During Cisco Live this year I had a chance to stop by IP Fabric booth and exchange a quick chat about their product and the problem they’re trying to solve.

After the event I had the opportunity to run a trial to better understand the product and the features if offers.

What struck me was that the product solves problems that over the years I have tried to mitigate through scripts or the use of other software that have shown many limits.


What problems are we trying to solve?

Every network operator|administrator shares a common set of tasks that includes:

After running a few PoCs and labs with IP Fabric I can say with confidence that it solves many these problems and more.

Snapshots a.k.a. Last Known Good State

Troubleshooting process is complex and requires a broad set of skills and usually includes a lot of show commands to get the current status of the network.

The most common question of the troubleshooting process is: what’s changed?

IP Fabric can give an answer with Snapshots.

Snapshots are created during the network discovery processand include all network configurations, routes, links, CDP neighbors, hosts, OSPF neighbors, BGP peers, port status and more. Snapshots can be run on a regular basis and on-demand as a troubleshooting tool.

The web GUI includes function to compare snapshots that provides immediate feedback about what changed before and after the incident. This single feature can have a huge impact to reduce the MTTR and MTTI.

Take a look at the video for a detailed description of how Snapshots work:

Why IP Fabric Ambassador?

Joining the IP Fabric Ambassador Program is the natural consequence of my current involvement with the development team of IP Fabric. I’m currently working on some PoC with very interested customers and being an ambassador gives me the opportunity to provide feedback directly to the R&D team and get quick responses.

Conclusion

After years struggling with $bigVendors NMS that fell short of the promise I started using open source tools and to write code/scripts to glue them together.

IP Fabric has one key feature that differentiates it from many other products I’ve used in the past: it provides value right after the installation, without the need to too much time taking care of it.

Being time the more strict resource a product that is honest on its promises and solves real problems is not common to find, it really worth a try and I strongly recommend it.

Take a look on IP Fabric website for more information and to the Release Notes because new features are coming fast. API are available to retrieve all the collected information to be used in automation scripts or custom reports.

TL;DR

If you manage a network you should really consider using IP Fabric to make your life easier.

Full disclosure

I get no monetary compensation for being a member of the IP Fabric Ambassador program. IP Fabric provided to me a free demo license to run on my lab to test features and compatibility. IP Fabric is business partner of the company I work for, this blog and any other message on my personal social accounts are my own and do not reflect my employer’s view or position.