Understanding the Benefits of Intent-Based Networking Assessment for Your Business

Over time, enterprise networks can become cluttered and hard to manage. Intent-based networking (IBN) can solve these challenges by redesigning and deploying the grid to align with business objectives.

IBN systems translate intent commands from network administrators into network configurations and validate them to verify that they produce the desired outcome. It enables rapid implementation of business goals into network configurations.

Increased Efficiency

An intent based networking assessment (IBNA) is a comprehensive evaluation of an organization’s network to determine its readiness for adopting an intent-based networking (IBN) approach. IBNA helps organizations identify gaps and opportunities to improve their network’s ability to align with business intent.

Intent-based networking is a way of automating the network configuration process. It does so through translation, validation, automated implementation, network state awareness, and dynamic optimization. It leads to a faster, simpler, more efficient network.

IBN translates high-level business goals into network configurations to support those goals. It then validates the new design against the original business intent to ensure it achieves the desired outcome. This is a far more efficient way to manage the network than traditional methods, where IT personnel spend a lot of time planning and manually configuring network changes.

The system also automatically implements those translated configurations across the entire network infrastructure. It eliminates the need for manual IT interventions that can lead to errors and delays. In addition, the system can continuously perform self-checks to ensure that the network is aligned with dynamic business intent and data center conditions.

Intent-based networking also allows businesses to adapt to new demands quickly. For example, the network can be easily redirected to increase capacity for a sudden burst of workloads or expand Wi-Fi coverage for an event. This flexibility allows the organization to deliver new functionality to customers promptly. It enables the business to grow and stay competitive while reducing IT operations costs. IBN can also help reduce the number of human-induced incidents and downtime by predicting and detecting potential connectivity issues and security policy violations before they occur.

Enhanced Security

Intent-based networking uses real-time data and a dynamic network model to assess network security through a unique lens. This data is used to automate actions that align the network with the original business intent. The IBN system also validates and acts in real-time if the goal is unmet. It reduces the number of manual tasks, misconfigurations, and human errors.

IBN is a relatively new concept in the IT industry. It was first popularized in 2017, but elements of the technology were around well before this.

Software-defined networking allows IT teams to express their business objectives and how they should be accomplished, rather than using a command-line interface. The software then translates that intent into policies and configuration settings. It eliminates manual processes, reduces errors, and makes networks more agile.

Using machine learning, IBN systems can detect anomalies and other threats in the network to protect against them. It can help reclaim IT time so employees can focus on more important projects. It can also reduce the need to push configuration changes to hundreds or thousands of devices manually. It enables IT to free up valuable resources for innovation. It also helps reduce downtime due to human errors, which can be costly for businesses. With IBN, the network can troubleshoot and resolve issues before IT is even aware.

Enhanced Visibility

The ability to translate business intent into network configurations and policies is the core of what IBN does. With IBN, a company’s administrators define an outcome or business objective—the plan—and the network’s software determines how to achieve that goal using machine learning.

The network works, identifying vetted configuration options and adapting to change, saving time spent planning and testing. It also helps with faster root-cause identification and remediation, allowing the administrator to identify problems causing slowdowns or security breaches quickly.

Ultimately, IBN allows a business to reduce manual tasks, such as pushing configuration changes to hundreds or thousands of devices, and it eliminates human errors, which can introduce vulnerabilities for hackers. It also reduces the time needed to manage the network, allowing employees to focus on other business goals and initiatives that are more important to them.

IBN is still in its early stages but is a promising solution to many challenges plaguing traditional enterprise networking. Many companies are already starting to implement IBN, and several startups are offering solutions based on their DNA architecture. The industry is shifting to a model where networking topology becomes software-defined and network management is automated. This will allow businesses to become more agile and responsive and deliver on their objectives better.

Better Compliance

Intent-based networking allows computers to automate time-consuming tasks that humans have performed manually. It eliminates the need for humans to push configuration changes on a device-by-device basis, identifies causes of slowdowns and other issues that have plagued networks in the past, and reduces human errors that can create vulnerabilities for attackers.

IBN systems are designed to translate intent commands from network admins into a specific set of configuration changes and verify those actions will produce the desired business outcome. They also provide automated implementation of those changes on existing devices with a vendor-neutral approach. The system always assesses the network and monitors deviations from the intended intent.

This ability to self-validate and perform actions makes it a step closer to the “self-driving” network many have anticipated for years. It also helps liberate IT talent from time-consuming manual work to focus on projects that improve the business, increasing efficiency.

Forward Enterprise is a no-code platform that empowers your subject matter experts to capture their network conditions using high-level intent language. These are then verified and translated into a set of policy objects, compared to actual network configurations and behavior using an intent-aware software model of the entire network. This capability allows IBN to reach your current design to your original intent, test and verify the plan after a potential network change, and continually validate that the initial goal is being met and protected against over time.

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