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Understanding the Key Trend of Intent-Based Networking

January 29, 2019 / eWeek Editors

The one thing that has been consistent about the networking industry over the past several decades is change. The latest innovation to come to the network is the concept of an Intent Based Network (IBN). The term has actually been around about a decade but has recently gone mainstream because Cisco Systems has been evangelizing it.However, Cisco isn’t the only IBN vendor today; Apstra, Veriflow, Huawei and other companies have made announcements in this area. Over time, I’m expecting all vendors to offer an IBN solution, although some may choose not to use the “intent” term. But the end goal of an autonomous network will be the same. The high-level vision of an IBN network is simple: It’s a network that runs itself based on the intent of a given set of commands. However, what this means and how this works isn’t obvious, so I thought I would take the time to explain it and all the implications to network professionals.