Three ways to break a network (and one to save it)

When people mention network configuration bugs, the first thing that comes to your mind is likely typos–or if you prefer technical terms, “fat fingers”.  Of course, if you are an experienced network engineer, you know there is more to config bugs than keyboard gremlins. At Intentionet, we work on a network validation engine called Batfish…

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Pre-deployment validation of BGP route policies

A common culprit behind some of the biggest outages in the Internet is misconfigured BGP route policies. For example: BGP Leak Causing Internet Outages in Japan and Beyond How a Tiny Error Shut Off the Internet for Parts of the US Telia engineer error to blame for massive net outage   Such outages typically occur…

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A practical approach to building a network CI/CD pipeline

Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) is the practice of automatically packaging, testing, and deploying code, generally in small increments. This modern DevOps practice has made software development agile and reliable, and it holds the same promise for networking as more environments transition to the infrastructure-as-code (IaC) model. In this post, we’ll outline a practical…

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Network-model-based security: A new approach that blends the advantages of other leading methods

Effective network security is largely based on a central challenge: making sure that only authorized communication among security principals (users, systems, or groups) is allowed. But meeting this challenge has gotten harder as security methods grow more granular and complex. As organizations deploy microsegmentation and move from coarser methods like subnet-level security to finer-grained controls…

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Come and get your free Batfish Enterprise Cloud View trial for AWS

As your company moves applications from on-premises datacenters to the cloud, your network toolchain can become a bottleneck. Simply visualizing your cloud infrastructure can be a challenge. And forget about using traceroute as a mechanism to see where packets are being dropped when machines in the cloud can’t talk to each other.   With our…

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Network as code: From hype to substance

Last week, Arista and Cumulus hosted webinars on building CI/CD pipelines for the network (see Arista Webinar, Cumulus Webinar). Both webinars communicated a vision that included generating configuration (changes) automatically, pre-deployment validation, and automated deployment,  followed by post-deployment validation.  I found these webinars exciting for two reasons. The first was the emphasis they placed on…

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Announcing Ansible modules for Batfish

We are excited to announce Ansible modules for Batfish. Now, network engineers can invoke the power of Batfish within Ansible-based automation workflows. Network automation is like a car with a powerful engine— it may get you places quickly, but does not guarantee that you’ll get there safely. Safe driving requires advanced collision prevention systems. Similarly,…

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Announcing AI-ML

We are proud to announce Batfish AI-ML®, our latest product. Batfish AI-ML, or Automatic Intent Mind Link, is the industry’s first and only automatic intent extraction solution. It works seamlessly across all networks, be they data centers, enterprise campuses, service provider networks, or hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Why Batfish AI-ML? Network engineers have told us repeatedly that the…

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Designing a Network Validation Pipeline

The networking industry is on an exciting journey of automating tasks that engineers have historically done manually, such as deploying configuration changes to devices and reasoning about the correctness of those changes before and after deployment. These capabilities can tame the complexity of modern networks and make them more agile, reliable, and secure. Success on…

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The what, when, and how of network validation

When historically tasked with configuring and managing a computer network, engineers have been forced to do almost everything manually: generate device configurations (and changes to them), commit them to the network, and check that the network behaves as expected afterward. These tasks are not only laborious but also anxiety-inducing, since a single mistake can bring…

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We made networks work. Now let’s make them work well.

A few decades ago, car odometers were designed to roll over to zero after 99,999 miles because it was rare for cars to last that long. But today cars come with a warranty for 100,000 miles because it is rare for cars to not last that long. This massive reliability improvement has come about despite…

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Network Engineers: Time to Restock your Tool Chest

At Future: Net 2017, our CEO Ratul Mahajan introduced a new network engineering workflow. Designed to evaluate the operation of ever more complex and scaled networks, this workflow aims to eliminate misconfigurations that can lead to a downward spiral of outages, security breaches, and other failures; and to make networks less of a long pole…

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Plug the hole in your network automation — validate changes before you deploy

We are excited to announce the release of pybatfish, an open-source Python SDK for Batfish. Batfish is an open-source, multi-vendor network validation framework that enables network engineers, architects and operators to proactively test and validate network design and configuration. It is being used in some of the world’s largest networks to prevent deployment of incorrect configurations…

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Automation without validation: Risky operation

To err is human; to really foul things up requires a computer. — BILL VAUGHAN If you run a large, complex network, you have either already heavily invested in automating key management tasks or are about to. Network automation is a great way to reduce human errors and accomplish those tasks with consistency and speed….

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Intent specification languages – simplifying network configuration

The growing scale and complexity of today’s networks have outpaced network engineers’ ability to reason about their correct operation. As a consequence, misconfigurations that lead to downtime and security breaches have become all too common. In his keynote presentation at Future: NET 2017, Ratul Mahajan, the CEO of Intentionet, introduced a new network engineering workflow…

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The New Network Engineering Workflow – Formal Validation

At Future:NET 2017, hosted by VMWare in Las Vegas on August 30th and 31st, our CEO Ratul Mahajan gave the keynote presentation. Ratul spoke at length about how we can help network engineers and operators make their networks highly agile, reliable, and secure by adapting proven approaches employed by hardware and software engineers. Ratul observed that…

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Pre-deployment validation of your network’s security, reliability and compliance policies, fully-automated with Batfish.

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