New in Machine Learning - An Intent Based Network Management

Networking

Implementation and application of Machine Learning are growing rapidly across different industries. The next big thing is Intent-Based Network or IBN.

Networking

IBN software manages the network devices and takes care of new network requests by taking the intent of the admin/business. Imagine you just need to type "Allow Management LAN traffic towards new VPN". So just express the intent and see the changes taking place automatically without any manual intervention and issuing a series of commands on different devices, which is prone to typographic mistakes.

In general IBN technology can be leveraged either by having some software or by procuring an appliance. It is a strong belief that enterprise will soon have options to deploy IBN virtual appliances in the private and public clouds.

IBN implementation includes the following activities,

  • Install IBN software or appliance
  • Provide network and security devices including load balancers access to IBN server
  • IBN scans and learn the network and creates a schema
  • Define the default state of network and other rules
  • Let IBN manage the network

To start with, an IBN software or appliance senses the network and security devices (physical and virtual both) on the network and creates the schema (needs authentication on all devices), however, IBN is protocol and network agnostic. The technology is an amalgamation of DevOps and Machine Learning.

DevOps portion helps to keep the desired configuration on the devices and machine learning helps with the changes in network patterns so that an appropriate action could be taken like increasing QoS value, blocking certain traffic and automatic provisioning of management LAN access on newly created devices.

IBN has the following features,

  • Business Console
    For accepting an intent or "What" from the business and converting it to How
  • Intelligent Orchestration
    The core of IBN software is the ability to convert the intent into How. How a part is broken down into a series of changes, which are required to meet the business intent
  • Change Management
    Post authorization (optional), all the changes are carried out automatically and schema is updated
  • Notifications
    Orchestrated decisions are made and business is notified for the changes and critical alarms are raised,

IBN certainly will help enterprises with the following key benefits,

  • Agility
    Dynamic decision-making intelligence and configuration management pave the way for an Agile network

  • Automation
    Removing the manual intervention required to carry out critical changes on one or several network or security devices

  • Reliability
    More reliable networks as admins can have detailed dashboard and schema views on-the-go, additionally advanced rule base will automatically route traffic to redundant paths without any downtime

  • Protection
    Network profiling can help have a network protected and IBN can automatically provision limited access to corporate resources whenever any unidentified devices (client laptop etc.) on network is sensed

In a nutshell, IBN is the future of network orchestration and management enterprises were waiting for and will definitely provide a great way to manage and protect networks in an enterprise environment.

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