enterprise IT

Artificial Intelligence Simplifies Networking Challenges

Many technology vendors have used artificial intelligence to transform their products. This is evident in areas such as unified communications, contact centers and cybersecurity

One IT area where AI has not yet had a significant impact is the network. AI has been used to improve basic management functions, but has yet to be transformed network operations

Also see: Top AI Software

Digital Twins strengthen network infrastructure

Extreme Networks wants to change that with the release of his new digital twin technology, which relies on AI to support its function. The vendor introduced the capability at its recent Extreme Connect conference. The digital twin feature is part of its ExtremeCloud IQ co-pilot and enables network professionals to build and troubleshoot their networks in demo mode before deploying physical infrastructure, all using AI.

All of this falls into what Extreme de . calls infinite venture— that is, network everywhere — which has been the supplier’s go-to-market strategy for about a year now. I recently sat with Nabil Bukhari, CTO of Extreme, to learn more about the infinite enterprise and how digital twin technology fits into it — including the role of AI. Highlights of the ZKast interviewdone in collaboration with eWEEK eSPEAKSare below.

  • The pandemic has drastically changed people’s behavior, causing them to shop differently, work and learn differently, and receive health services differently. Companies have also had to adapt and run their businesses differently in a post-pandemic world. This has resulted in a infinite venturewhich is based on three core principles:
  1. Unlimited Distribution† People can access corporate resources from anywhere, on any device or network. Organizations must be able to reach everyone safely, wherever they are.
  2. Customer focus† People expect wired and wireless networks to provide the same experience everywhere.
  3. Running technology at scale† If people and devices are distributed, the networks will be more distributed. Not only do organizations need networks that can scale, but they also need to scale their operations with automation and the help of AI-based tools.
  • The other side of large-scale running technology is reliability and reliability. For large hospitals, scale is a matter of life and death. For consumer-oriented businesses, such as stadiums, it’s about the spectator experience. If people don’t have a good experience, they don’t come back to the stadium. Figuratively speaking, scale is a matter of life and death for any business.
  • The challenge of an infinite enterprise is to have more IT technology to manage and secure while complying with regulations. Network administrators are no longer in a tightly controlled environment. Essentially, it is a challenge of complexity, which translates into higher costs and greater risks.
  • Extreme has developed its digital twin technology to alleviate some of that complexity. Digital Twin are widely used in vertical industries such as aerospace and manufacturing, but ExtremeCloud IQ Co-Pilot is a first in networking. It is a virtual sandbox environment that allows administrators to test their networks before going live.
  • Building complex systems requires staging and making changes over and over, which is a prohibitively expensive and difficult process. ExtremeCloud IQ Co-Pilot can create digital replicas of wired and wireless networks. With the click of a button, administrators can run testing, verification, and troubleshooting—essentially everything in the cloud—then put networks into production at a fraction of the cost.
  • Extreme also plans to introduce this capability in its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) portfolio, allowing administrators to create a digital twin of an already active network. Extreme has a vision to provide organizations with a real-time digital replica of their entire network, no matter how complex it may be.

Also see: What does 2022 mean for intelligent automation?

Zeus Kerravala is a regular contributor to eWEEK and is founder and principal analyst at ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group, previously holding a number of corporate IT positions. Kerravala is considered one of the top 10 IT analysts in the world by Apollo Research, which evaluated 3,960 technology analysts and their individual statistics on press coverage.

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