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Augtera Networks, a company leveraging AI to allow networks to keep up with increasing scale, today announced that it raised $13 million in series A funding led by Intel Capital. The financing brings Augtera’s total raised to $18 million to date, and CEO Rahul Aggarwal says that it’ll drive the next phase of Augtera’s product development around auto-remediation and deeper integrations with cloud ecosystems including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

As enterprises, cloud, and service providers continue to adopt new technologies, networks are becoming increasingly complex. Supporting “business agility” while minimizing operating expense has become significantly harder for network designers and operators as a result. Current networking paradigms rely on engineering and operations teams to manually pinpoint anomalies in large stacks of data. Often, it’s challenging for IT teams to leverage analytics to assist while serving apps, customers, and users that depend on a network.

Augtera, which is based in Palo Alto, California, was founded in 2017 by Aggarwal and former Juniper Networks data engineer Bhupesh Kothari. After Aggarwal’s first startup, Arktan, was acquired by identity management company Janrain, he began working on his next endeavor, hoping to apply big data analytics and AI to help enterprises to automatically identify problems, gray failures, and other unknowns.

“Enterprise businesses have realized the value of having service assurance over unpredictable internet connections to better support their employees and customers working from home,” Aggarwal told VentureBeat via email. “Augtera’s solution [can] detect grey failures before service interruption.”

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Using AI and analytics to optimize networks isn’t a new idea.  Verizon’s predictive algorithms monitor streaming data from network interfaces to allow the carrier to predict “customer-impacting” events before they happen. Like Verizon, AT&T applies predictive algorithms to its network to anticipate when hardware could potentially suffer downtime. And across the pond, Vodafone taps a cloud-based system called Neuron to generate network insights in real time and automatically assign more capacity in busy parts of the network while reducing capacity in parts that don’t require it.

But Augtera provides what Aggarwal calls “AI-augmented” operations, planning, and orchestration for physical, virtual, and cloud network environments. The company’s algorithms, which took two years to develop, were trained on production data from nine “very-large-scale” networks to power apps custom-built for networking constructs. These apps enable network models, visualizations, and integrations across networking domains as well as diagnostics.

“Augtera’s network intelligence platform is already helping customers gain 90% faster issue detection of critical issues, reduce resolution times by 50-60%, and prevent 40-50% of service impacting network incidents,” Aggarwal said.

The capabilities of Augtera’s platform largely remain under wraps, but Aggarwal says that it’s already deployed in the production networks of Fortune 500 and global companies including Orange and Colt Technologies. It’s also a part of one of the cloud solutions offered by Dell Technologies, an investor.

“The pandemic shined a light on how critical it is to have reliable networks as millions of people worked remotely,” Aggarwal added. “Augtera is reimagining network performance and management using its … AI algorithms to provide proactive visibility, prevent network incidents, and dramatically reduce resolution times.”

Dell Technologies Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Acrew Capital also participated in Augtera’s latest funding round.

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