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A New Frontier—Self Creation of Brownfield Intent-Based Networks

By December 4, 2018 No Comments

This is my first blog in a few years, and it’s only fitting that I write it on my flight to the Gartner IT & Operations conference in Las Vegas while sitting next to Joe Skorupa, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner. Joe was the first Gartner analyst that we briefed in the early days of Gluware (formerly known as Glue Networks) when we were single vendor (Cisco) and single architecture (SD-WAN). After arriving at the conference and meeting with Andrew Lerner, VP Analyst, Gartner, and Simon Richard, Sr. Director Analyst, Gartner, at the analyst networking event, it was fun reminiscing on the early days where they watched us grow from idea to growth stage company. Even more fun was sharing where Gluware is now: multi-vendor software that can automate tens of thousands of nodes per hour, apps that solve real-world pain points, and incredible blue chip customers that have entrusted Gluware to automate their mission-critical networks.

Soon we will be releasing a major breakthrough with Gluware 3.4 that allows any enterprise to easily on-board and automate their current brownfield network. Previously, an element of “human glue” was required in our deployments. Now with Gluware 3.4, customers can on-board themselves, and create their own intent-based networking automation models. In plain speak, this means that any enterprise can import their running configs into Gluware, make a copy of their network in Gluware, and begin automating their network without needing to re-provision, write any scripts, or follow prescriptive recipes or restrictive blueprints.

Several years ago we learned that customers don’t want to re-deploy or deploy prescriptively in order to gain automation. Customers have built networks that work and desire automation with a path forward to migrate to new network devices over time at their own pace. They tell us the last thing they want is to be forced to perform a forklift upgrade and start over. Their view is there is no such thing as greenfield in the real world, and any vendor that touts greenfield simply does not have an answer for a pragmatic upgrade path or just wants to sell more boxes. They are looking for a solution that can automate what they have today, gets their current environment under control and standardized, yet is flexible enough to automate any new architecture whether CLI or API driven. They also want to abstract the complexity away across the WAN, LAN, and DC and create a unified layer for Day 0, 1, and 2 management. This is exactly what our customers gain with Gluware 3.4.

On behalf of our company, I am honored and humbled by the major blue chip enterprises that have made decisions to bring in our software corporate wide and automate every node in their enterprise. We now have entire Fortune 500 networks fully automated with ROIs proven in the tens of millions for cost avoidance and increased agility delivering on business initiatives. Our customers are solving real-world problems and are leveraging Gluware to accelerate cloud adoption, perform audit and compliance, remediate and automate policy enforcement, and regularly perform operating system upgrades to increase security.

While some vendors are announcing intent-based networking ideas and are spending a lot of money on hype, our customers have shared that those established companies and start-ups have not listened to what their real pain points are. More often than not, Gluware is being single-sourced through procurement as there isn’t another alternative in the market other than building their own internal software. This is the equivalent of every Global 2000 needing to build a software company in-house. For companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals or sell financial products, attempting to re-create what has taken Gluware $45M in funding and 7 years of development is a tall order. In fact, some of the companies that have hired up a staff of 15 and spent 2.5 years building python scripts have now brought in Gluware to automate their actual network as part of their automation tapestry. They are using scripts to automate their CI/CD pipeline and a few simple networking features, yet are integrating with Gluware to perform the automation on their production enterprise network. As other major vendors’ legacy network management platforms are now end of life, there has never been a larger market opportunity for Gluware to deliver customer value.

Today we are enabling real-world (brownfield) intent-based networking and are helping customers solve their immediate pain points and create a standardized and stable network. By automating what customers currently have, we set the stage to automate any new network architecture, and to lead the market in self-driving intent-based networking without forcing customers to start-over or do it our way. This pragmatic approach allows our customers to be in control of their own future and decide when they want to bring in new architectures. We are already working on autonomic automation in practical use-cases with several customers and are very excited about where we are going. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank our customers that believe in our vision and our capability. Helping make your businesses more secure and more agile is why we exist and without you we wouldn’t be here. I also want to thank our incredibly hard working and talented team—thank you for making the impossible happen!

2019 is going to be an amazing year, and I’d like to invite IT leaders that are looking to transform their networks to reach out. We look forward to briefing you on how Gluware can help your organization.

There is so much to come—stay tuned!