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Intent-Based Networking

In this tutorial, we are going to discuss the introduction of Intent-based networking their working advantages, and their disadvantages.
Submitted by Prerana Jain, on December 21, 2020

Introduction

Intent-based networking is a type of network administration that incorporates machine learning network orchestration and artificial intelligence to automate administrative tasks across a network.
The goal of IBN is to reduce the manual labor associated with traditional configuration management and also reduce the complexity of creating, managing, and enforcing network policies.

In the IBN approach, the network can translate the intent into network policies. Furthermore, with the aid of automation, it can deploy a suitable configuration to the network. The input to IBN is provided with the help API (application programming interface) or through the graphical user interface (GUI).

Working of Intent-Based Networking (IBN)

Intent-based networking works as an extended version of software-defined networking (SDN). The intent-based network consists of a network controller that acts as a central control point for the network by managing the distributed devices present across the network. The network controller also plays a major role in network abstraction along with the integration.
There are 3 functional blocks of IBN namely-

  • Translation: Translation is a block that translates a given command or business intent into action that the software can perform.
  • Assurance: The activation block is responsible for end-to-end verification of the wide network. It predicts the changes which have taken place concerning the original intent and then provides a recommendation to fix it. The recommendation process is solely carried out by the AI and ML which are incorporated in this network.
  • Activation: After specifying the intent and development of policies, the activation block makes use of network-wide automation to verify the configuration of devices before their deployment.

Advantages of Intent-Based Networking (IBN)

Reduction in manual task to be performed- The task to achieve the desired configuration and repair work is done automatically by IBN and IBN translates commands into actions automatically with the help of ML and AI.

  • Security: with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence IBN provides a more secure environment for application in real-time.
  • Operational cost: The operational cost of the IBN system is very less.
  • Speed: IBN system provides agility for the application that's why the time spent on scheduling, testing, and manual configuration is saved.

Disadvantages of Intent-Based Networking (IBN)

  • Complex design: The IBN system is the combination of several operating systems, environment, and network components that's why it is a complex design.
  • Success rate: The success rate of IBN systems only depends on API's as the network access lies with API.

Applications of Intent-Based Networking (IBN)

  • Performance testing
  • Security
  • Assistance in web traffic filtering
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