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Week commencing 1st June 2020, and another minor release - IP Fabric 3.5.2 - is ready for deployment! Let's sum up what the latest release has to offer.

Multicast updates

The 3.5 version started with multicast support with routing capabilities and the impressive distribution tree simulation in diagrams. The new 3.5.2 release adds information about PIM Rendezvous Points (RPs) and IGMP Snooping state. Now engineers can fully analyze multicast forwarding across LAN and WAN. IGMPv2 and IGMPv3 protocols are supported on multiple vendor platforms.

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IGMP Snooping Groups representation

Cisco Firepower updates

The Cisco Firepower support was introduced in mid-2019 with basic discovery features. IP Fabric version 3.5.2 is a significant milestone in the Cisco Firepower platform capability. We have now introduced full support for AAA, ACLs, NAT, and Object Groups, to mention but a few features.

Cisco Firepower: Next-Generation Firewall

Security is inevitably a critical part of any infrastructure and we continue to develop IP Fabric's capabilities in that area. On the roadmap for later in 2020 is a major release to address network security specifically. Expect to see significantly enhanced support for other vendors' firewall platforms, and for new network security features in general!

New Settings for Discovery

IP Fabric discovery is already fast, but we feel we can always make it faster! Up to now, every time IP Fabric created a snapshot it automatically attempted to discover any new nodes beyond those it already knew about.

In version 3.5.2, you can now limit a new snapshot to only update already-discovered network devices. This prevents IP Fabric from firing up the discovery algorithm that detects new devices on the network. This capability of locking the discovery scope is a huge improvement for large scale networks. Let's see how it works.

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A small feature, big enhancements

Previously the standard discovery process started with already-discovered devices. IP Fabric would then attempt to connect to unknown endpoints using the discovery algorithm.

As of version 3.5.2, if we know that our inventory is complete, we can simply tell IP Fabric not to search for new nodes. This prevents the system from spending additional time on testing more and more IP addresses as possible new devices. We then enable the discovery of new devices when we know that changes have been made. Alternatively, we use it when we're explicitly wanting to check our online inventory is up to date.

IP Fabric: Discovery Process

Note that we can now also modify the methods that the discovery algorithm uses to find and identify neighbors in the topology. This is helpful for optimizing the discovery, for example, if we are certain, that one of the methods is not supported in our network devices or is not configured.

Improved vendor support

In 3.5.2, you can also see our commitment to continue to improve support for multiple network vendors. Changes to feature support and improvements are evident for:

More details at IP Fabric Release Notes.

Watch this space!

There are some BIG updates coming over the next couple of major versions in the platform, due over the coming months. Keep coming back to and follow IP Fabric on LinkedIn for more information as it drops!

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