, and a detailed device inventory to determine what you have at your disposal. This allows networking teams to ensure well in advance that they are adding the correct components to their environments without the risk of breakage or vendor conflict.

M&A Challenge 2: Verifying change success

When making sweeping changes, rapid verification that a change had the desired effect is essential. Without this, problems can arise that may lead to reduced service availability, or in the worst case, downtime.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing actual, up to date network data through topological overviews, path checks and intent checks to validate change success post-implementation. By determining whether a change has been successful almost instantly, your team becomes more agile in dealing with any issues that may arise.

Conclusion

It is immensely valuable to know that whatever the situation, your networking teams can react proactively. With IP Fabric in place, networking teams can achieve a level of agility that allows them to become more resilient in the face of changes, be they expected or unexpected.

Want to see IP Fabric in action for yourself? Try our free, self-guided demo here.
Prefer the personal touch? Reach out to us to schedule a free demo, zero-obligations required!

Stay agile through change with IP Fabric

As the business world becomes increasingly dynamic, it is essential that networking teams are properly equipped to match it. Teams need to be able to achieve a level of network agility to ensure their environments match their business intent and adhere to their Source of Truth (SoT).

What do we mean by 'Network Agility'?

Agility in the networking sense is the ability to make ad-hoc changes in a secure and proactive way, whilst being able to near-instantly validate the success of these changes. Network agility has a plethora of characteristics, but there are four we consider key:

  • Automation
  • Visibility
  • Rapid end-to-end change validation
  • Scalability

IP Fabric provides all of these. Let's look at some real-world scenarios where IP Fabric can enhance network agility in the face of upheaval and change.

Mergers and Acquisitions

A key challenge that requires businesses to implement a resilient and agile network approach comes from the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process. What exactly are the main challenges here, and how can IP Fabric help ensure resiliency and agility?

M&A Challenge 1 - Systems integrations

Seamlessly integrating separate network environments can present quite a challenge. This requires an understanding of the respective legacy systems in place, (including hardware, software and applications in use by each). It also requires a verification of their compatibility. Determining whether there is partial or complete compatibility is no guarantee however. This is especially the case if either company relies on static, manual documentation which can easily become outdated. Depending on the complexity of the networks in question, manually mapping out every detail could take months, or years, and stall the M&A process.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing full end-to-end visibility of both networks by mapping them out in an automated manner. This includes the entire end-to-end path of both networks, including device inventories and code versions, to ensure components are compatible.

Gaining this information allows for a more accurate assessment of the feasibility of merging the two environments, both technically and financially. Using IP Fabric to gather this information is also far quicker than relying on 'traditional' (or outdated) discovery and documentation methods. The ability to schedule discovery queries or perform them ad-hoc means teams have constant assurance around what they have and where they have it, guaranteeing that issues are addressed proactively.

M&A Challenge 2 - Understanding infrastructural behavior

Integrating networks not only requires an understanding of what each network contains, but also understanding of how the network behaves. This includes configurations and forwarding behavior and policies. Obtaining a detailed understanding of the way the networks behave and interact helps to de-risk and accelerate the integration process.

IP Fabric helps by: Our automated discovery feature helps by allowing engineers to establish topological maps of their networks, complete with accurate, up to date data-flow diagrams. This lets them examine network behavior and determine how the infrastructure behaves as a whole. As a result, teams can pre-empt what effect the changes bought about by the merger will have on how their networks function, and how they can best counter them.

M&A Challenge 3: Ensuring continuous network security

Merging networks increases the attack exposure surface of the entire environment. Ensuring security is adequate and uniformly applied can pose a massive challenge.

IP Fabric helps by: Being a scalable solution. As you merge environments, the platform scales with the network to maintain a consistent end-to-end view. Security policies can then be applied consistently across the entire environment so that it remains protected, regardless of the size of its exposure surface.

IP Fabric's REST API function can be leveraged to verify that merged environments remain resilient to vulnerabilities:

Say you're not sure about a component from a particular vendor that is present in one network, and not the other. Take said component, make a REST API call to the Mitre Corporation's Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) program's database, and you can obtain all the information on potential CVEs relating to that particular model. Using this data, you can determine whether it would be safe to include that component in your network, or whether it would introduce a new vulnerability into your joint network.

For more information on IP Fabric and the CVE database, check out Chief Evangelist Daren Fulwell's piece on it here.

BlogPostImage1 Mesa de trabajo 1 copia
IP Fabric can help establish order from the chaos of an M&A

Scaling network size to match your operations

There are other kinds of changes that a network can undergo. Perhaps a company receives a major financial investment, or starts to see enough success for them to expand their operations. When business intents change, there are some challenges that IP Fabric can address to increase the speed at which the network can be effectively adapted.

M&A Challenge 1: Knowing what to add

Increasing the size of a network by adding new components requires an understanding of what you currently have, and what you CAN add that is compatible enough to avoid any breakage. For example, if a network uses EIGRP, knowing in advance that you can't implement Aruba switches and routers will help avoid a part of your network becoming unreachable.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing complete visibility of the end-to-end paths in your network to determine what elements interact with each other, and a detailed device inventory to determine what you have at your disposal. This allows networking teams to ensure well in advance that they are adding the correct components to their environments without the risk of breakage or vendor conflict.

M&A Challenge 2: Verifying change success

When making sweeping changes, rapid verification that a change had the desired effect is essential. Without this, problems can arise that may lead to reduced service availability, or in the worst case, downtime.

IP Fabric helps by: Providing actual, up to date network data through topological overviews, path checks and intent checks to validate change success post-implementation. By determining whether a change has been successful almost instantly, your team becomes more agile in dealing with any issues that may arise.

Conclusion

It is immensely valuable to know that whatever the situation, your networking teams can react proactively. With IP Fabric in place, networking teams can achieve a level of agility that allows them to become more resilient in the face of changes, be they expected or unexpected.

Want to see IP Fabric in action for yourself? Try our free, self-guided demo here.
Prefer the personal touch? Reach out to us to schedule a free demo, zero-obligations required!

SHARE
Demo

Try out the platform

Test out IP Fabric’s automated network assurance platform yourself and be inspired by the endless possibilities.

What would this change for your network teams?
Start live demo
 
 
 
 
 
We're Hiring!
Join the Team and be part of the Future of Network Automation
Available Positions
IP Fabric, Inc.
115 BROADWAY, 5th Floor
NEW YORK NY, 10006
United States
IP Fabric s.r.o.
Kateřinská 466/40
Praha 2 - Nové Město, 120 00
Czech Republic
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Phone : +420 720 022 997
IP Fabric UK Limited
Gateley Legal, 1 Paternoster Square, London,
England EC4M 7DX
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Phone : +420 720 022 997
IP Fabric, Inc. © 2024 All Rights Reserved