Logo CommuniQA Issue 54
September 2018
Logo Swan
Dear Readers,
Greetings from Swan Solutions!
Industry 4.0. Artificial Intelligence. Robotics. IoT. These are arguably the biggest break throughs in the field of automation. Advanced automation technologies are redefining productivity and user experience.
But, is the underlying enterprise network and its management evolving to keep pace with these trends?
The truth of the matter is, we are still highly reliant on traditional manual network management methods even in this digital era. Studies show that more than 80 percent of companies experience some sort of network downtime due to manual errors!
Add on the scale-up challenges of the IoT, and our networks are seriously lagging behind in automation as compared to other components of IT.
But, the solution is close at hand! Intent-based Networking, the emerging industry model for building ‘intelligent networks’, will be designed to adapt to the changing business/IT needs. Soon, networks will figure out business ‘intent’ and take necessary actions without really telling how to do it!
Analysts predict that IBN is the next big thing in enterprise networking. In no time, we will have networks that can literally read our minds!
Tech Trend
Intent-based Networking Explained
Intent-based Networking Explained
A year ago, Gartner's Andrew Lerner wrote in his blog: There's always a "next big thing" in networking.... Five years ago, it was Ethernet Fabrics in the data center, then came SDN, and currently it is SD-WAN. As SD-WAN adoption grows and shifts from bleeding to leading edge, the next big thing on the networking horizon promises to be ... wait for it ... Intent-based Networking."
He described IBN as the lifecycle management software for networking infrastructure. Since then, the topic received a lot of attention in the industry. The same year, Cisco published its IBN strategy and called it ‘a network of a new era, which can learn, adapt and evolve’. A host of companies, both start-ups and established networking giants, then joined the bandwagon.
Why is IBN in the spotlight?
Though network technologies have been evolving rapidly, the management and maintenance of networks are largely still manually driven. Up to 95% of network changes are performed manually, research shows! Network downtime have a direct impact on revenue for most businesses. Network automation thus becomes inevitable for every business in this digital era.
Intent-based networking is all about networks that can interpret an ‘intent’ (business or IT) and take necessary actions without any manual configuration provided. In simpler terms, IBN is often compared to the most advanced autopilot technology for aircrafts.
As opposed to traditional Command line interface (CLI) methods, IBN lets network managers establish policies that specify the network's business intent (security and compliance policies, IT operational processes, or any other intent), auto-prescribe how to satisfy that intent, and automate at scale.
Remember, in the CLI-driven methods, IT folks would manually set up policies for each vendor's networking devices individually, to achieve the network's business objective!
Relying on human interpretation and manual intervention to connect business and IT isn't going to work anymore, experts argue. This approach is extremely resource intensive, time consuming and error prone.
An intelligent network that can automatically capture the business intent in business language and convert it into IT policies that can be applied across the network is the need of the hour. And, intent-based networking achieves this and more!
Expert Tip
The 4 Elements of Intent-based Networking
The 4 Elements of Intent-based Networking
For IBN to work effectively, IT decision makers should ensure that these four elements are in place:
Automation: Network provisioning, configuration and repair are completely automated
Policy: Business policies around identity, access, security and compliance are interpreted and translated into network requirements
Assurance: Data from users, network, devices, and applications are monitored, gathered, correlated, and presented to business.
Security: security is integrated into every aspect of the network
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Swan is a 28+ year old, IT infrastructure and facilities management company providing state-of-the-art IT solutions to large and medium enterprises
Swan Solutions & Services (P) Ltd - 404 T-Square, 4th Floor, Saki Vihar Road,
Andheri East, Above Kavish Ford Showroom, Mumbai 400 072;
Tel. 022-28034088 ; Email : enquiry@swansol.com Website : www.swansol.com
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