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Forward Networks Introduces Platform Designed to Meet Enterprise Network Challenges

November 17, 2016

Startup company Forward Networks stepped out of stealth mode this week, unveiling a new management tool designed to simplify network operations and eliminate human error through automation. The company’s founders come from software-defined networking (SDN) and open source backgrounds, and are striving to eliminate the process of manual, human correlation, putting it into smart software in the form of a verification engine.

The company, with help from an $11.5 venture funding round, developed its solution based on some common characteristics and problems

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inherent in today’s enterprise networks. Most networks are typically diverse, comprised of hardware and software from numerous vendors, and large, made up of hundreds to tens of thousands of components and devices with different governing rules. And perhaps most importantly, enterprise networks are fragile and a simple mistake can often cause a major business outage.

Forward Networks sees an opportunity to solve many of these inherent challenges by removing human error and introducing automation. The company’s Forward Platform features a Forward Search application, enabling instant access to all the end-to-end behavior of a network, from layers two through four. The Forward Verify app makes sure the network’s forwarding behavior and security postures are working correctly, while also revealing inconsistencies between intended network policies and actual operations. And the Forward Predict app indicates the impact of proposed configuration changes on specific devices along with the entire network environment without the need to impact actual production environments.

Forward has already built customer momentum, scoring deals with companies in the financial, telco and IT services sectors, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “The Forward Platform enables us to better understand the end-to-end behavior of our data center networks, resolve issues faster, and proactively prevent network events,” said Barry Sheils, vice president of global network services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “The results are improved agility, increased productivity and reduced network incidents.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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