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Network & Security Assurance: how to face network complexity and support digital transformation

Kirey Group

  

    Kirey Group and IP Fabric aims to integrate network assurance capabilities to create a complete and reliable model of the network and to facilitate data sharing through integration and the use of APIs.

    By Giampiero Moscato, Business Developer Manager of Kirey Group, and Riccardo Guglielmi, Channel Manager of IP Fabric

    Today the network is taken for granted, a commodity for all of us. Instead, it plays an extremely critical role: each organization relies on the network to ensure a continuous and performing service to external and internal customers.

    Over the years, the exponential growth of network complexity, with ever-increasing access points, WAN, datacenters and clouds, has created a heterogeneous and hybrid ecosystem involving dozens of different providers and tools for its management, operation, control and protection with a common goal: to ensure the service availability.

    Companies have already invested considerable resources to introduce these products in their systems, but often what is still missing is the ability to obtain a well-defined and, above all, cooperative government of all these tools. Automation is widely promoted to solve network complexity and scalability problems, but it leaves questions open. In fact, each instance of automation usually serves only one network domain and, often, in a controller-based scenario, it is limited to the solution of a single vendor.

    Over the years we have witnessed a succession of ambitious projects, related to CMDB or IP Address Management, for example. These projects, however, are foundered because they were not able to offer a real benefit and a real return on investment.

    It is necessary to know the relationship between all the various elements of the network and customer systems, to understand all the technologies involved, which should be interpreted and standardized so that information on the network can be used and exploited.
    Hence the need for Kirey Group to offer companies an innovative tool that, starting from a powerful automated discovery of network assets, allowed to create a model of the network could be used to synchronize and federate other systems, keeping them up to date and cooperating with them.


    From discovery to meta data

    After a careful analysis of the tools available on the market, Kirey Group chose the IP Fabric network assurance, which, through automated discovery, is able to recover the inventory of devices, topology, configurations and network status, behaving like a network engine and connecting via CLI, or from SDWan and Cloud environments via API’s.

    Once all these parameters have been collected, the tool makes it possible to establish relationships at each level and build a database that represents an accurateand reliable picture of the network at any given time. From the governance point of view, this visibility is now fundamental for companies that undertake change paths. In fact, it allows them to document the graph of a network before and evaluate the correctness of the path taken after the changes in the environment.

    Through this analysis, it is also possible to obtain metadata on the digitized network, which in turn can be reused in the company for different purposes. A powerful discovery, therefore, does not represent a simple monitoring, but a source of observation and evaluation of the network, able to provide accuracy and make certain and quality data consumable within the organization.

    Some success stories and future perspectives

    Among the network & security assurance projects that have convinced Kirey Group to rely on IP Fabric for network discovery, there is the one carried out with one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.

    which was dealing with an extensive and heterogeneous network complexity of different domains and, despite having already adopted an advanced technology stack, was struggling to have a single and standardized view of the network. After an initial phase of skepticism, due to different projects using other technologies that did not allow to retrieve the information in the complex environment, the customer was able to see from the first day of the test what level of visibility and data accuracy he could obtain thanks to a clear and punctual documentation of his network, both in inventory and graphically.

    Today this company is able to easily consume data collected by IP Fabric, because the model is built on APIs with complete flexibility on the part of the customer in integrating and complementing the data collected by IP Fabric with other technologies and platforms already implemented in its technological ecosystem.

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    Another interesting case involving Kirey Group and IP Fabric concerns an Italian multinational industrial plants manufacturer that wanted to align the configurations of monitoring systems. In this case, IP Fabric fed the database automatically, integrating with the customer’s ticketing system through automation and, above all, authorizing the onboarding of new devices detected by IP Fabric, for the benefit of the work of security staff.

    Also the operations team gains significant benefits with network assurance: this is the case of one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Italy. The institute have to manage a large and complex network infrastructure at regional and national level, so it chose to adopt IP Fabric as an "additional team member" able to automate a whole series of activities related to network traceability. The main advantage obtained has been the improved operability of the network, which now makes it possible to trace the cause of any problems in a very short time by being able to launch an end to end simulation of the path that the traffic has taken in a particular moment. All this, in combination with the Assurance engine, allows this reality to proactively maintain the state of its network always healthy.

    Building on the expertise that Kirey Group has developed in the field over the years, the partnership with IP Fabric aims to integrate network assurance capabilities that create a complete and reliable model of the network and facilitate data sharing through integration and the use of APIs, with all the other components of the Group's offerings such as ticketing systems, governance, security and more.

    Autonomously retrieving information from the field and integrating with the people performing the processes will allow optimization to be taken to the highest levels, achieving that goal we outlined at the beginning: gaining a deep understanding of the relationship between all the various elements that make up the network and customer systems. A compression that for Kirey Group will translate into the ability to support companies in an even more complete and timely way in the face of new growth and transformation projects.

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