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Cisco is working on the implementation of the Intent-Based Networks concept
2018-11-08T15:28:43.713Z8 November 2018

Cisco is working on the implementation of the Intent-Based Networks concept

Over the past few years, Cisco has consistently developed in its product implementations the concept of transition from managing individual network devices to automated network management as a whole, focusing network performance on the applications used.

At the current stage, the concept is called Intent-Based Networks (IBN), that is, networks capable of counting the behavior of applications and users, learning and reconfiguring during operation in order to minimize operating costs, improve the reliability and security of network processes. IBN strategy and related solutions for networks operating within the data center (Application-Centric Infrastructure), campus networks (Digital Network Architecture) and geographically distributed corporate networks (Software Defined WAN) were presented at the end of October 2018.
The approach to automating the configuration, management and maintenance of a network is based on the use of a special controller.  This controller generates application profiles that describe the network characteristics that applications need to work, uploads them to network devices, after which the network begins to support data exchange for applications.

The controller also monitors the compliance of the device configurations with each other. It simplifies the audit of network configuration: inside the controller, the configuration is presented in the form of an object model, which through the application programming interface (API) can be unloaded at any time and obtain up-to-date information about network settings. The configuration is maintained by the controller in the current state: if the application profile is removed from the list of active, its settings will also be deleted from all network devices.

The profiles of the network settings used by the controller take into account the long-term experience of Cisco specialists, first of all, in assembling devices with the help of a controller into a network factory and in their interaction with each other in the process. Detection of new nodes, working out of emergency situations, built-in security mechanisms, end-to-end monitoring, thus all these processes in the ACI, DNA and SD-WAN networks are automated and operate without the intervention of a network administrator who can focus on configuring application characteristics.



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