Our Network Discovery and Assurance Partnerships and NetBox Labs’ Big Tent Philosophy

Last week, we announced three exciting new partnerships with Forward Networks, IPFabric, and Slurp’IT that further our mission to help network operators scale and manage complex networks. These collaborations represent a significant stride toward ensuring organizations can accelerate their automation journeys with NetBox Cloud and other leading products in the ecosystem, while honoring our “Big Tent,” ecosystem-first philosophy.

We’ve been fans of Forward Networks, IPFabric, and Slurp’IT for some time as it is clear to us that their critical network discovery and assurance capabilities, when combined with NetBox Cloud, map directly to what our customers tell us they need to increase the agility, resilience, and scale of their networks.

Modern Network Automation Architecture

NetBox onboarding, assurance, and validation

Finding intuitive and flexible ways to populate an accurate view of networks in NetBox has been a focus of our community since its inception, and these partnerships represent three powerful new options for doing just that. Both IPFabric and Slurp’IT offer robust network discovery capabilities that are perfect for onboarding brownfield networks, and Forward Networks can now push devices and interfaces from the extensive data collected in their platform to NetBox Cloud too. The partnership with Forward Networks is also bi-directional, allowing the generation of more comprehensive digital twins for network change validation based on data from NetBox Cloud.

Beyond the initial population of data into NetBox Cloud, we know that discovering and reporting the differences between the intended state in NetBox and the actual network state in a timely and actionable manner is a hot topic, often referred to as “network assurance.” Both IPFabric and Slurp’IT now provide NetBox Cloud users with periodic updates on this “delta.” This assurance allows networking teams to focus on running their networks safe in the knowledge that if something in the network changes that shouldn’t have, they’ll know.

It takes an [network automation] ecosystem

At NetBox Labs, when we refer to our “Big Tent” philosophy, it has specific implications. Core to this philosophy is our focus on accessibility and extensibility, through our open source approach, robust APIs, and our plugin framework. Strategically, NetBox sits at the center of modern network automation architectures, and we are in the business of giving network operators options by working well with other companies in the space and not choosing favorites. Simply put, you are best positioned to decide which combinations of tooling will work for your business- it’s our job to make sure you can use that hard-won knowledge when using NetBox Cloud.

With the importance of the task ahead in mind, we’re hard at work deepening the integration options we provide to make it even easier to push network automation forward together. There are some additional integration announcements just around the corner, too.

This is just the beginning

These new partnerships are exciting for us; not just because of the incredible new capabilities that they open up for NetBox users, but also because it’s clear that Forward Networks, IPFabric, and Slurp’IT get it. There’s never been a more exciting time to be in networking, and as vendors, communities, and projects start to work together, the sky’s the limit.

Take advantage of these integrations and get started now on your network assurance journey.

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