NANOG 91: Q+A w/ Keynote Kireeti Kompella

May 29, 2024

News

NANOG 91: Q+A w/ Keynote Kireeti Kompella

Juniper Networks' Kompella Discusses Upcoming Talk: "Network Digital Twin"

by Elizabeth Drolet

Kireeti-Kompella copy

Chief Engineer, AWAN BU at Juniper Networks' Kireeti Kompella will join the NANOG 91 stage as a Keynote Speaker on Tuesday, June 11.

For Kompella, this talk will be an excellent way to reconnect with the community. He fondly recalls that 'it has been way too long' since he attended a meeting. Kompella has been involved off and on with NANOG for nearly two decades.

Keynote: "Network Digital Twin"

Kompella says, "As networks ramp up on automation, this is a logical next step."

The talk will further investigate:

+ What a Network Digital Twin (NDT) is.

+ What form could it take?

+ How it can be instantiated.

+ More.

twins

Q+A with Kompella

Can you provide a brief overview of what "Network Digital Twins" are and how they function?

A Network Digital Twin is a clone of a real network that replicates, as far as it is feasible, the functioning of devices and links (control plane, data plane, and management plane) so that you can play out scenarios that are impossible or cost-prohibitive or disruptive or too damn hard to perform in the real network.

One might ask, what caused yesterday's outage? What would this BGP policy change do to traffic patterns in my network? Or what would these traffic trends mean to my network in six or twelve months?

How does this affect the NANOG community?

NDTs are the next big step in automation.

They will give operators holistic insights into how their networks are running, what to watch out for, and how best to optimize them. The community is getting to the point where they won’t make a major change to their networks without first trying it out in an NDT. An NDT is more than a “test lab on steroids,” as one can (if the vision pans out) perform tasks in an NDT that can’t be done in a lab or production network.

audience

What are the main takeaways you hope the community will leave with?

NDTs have compelling use cases that would greatly benefit their NOC, making them a worthwhile investment. I hope the community participates in brainstorming and feedback. The success of any new initiative depends crucially upon it.

What is most impactful about your talk for our audience?

The importance of experimentation. Network architects can explore new technology, new ways of doing things, and new designs in a meaningful way in near-real-world scenarios.

How is Juniper Networks leveraging Digital Twin technology within its products and services?

Juniper's "NorthStar Planner" is a practical tool that allows you to map out topology and traffic changes and explore a few "what if" scenarios. While it has a limited set of functions on the path to NDT, it provides a glimpse of the possibilities and benefits of using Digital Twins.

clocks

How will you be keeping our audience engaged during your presentation?

Play the alarm clocks from Pink Floyd’s song, "Time" to keep them awake :)

Can you share a personal experience that influenced the content of your Keynote?

I was watching/listening (in real-time) to NASA/Intuitive Machines landing on the moon (after nearly 52 years!). Then I realized the lander "tripped" and fell on its face. This was after a Japanese lander landed upside-down (and others crash-landed). This made me realize that some ventures are too expensive to get wrong.

Why did you choose NANOG to present this topic?

Most of my work is with service providers (a.k.a network operators). NANOG is the place to meet professionals in this industry and have deep discussions. I'm honored and proud that NANOG accepted my proposal, and I hope the audience finds it a worthwhile use of their time.

What specific actions do you hope the audience will take after hearing your talk?

Engage, discuss, give feedback, guide future thinking if a prototype is forthcoming, and help by beta-testing. 

How can attendees continue to engage with the topics you discuss after the meeting?

Email me at [email protected] or message/follow me on LinkedIn.

Anything else you would like to share?

It's been way too long since I've attended NANOG. I look forward to catching up with old friends, making new ones, and participating in great conversations — the only kind you can find at NANOG :).

Kompella will present "Network Digital Twins" on Tuesday, June 11, at 10 a.m. (CDT) in the City Beautiful D/E Room at Loews Hotel in Kansas City, MO. Register and find out more here.

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Elizabeth Drolet

Elizabeth Drolet is NANOG's Multimedia Story Producer

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