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Intent Based Networking for Dummies
Transform your network operations with IBN

Intent Based Networking
for Dummies

Digital transformation is a key objective for most organizations today, and data center technologies have evolved to support this objective. Unfortunately, network operations lag far behind on the transformation curve, often inhibiting rather than promoting change.

Transforming Network Operations with IBN:

IBN is about getting operational expenses (OPEX) under control and transforming the way you operate your network so you can realize the following benefits:

  • Break operational tasks down to their simplest elements and automate them based on expected outcomes.
  • Eliminate human error in the flow from expressed intent to creation and deployment of specific configurations.
  • Actionable insights into the massive collection of data your network throws at you, eliminating the OPEX of extracting only the data you need at a specific moment.
  • Network changes under IBN are faster and can often be performed in production.
  • Use validated, best-practice blueprints to quickly stamp out reliable, industrystandard network segments.

Jumping the Digital Transformation Hurdles

Why is digital transformation of network operations such a challenge? Your quest toward a smooth transformation may have been hindered by some very real hurdles:

Human error: People are prone to errors, and they aren’t typically good at mundane, repetitive tasks over a long period of time.

Inadequate automation: Most automation tools only take input for specific tasks and output configurations specific to your current network. If your network changes, your scripts have to change, too. In addition, they often have no error checking or poor or no error handling.

Data fog: Zeroing in on the right data at the right time is challenging because different data is important at different times.

Stale documentation: Maintaining up-to-date documentation is a challenge, especially for networks that support modern digital services that change second to second.

Understanding the Importance of Analytics

Networks change — both intentionally and unintentionally. An IBNS should use intent-based analytics (IBA) to stay aware of network changes in real time, continually ensuring that your services remain in compliance with your intent.

Analytic probes:
Analytic probes ask essential questions and root out important data, stripping away what’s irrelevant, so you can obtain specific information from your graphical data store. Ideally, your IBNS should provide you with a library of prebuilt probes that you can deploy, as well as enable you to define your own probes quickly and accurately.

Root cause identification:
When something goes wrong, it can cause a flood of anomalies. Being able to sort through that flood and zero in on the root cause is crucial to quickly resolving the issue. This can be difficult to do when the root cause isn’t observable, for example, if it occurs outside your administrative domain.

Multi-vendor rollback:
Being able to roll back to a previously good state is crucial when a controlled change blows things up unexpectedly. Although many vendors implement configuration rollback capabilities, it’s important that your IBNS allows you to roll back a multi-vendor network all at once instead of resorting to the capabilities and procedures of each vendor.

Featured Product

Intent-based networking software automates the entire network lifecycle, from design through everyday operations. Apstra supports multivendor environments and provides continuous validation, a single source of truth, powerful analytics, and root cause identification to assure reliability.

  • Intent-based network design and operations
  • Support for multivendor environments
  • Automated zero-touch deployment