Apstra AOS 2.1 bringing Intent-Based Analytics

Multi-Vendor Intent-Based Analytics to Prevent Data Center Network Outages and Gray Failures

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Apstra announced today AOS 2.1 with Intent-Based Analytics (IBA) with broad industry support. AOS IBA embeds automated big data analytics into its real-time continuous validation capability, providing the control that companies require as they upgrade their network infrastructures to address their digital transformation and IoT goals.

Apstra AOS 2.1 allows network operators to simplify their network operations and realize log-scale improvements in the CapEx, OpEx and Capacity of their network infrastructure.

Apstra IBA allows network operators to specify exactly how they expect their network to operate and continuously validates the network operators’ intent, generating anomalies when it detects a deviation. Apstra’s approach works across vendors and reduces the time, cost and risk of network operations by alerting the network operator of specific insights required to validate that the network is operating as intended.

The status quo is to sift through mountains of raw telemetry and stare at network visualizations 24/7 to detect unusual patterns. Sasha Ratkovic, Apstra CTO and Founder detailed Intent-Based Analytics in a blog post in 2017.

Mansour Karam, Apstra CEO and Founder said,

“Intent-Based Analytics is Apstra’s latest innovation in a network operator’s journey to eliminate network outages and gray failures, reduce cost, and build a modern, agile, multi-vendor intent-based data center network,”

“With AOS IBA, network operators can quickly detect and prevent a wide range of service level violations – including security breaches, performance degradations, and traffic imbalances. AOS 2.1 has the only vendor-independent, intent-based analytics capability that works across devices from both established vendors and open alternatives. AOS 2.1 brings the industry closer to the vision of a Self-Operating Network.”

AOS 2.1 IBA is fully automated, and can be configured through a simple intent-based interface through which network operators specify:

  1. the queries to generate the raw telemetry of interest. These queries are dynamic and adapt automatically to physical, virtual, or logical network infrastructure changes, as well as to changes in network operator intent.
  2. the big-data processing functions to aggregate this raw telemetry spatially and temporally, enabling them to extract relevant information. AOS includes built-in processors, and network operators can create their own processors.
  3. their expectations for the specific network services, generating anomalies when deviations are detected.

Sasha Ratkovic, Apstra CTO and Founder said,

“AOS 2.1 enables you to post a declarative IBA probe with a simple REST call and monitor complex signatures about the operational state you care about,  supported by a context-rich and up-to-date graph representation of your infrastructure. You are then simply alerted when deviations occur,”

“Contrary to the traditional big-data analytics status-quo, this approach relieves you from having to write complex low level imperative programs that need to be integrated and constantly kept in sync.”

IBA also includes:

1. Pre-defined, turnkey probes that network operators can deploy at will:

  • to detect link traffic imbalance between leaves and spines
  • to detect when links are reaching saturation
  • to compare East-West and North-South traffic distributions
  • to detect MLAG pair traffic imbalance
  • to detect interface Error/Discard Counters
  • to detect interface flapping
  • to compute available bandwidth between servers or switches

2. An open source catalog of IBA probe configurations which enables an ecosystem with  customers, partners, and other third parties.

3. Advanced services offerings to help customers tailor IBA probes to their exact network service goals.

Apstra Intent-Based Analytics leverages the integrated nature of the AOS core platform and the telemetry-driven, real-time graph representation of the network state, which provides a single source of truth.  IBA enables users to immediately define and enforce highly customizable operational objectives in minutes – a task that would otherwise take weeks or months.

In addition to IBA, AOS 2.1 introduces the following new capabilities:

  • Enhanced “configlet”, which offers full flexibility for network operators to customize their device configurations. This “configlet” capability allows users to automate these customizations on a per-device, per-rack or per-blueprint basis.
  • Fabric-wide MAC and IP locator, which allows operators to quickly locate a workload in the fabric based on it’s MAC or IP address, reducing troubleshooting times.
  • LDAP support, with configurable mapping of LDAP groups to AOS roles, which allows integration of AOS user management with your existing systems.
  • New hardware and network operating systems to its hardware compatibility list, extending the power of AOS to a wide range of new devices from multiple manufacturers.

AOS 2.1 with IBA is generally available this month. You can see Apstra at #OCPSummit18 or #Cisco Live in Orlando.

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