Modern Network Planning: Foresight is required when planning and optimizing a network environment. The network should be agile, efficient, and scalable, in short, future-proof in every respect. This is where a new approach to network planning and management comes into play.
Intent-based networking (IBN) provides services, combinations of performance features, and infrastructure functions in a hierarchically structured model. This is based on the “intent,” i.e., the intention or goal that lies behind the planning.
This model makes it possible to abstract an application, a function or performance feature, an entire network, or a unique resource to the target. This goal can be achieved regardless of manufacturer and technology. Rigid structures that often miss the business goal and the tight corset of decades of manufacturer ties are a thing of the past.
A service-oriented commissioning system models services on a multi-layer abstraction scale, from mapping the business processes in the highest layer to the underlying infrastructure as the lowest layer. Each individual layer is a local target model that corresponds to an implicit request.
An example would be: “Ensure optimal VoIP voice quality in the entire office environment.” This goal can be achieved in various ways; depending on the manufacturer, there should be different possibilities. For this reason, intent-based networking uses reference designs. These specify a particular way of how the goal is to be achieved and which guidelines must be observed.
Each model element describes the expectations in the form of properties or SLAs at each layer of the abstraction scale. The current status and the current conditions, which are determined by probes, are also recorded. Each layer forms an autonomously managed system that is responsible for SLA compliance. If a model layer cannot meet expectations, an anomaly policy applies.
A model element can map a network or data center component, a cloud application, or a network function – combined as required on each layer. The model element is forward-looking, but of course, applicable to current network services.
A start-up system uses a combination of probes and in-memory databases to record the resource status. Continuous data acquisition ensures that the data is always up to date. The resource state is then viewed in context through goal-oriented model elements of each service.
The autonomous character of intent-based networking goes back to the local intent concept. Each target model and each layer of the abstraction scale form an independent unit. This contains individual information on the context, status, goals, solutions, and failure strategies.
The guidelines determine what a model element can refer to correct a problem and when an anomaly occurs. If this is the case, the goal or SLA of the next higher element is not met, and predefined error-specific remedial measures must be initiated. Each intent model element is comparable to a microservice, a combination of independent processes that communicate with each other.
Instead of a fixed management process that monitors every hardware component, several nested intent-modeled domains are used to meet their own performance goals. The management of the overall goals is based on goal models and is applicable to services on a large scale.
This enables fully autonomous network behavior, with the option of inserting manual processes if this appears necessary. However, intent-based networking is designed to implement operating processes that are as fully automated as possible on all layers. This approach is in the sense of complete automation of the service life cycle in order to achieve the desired efficiency and agility of the network.
Network infrastructure is a huge investment and can turn into a massive cost trap. The digital transformation that is required in many places today often requires an actual conversion of the infrastructure to virtualization or a software-defined network. Intent-based networking is an approach to bring about the transformation faster.
As a modern form of network administration, intent-based networking is designed to automate administrative tasks in the network. IBN stands for a departure from traditional approaches to networking. The new method combines a network system-oriented management with a virtualized and programmable physical infrastructure and is API-based. It can know the network health by collecting the data from the network to monitor the network efficiency continuously.
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