Whether you see it as the next big thing in IT or not, intent-based networking (IBN) has emerged as a critical buzzword for the IT industry. While software-defined networking (SD-WAN) used to dominate networking conversations, modern vendors are now beginning to explore the potential benefits of IBN. Why? Because IBN has a lot of strengths to offer.
With the support of machine learning and analytics, IBN offers a revolutionary way to transform networking experiences to support digital initiatives and cloud adoption strategies. Though the technology is still emerging, the basic idea is that IBN enhances efficiency by helping users apply policies across an entire infrastructure. The technology has gained a lot of momentum in recent years. If you’re keen to explore it for yourself, here are some of the top IBN vendors set to disrupt 2020.
Gluware (previously Glue Networks) created the world’s first multi-domain, multi-vendor IT automation solution, designed to support businesses of today and tomorrow. This company is committed to offering automation and orchestration strategies that tie services and networks together, with a range of IBN solutions to boot.
The evolutionary services provided by Gluware bring IBN to the masses. What’s more, they build on the company’s impressive background in the SD-WAN orchestration space. Today, Gluware is one of the market leaders in IBN, automation, and orchestration.
9. Forward Networks
Forward Networks is unique in its commitment to focusing on a single area of IBN: verification. Forward’s state-of-the-art software creates a model of the network and ensures that it’s working exactly as intended. Forward doesn’t examine live traffic, but instead considers network configuration, building models, and analysing packet behaviours as they travel through the network.
According to the company’s director of marketing, Gary Kinghorn, the problems that Forward Networks can find stretch from a lack of redundant paths to issues with reliability. The business can also recommend ways to improve performance.
8. Avi Networks
Avi Networks is a company that provides intent-based application services through the automation of intelligence across the cloud. The Avi intent-based model allows users to focus on their most desired and important business outcomes by specifying intent.
The Avi Networks intent-based application services focus on outcomes instead of inputs. That means that the brand delivers a range of software services to ensure a scalable, secure, and reliable application experience. Avi Networks also offers web application firewalls, performance monitoring, autoscaling, and service discovery.
This Seattle-based startup launched with a plan to create an end-to-end IBN solution for its users. However, to start, Intentionet is most focused on validating networks. Since the company launched in 2015, it has been developing software that verifies network intent. The company also offers something called automated intent inference.
Essentially, Intentionet knows that the best practices for network architecture and intelligence determine which policies are required for a network without user input. It then tells the user when networks are compliant.
Any company making the jump into IBN needs an experienced and knowledgeable vendor to guide them. Indeni has spent years learning the ropes of IBN so that it can offer a more advanced experience for its users. Indeni crowdsources network automation scripts from certified experts who are highly regarded in their fields, meaning that clients only receive the most proven solutions.
Indeni is excellent at helping businesses to demonstrate compliance and meet the requirements of audits for their networking systems too. Also, Indeni constantly checks systems for potential operational risks and vulnerabilities to keep you safe.
5. Veriflow Systems
Veriflow Systems is another business that’s staying ahead of the curve with IBN opportunities. According to the company, the verification technology helps enterprises to predict all possible network-wide behaviours and verify their availability and security. According to CEO James Berar, the IBN solution “CloudPredict” turns companies into fortune tellers.
CloudPredict uses maths to predict potential errors, collecting information from all devices on a network in the process. This solution allows companies to quickly be aware of any problems that cause outages.
Huawei is another technology company throwing its hat into the IBN ring. Recently, the company premiered its CloudCampus solution. According to the brand, the Campus Insight technology within CloudCampus will help users build self-healing, predictive closed-loop systems. This will give them greater visibility and improved network protection too.
CloudCampus uses AI and big data to implement state-of-the-art fault analysis and prediction technology. With Huawei, companies will be able to proactively optimise their performance and keep faults to a minimum.
A few years after the initial release of the Apstra Operating System (AOS), Apstra, a self-funded startup, is still one of the leaders to produce an incredible, full-service IBN solution. The AOS offering runs on any networking hardware and allows administrators to configure, monitor, and deploy their data networks according to their needs.
Apstra is unique in its commitment to multi-vendor performance. The company believes that its customers should be choosing the hardware that suits them and that they should operate on top.
Juniper is a business making significant headway in the realm of IBN. The company recently began working on a new approach to IBN which uses an software-defined networking controller model. Juniper also recently introduced Juniper Bots, which allows business outcomes to be translated into automated workflows.
The Juniper self-driving network takes the heavy lifting out of the hands of IT employees and provides support for everything from managing, configuration, monitoring, and defending, with minimal human input. The system is predictive and adaptive to its environment, with optimisation and personalisation opportunities for the end-user.
Finally, Cisco is probably the most notable company focused on IBN these days. The company announced an IBN initiative as part of its overall vision to create an intuitive system that fully considers and understands the needs of businesses today. Cisco’s IBN solution anticipates actions, stops security problems in their tracks, and learns as it goes too.
Over the years, Cisco has also introduced the Network Assistance Engine for verification purposes, and the Cisco DNA Centre Assurance environment too. Furthermore, with Cisco, companies can centralise their network policy control strategies, proactively manage their networks, and offer a range of investment opportunities for ongoing innovation.