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Intent-Based Networking: What Is It, and Why Should Your Business Care?

IBN has been a big topic of conversation in the last two years—the question is, what is it, and how will it help your business?

In the last few years, there has been a lot of buzz around intent-based networking. The term isn’t new, but Cisco renewed a relatively idle conversation in 2017 at Cisco Live, the annual gathering of IT professionals.

Since that time, there has been a good deal of confusion surrounding intent-based networking (IBN) and how it is different from SDN (Software Defined Networking). Adding to the confusion, vendors have started to re-brand existing solutions as ‘intent-based’ making it difficult to differentiate between marketing hype and fact.

Given the confusion, you might be wondering what IBN truly is, and how the technology can help your business.

Network engineers today are expected to manage an expanding number of connected devices, and this number is only going to grow. According to research conducted by Statista, by 2020, the installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is expected to rise to nearly 31B worldwide. As this number grows, complexity and risk grow alongside it. Through digital transformation, businesses managing networks using traditional methods are finding it a challenge to keep up with agile competitors, and as a result, they are inching closer to full-scale disruption.

Cisco’s intent-based networking solution—the Network Intuitive—provides contemporary businesses with the tools needed to deploy a network able to scale from thousands to millions of connected devices, and can learn continually, adapt and automate critical operations, keeping businesses secure in the face of an evolved threat landscape. Intent-based networking is essential for companies wishing to reach digital maturity.

The primary goal of the intuitive network is to transcend the management of individual devices, moving into a globally managed policy, controlled from a single location that runs through the network. This technology makes use of machine-learning and advanced automation to control networks, representing a significant transformation in the enterprise. It’s taken years to arrive at the point where machine-learning algorithms are mature enough to make IBN a reality—that time has come.

Cisco’s transformational Network Intuitive, built around Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA), enables the scale, complexity and security, needed in this world of connected devices.

The three essential components of the Network Intuitive:

  • Encrypted Traffic Analysis: an innovation from Cisco giving businesses the ability to leverage the network to uncover hidden threats in encrypted traffic.
  • DNA Center: Cisco DNA Center is a centralized management application, which simplifies processes enabling IT to move with velocity. DNA Center uses automation to cut costs, assurance and analytics to improve network performance, and security to eliminate risk.
  • Catalyst 9000: Cisco’s most advanced series of switches, purpose-built for full fabric control with Cisco DNA Center, delivering industry-best performance. This powers Cisco’s Network Intuitive.

Intent-based networking is an altogether new approach to managing networks. Cisco’s Network Intuitive gives your business the tools to allow you to eliminate wasted time and money operating your network and gives you the agility your business needs to reach digital maturity.

If you’d like to learn more about IBN, IT modernization, and how iConvergence can help guide your business to digital maturity, get in touch or leave a comment below.

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