“IBN must make network infrastructure simple, agile, reliable in the presence of constant change, not only change in business rules, but also change in network operating state.”
Founder and CTO of Apstra
What Is Intent-Based Networking?
“At the highest level, intent is a declarative specification of the desired outcome. And the desired outcome is complete automation of the whole network service lifecycle, which consists of the following phases: design, build, deploy, validate.”
“Intent-Based Networking: What Is It?”
By Sasha Ratkovic
As organizations look to adopt self-operating or self-healing networks, IBN becomes an attractive solution. To cut through the IBN noise and determine the sophistication of solutions available in the market, this chart breaks down the levels of automation in network infrastructure. Customers can map IBN solutions to these IBN maturity levels. Click on each one for more detail.
Level 0: Basic AutomationRefers to the gradual introduction of capabilities, such as: generating device configurations from declarative specifications, supporting a heterogeneous infrastructure, and collecting and transporting real-time raw network telemetry reflecting the network operational state. Close
Level 1: Single Source of Truth
This notion focuses on having a real-time, single system of record about the intent and operational state together, used to reason if the intent has been met. At this level, answers to the important questions about the state of your intent and your infrastructure are provided.Close
Level 2: Real-time Change Validation
This stage looks at how to manage and implement network changes —not just business rules or policy changes (e.g. add a new tenant and/or security zone, or take a leaf switch out of maintenance) — but also operational state changes or failures (e.g. ECMP imbalance or a failed transceiver).Close
Level 3: Self-Operation
In this final stage, actions are taken based on the real-time feedback loop between the intent and operating state of the network, resulting in a self-operating network.Close
Take a deeper dive into the four levels of classification. Check out Sasha Ratkovic’s “Intent-Based Networking Taxonomy” blog.
Essential Reading on Intent-Based Networking
CTO and Founder, Apstra
CEO and Founder, Apstra
Apstra Sets the Standard for Intent-Based Networking
Networking thought leaders agree that Intent-Based Networking (IBN) is the next big thing in networking infrastructure. But when it comes to defining exactly what IBN is, opinions diverge. As a pioneer in the Intent-Based Networking space, Apstra is stepping up to clarify the meaning of this important new technology.
Learn More: Apstra CTO Explains IBN
Industry Buzz about Intent-Based Networking
- Network World: What is intent-based networking?
- Gartner: Intent-Based Networking
- Forbes: Intent-Based Networking And Why You Should Care
- SDX Central: Intent-Based Networking: What’s Real and What’s Hype?
- Diginomica: Intent-based networking portends the future of infrastructure management
- Computer World: Intent-based networking: Essential for digital transformation?
- Techopedia: Intent-Based Networking
- IDG.tv: What is Intent-Based Networking (video)
Intent-Based Networking vs. “Intent-Based Networking”
“Many companies have announced intent-based initiatives or products. They are using the language and the surrounding ideas to talk about existing products that simply were not designed from the ground up with Intent as a guiding light. ”