Technical Walkthrough

Using a Network Digital Twin as an IT Training Tool

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As organizations rely on complex network systems to support their operations, the need for well-trained network administrators is becoming increasingly important. Data center infrastructure is interconnected in ways that are not always obvious, and the points of intersection between systems are often difficult to design on paper alone. 

In order to ensure that network administrators are well prepared for the future, organizations must invest in training and collaboration tools to ensure that their staff stays current on the latest technologies and techniques.

One such tool is the networking digital twin, which is a virtual replica of a real-world network that simulates a data center and the challenges it poses to operators. 

In my previous post, I explored how administrators once relied on limited network simulations to simulate the network environment. In this post, I outline the ways that a network administrator can use a networking digital twin as an IT training tool.  

Enhance networking skills

Network admins can learn and practice their skills in an environment separate from production that behaves in the same way. This is particularly useful in situations where the network environment is complicated or where there are multiple users with different privileges and access levels. 

Design, configure, and test scenarios

A networking digital twin provides hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment. Admins become familiar with new technologies, features, software versions, and architectures without risking the real-world environment and before green dollars are spent on a new solution. 

Another benefit to using networking simulation is that regardless of the size of the physical network, the simulated network can scale to match it. This makes it easy to verify automation or change operations that apply to a large number of systems. 

Promote collaboration

A networking digital twin enables collaboration between network administrators and architects building new designs. They can share ideas and experiences, work together to solve complex problems, and test changes before they are ultimately deployed as part of continuous integration (CI) pipelines.

Build a comprehensive network map for troubleshooting

A networking digital twin can also be used to create a comprehensive network map for troubleshooting and identifying potential areas of improvement in the network. 

Identifying single modes of failure, and a lack of redundancy or robustness in the design is highly useful in today’s data centers. It can also be used to recreate and troubleshoot active issues affecting the production infrastructure. The benefit here is that administrators can troubleshoot in ways, which are not normally possible in the production environment. With this, network administrators build comfort and expertise to identify and resolve problems that may arise in the actual network quickly.

NVIDIA Air

NVIDIA Air provides an ideal environment for the construction and utilization of networking digital twins in a ready-to-use, cloud-hosted, API, and SDK-driven environment. Check out networking digital twins with a free trial of NVIDIA Air today.