Sep 28, 2017

The Dirty Truth about Intent Washing

intent_washing_640x360.jpgAny new technology in Silicon Valley will go through a phase where defining precisely what it is can be difficult to do. New ideas need new words to describe them, to keep these ideas distinct in people’s minds. In spite of this, many people will not have heard about any given new and emerging concept. This creates a window of time where existing vendors with existing products will invariably attempt to further blur an already blurry line in the minds of potential customers about what something new really is. We call this “washing.” For instance, “cloud-washing” is when something that really isn’t “cloud” is talked about as if it were.

Intent-Based Networking (IBN) is currently undergoing the same treatment. Many companies have announced intent-based initiatives or products. They are using the language and the surrounding ideas to talk about existing products that simply were not designed from the ground up with Intent as a guiding light.

At Apstra, we know that Intent-based systems are still emerging. Yet, we are delivering the world’s first and only vendor-agnostic, Intent-Based Networking System. From day one, our Apstra Operating System (AOS®) was built with Intent as our guiding light. Whether we are talking about our flagship data center management solution, or about AOS as a platform for others to develop their own apps, Intent has been the primary driving theme. Intent is what elevates Network Engineers and Automation Developers above the complicated minutia inherent in networking.

It’s been fascinating watching “Intent-Washing” happen right before our eyes every day in social media and at industry events. So we did something fun to shine a light on it. Please enjoy this short video we made about “Intent-Washing.”

And if you are really serious about understanding the concepts behind next-generation networks, read Sasha Ratkovic’s excellent blog “Intent-Based Networking: What Is It?