I am looking forward to joining Edgecore Networks for a webinar on Next-generation Campus Networks With IoT next week. Our spotlight use case is currently trending amongst industry analysts and press. The exponential expansion in devices connecting to the network like IoT is driving the growth, in particular for PoE and multi-gig switches. Edgecore and Pica8 have a tremendous solution together here.
Campus networks are evolving to become the hub for cloud, employees and workers, and IoT. While employees and users increase incrementally, IoT devices are exploding exponentially. This presents challenges when IoT security is weak and uncoordinated while hop by hop networking is very manual and rigid.
Pica8 software solves these challenges by introducing virtualization, security and analytics with complete automation into the network. Virtualization with EVPN and VXLAN separates the virtual network from the underlay network so that when you do things on the virtual network, you don’t affect the underlying network. Security is needed to qualify IoT devices according to policies before entering the network. Analytics is required to know what the devices are doing, and everything needs to be automated and integrated with the cloud.
Virtualization with EVPN and VXLANOur customers use PicOS software on every layer from access to aggregation to core, and virtualization extends all the way from the core to the access switches. When you connect the device to the network, you don’t see the network. When you connect the device, you see the point where it enters. You don’t need to follow your network cables, with Pica8 software, networking becomes invisible. We provide templates and Playbooks to simplify your deployment. This is the correct foundation to prepare for the rapid growth in IoT devices.
Security with Network Access Control (NAC) IntegrationOn security, our Network Access Control integration qualifies the devices. We support all of the major NAC vendors for automated endpoint policy enforcement. We can make sure the IoT device only goes in one direction for increased security, or to certain points. Our NAC use cases include user identification and device authentication for IoT devices, phone devices and unknown devices such as contractors’ laptops. We make the network transparent, you plug in the device and it has only one place to go.
Analytics with Network Monitoring and Streaming TelemetryAnalytics is very important to know what the devices are doing. We offer traditional network monitoring with SNMP. This works well with major, incumbent network monitoring solutions. It also pairs nicely with open source network monitoring solutions like Zabbix. We also offer advanced analytics with streaming telemetry. This is next generation with big data collection tools developed by third parties such as statistics for control plane, data plane and even virtualization. We provide compatibility with popular tools such as Prometheus and Grafana.
Pica8's AmpCon Network Controller provides push-button automation for all of your routine daily tasks. This includes switch deployment, enforcing day-to-day security and compliance policies, scheduled backups and upgrades and customization with Ansible playbooks.
Let’s take an example of how our AmpCon Network Controller automates the whole lifecycle for white box switches.
- This starts with Day 0 operations with zero touch provisioning.
- Then AmpCon automates Day 1 operations with Deployment.
- This includes creating configurations and deploying policies into the switch.
- For Day 2 operations, AmpCon collects data, manages policies, does compliance checks and monitors and backs up the configuration.
- Everything is centrally automated and managed for the lifecycle of the switch.
ConclusionThe combination of Pica8’s AmpCon Network Controller and PicOS software automates business workflows to reduce your operations expenses:
- The most useful automation is for what you do everyday.
- These are mundane daily tasks that will save you hours in your day, for example configuration updates, software upgrades, license updates and more. Our Zero Touch Provisioning for a block of 100 switches will save you over three days.
- These are savings that every C-level executive will appreciate, and every network operator can use.
Contact us today to simplify your network with software.
Kelly LeBlanc is Pica8’s Chief Marketing Officer.