Intent-Based Networking is an Evolution of Automation

Intent-Based Networking (IBN) is a closed-loop, continuous validation, solution that relies on automation to address the speed, reliability, and human capital challenges required by IT departments to ensure the technology continually meets the business demands. IBN empowers customers to deliver on the continuous integration and continuous deployment, CI/CD, initiatives required by DevOps, for full network service lifecycle (Day 0/1/2) operations. It automatically generates and deploys full configuration of all devices based on a service description, and continuously provides assurance checks between the intended and operational state.

Intent-Based Networking dramatically reduces the time to reliably deliver infrastructure services from days or weeks, to minutes, while addressing the operational challenges once the infrastructure is deployed. IBN facilitates a more proficient, cost-effective, and agile network, freeing up important resources to focus on critical work.  Calculate your potential savings with Apstra.

What is Intent-Based Networking?

The Evolution to Intent-Based Networking

Manually operated
Description & Traits

Manual data center network device management through a CLI, SNMP, basic and discrete tools.

Traits: Separate design, deployment, and management of the data center.

Semi Automated
Script driven
Description & Traits

Scripts and rules-based management that leverages traditional tools for basic automation and to view network data then react to events.

Traits: Network is rules-based and relies on scripts for lifecycle management. Requires script knowledge to management.

Software-Defined Data Center
Software controlled
Description & Traits

Software abstraction of the network infrastructure allows for faster and secure deployment of services and applications.

Traits: Starts to integrate with the operations teams and is an initial step to develop NetOps strategies focusing on speed and agility.

Automation Centric Data Center
Provision, config, and deployment automation
Description & Traits

Builds upon the software defined data center by using automation to provision, configure, deploy, and orchestrate the manual data center tasks.

Traits: Enables continuous delivery of data center deployment tasks. Focused on speed, efficiency, with limited orchestration of deployment tasks.

Intent-Based Data Center
Ensures technology continually meets the business demands
Description & Traits

Continually collects and converts all of the pertinent data to inform and take automated network actions required to maintain alignment to dynamic business intent, data center conditions, and policies from Day 0 through Day 2.

Traits: IBN provides an analytical based platform using a single source of truth to analyze data center traffic. Ensures the data center is operating reliably and consistently with operator and business intent, even as it dynamically changes.

Intent-Based Networking is not only about intent fulfillment, but it’s also about intent assurance. With Intent-Based Analysis, networks remain in compliance with the original business intent all the way through the service lifecycle. IBN also provides faster root cause identification to detect when things go awry. Intent-Based Analytics gleans insights into network services from Day 0 through Day 2, enabling teams to think about their network as a complete service.

IBN unifies the intent and policies across heterogeneous infrastructures, thus eliminating complexity & scale constraints. While simultaneously increasing reliability, operational simplicity & cost-effectiveness that are table stakes for a solution that must help customers achieve maximum benefit from their network investments.

Apstra delivers these via Apstra Operating System (AOS), a unified solution that uniquely simplifies the design, build, deployment, and operation of the data center network while continuously validating. Apstra unifies the architects and operation teams, eliminating human capital constraints and reliability issues while introducing flexibility and increased speed of deployment and activation

Intent-Based Networking For The Data Center

Hear from Apstra founders about Intent-Based Networking and how Apstra helps companies with data center network automation.

Key Intent-Based Networking Features

Intent-Based Analytics

Identifies network anomalies and their potential root cause. The result is a unique, vendor-agnostic solution that continually validates the network is always working efficiently & reliably to deliver on the network managers' intent. Networks remain in compliance with the original business intent all the way through the service lifecycle.Read: Understanding Intent-Based Analytics: A Technical Deep Dive.

Manage Change Reliably

Intent-Based Networking's built-in analytics identify deviations from the business intent and are indispensable for dealing with uncontrolled changes. Watch this webinar on Using Intent-Based Analytics to Prevent Network Outages and Gray Failures

Monitor Controlled Change

Implement pre-deployment protocols to help prevent any issues that may arise from planned network changes. Read more about how Apstra simplifies Data Center Network Operations.

Root Cause Identification

Built into IBN, RCI sorts through the potentially large number of anomalies to center in on the root cause, which is invaluable for quickly fixing problems. Data Center Network Troubleshooting Solution Brief


eBook: Intent-Based Networking for Dummies

Want to learn more about what Intent-Based Networking is all about? The benefits, risks, and the top things to consider before choosing an IBN solution.

White Paper

Intent-Based Networking Taxonomy

For those developing Clos or leaf spine data centers, learn how Apstra's automation capabilities are far more advanced than other alternatives.


Intent-Based Networking Data Centers

Zeus Kerravala: Read how Intent-Based Networking data centers have enabled IT organizations to boost operational efficiency, increase utilization and improve overall user experience.