The Future of Virtualization
Intent-based networking is the term used to describe a software-defined infrastructure-independent network where a service provider can specify exactly what it wants the network to do and the network will act automatically.
But that concept is easier said than done. Networks today are operating at a scale and level of complexity that has never been seen before, and the manual, box-by-box management of these networks is time consuming, costly, and prone to errors.
However, in a recent Gartner report “Innovation Insight: Intent-Based Networking Systems,” analysts suggest that a number of service providers are beginning to develop intent-based systems.
As an example, Orange Business Services is working with Cisco on an SD-WAN solution that incorporates virtual network functions onboarding. Orange said that this is an early step toward using artificial intelligence to automatically orchestrate networks based on predicted user demand.
And Orange is not alone. Cablevision Argentina is using a virtualized approach to its content delivery network to make adjustments to automate the flow of data from the content.
But intent-based networking is not something that can be incorporated into networks overnight. Analysts say that service providers will deploy the technology slowly by automating certain workflows a step at a time.
In the end, the goal is to simplify the network. But simplifying large networks, many of which have been operated in the same way for a few decades, is difficult and requires a lot of commitment from service providers.