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Intent-Based Networking

Align business goals to network results

In today's world, the network connects everything. It has the potential to constantly adapt, protect, and inform across all IT and business processes. But how?

Only with an intent-based network. By capturing business intent and activating and assuring it networkwide, you can bridge the gap between what your business needs and what your network delivers. 

What intent-based networking can do for you

Simplified operations

Centralise network policy control, automate management, and integrate IT workflows.

Security throughout the network

Detect and contain threats everywhere, in real time. Let network intelligence take the load off security operations.

Proactive ​management

Use network monitoring and analytics to pinpoint, report, and remedy issues before they become problems.

Investment for innovation

Deliver IT and business innovation now and in the future, built on an open, intent-based networking platform.

See what experts are saying​

How SD-WAN raises productivity

SD-WAN can improve users' experience with cloud applications. See the considerations for deploying SD-WAN in your network.

Gartner's analysis of intent-based networking

See how these solutions can lower network infrastructure delivery times and reduce outages by at least 50 percent.

Building the bridge between business and IT

Get a technical look at Cisco's vision and the architecture and benefits of an intent-based network.

New intent-based networking innovations

SD-WAN security simplified

Deliver the right security in the right place for every connection: on- or off-premises, public or private cloud.

Continuous verification for data centre networks

Validate business intent with always-on assurance. Predict the impact of configuration changes, proactively verify network behavior, and assure network policy and compliance.

Your trusted advisor for network assurance​

Ease IT operations, predict network outages, improve productivity, and reduce risk. Leverage unique expertise, actionable insights, innovative tools, and best practices from Cisco Services.

Bridge the gap between business and IT

Learn how intent-based networking can help IT leaders speed decision making, mitigate growing security threats, and manage even more connected devices.

See what customers are saying

"DNA Center helps me find problems proactively, before users contact me. With a mostly wireless network, I’m able to find devices throughout the network and quickly solve any problems with the help of analytics."

Manuel Ortiz III, Senior Wireless Engineer, Houston Methodist Hospital

"Cisco Network Assurance Engine enables us to greatly reduce risk of production outages, accelerate timeliness, and achieve high-quality application migrations."

Jan Holzmann, Team Lead Data Centre Operations, Bosch

News and events

A new type of WAN, built for any cloud

Learn how Cisco SD-WAN achieves business intent by securely connecting any user to any cloud with the desired application experience--every time.

Catalyst 9000 family expands

The Catalyst 9000 now includes switches and controllers.

Creating a world of possibilities

See how DNA Center now provides 360-degree open platform extensibility and unlocks new opportunities for IT innovation.

SDN and intent-based networking

John Apostolopoulos discusses why intent-based networking is such good news for software-defined networking.

What is intent-based networking?

An intent-based network bridges the gap between business and IT. It captures business intent and continuously aligns the end-to-end network with that intent. Intent can apply to application service levels, security policies, compliance, operational processes, and other business needs.

Why is intent-based networking important?

Organisations need to move faster and with confidence. Many networks cannot keep up with the scale, complexity, and threats of today's business environment. The business benefits of intent-based networking are clear in three main areas:

  • Speed and agility. The network is able to rapidly respond to an organisation’s needs with little manual intervention.
  • Business value. The reduced time and effort required to maintain the network translates into more time for IT innovations that provide real value to the business.
  • Reduced risk. Improved network visibility, analytics and automation result in faster threat detection and containment, continuous compliance, and reduced downtime.

How does intent-based networking work?

Intent-based networking captures and translates business intent so that it can be applied across the network. The network continuously monitors and adjusts to ensure alignment. That's achieved through a closed-loop system that includes:

  • Translation: Business intent capture and translation.
  • Activation: Automated policy activation, networkwide.
  • Assurance: Continuous monitoring and verification.

For intent-based networking to achieve its full potential, all these functions build on a programmable network infrastructure.


How can you get started?

  • Start by understanding the fundamental business case and technology requirements of an intent-based network.
  • Identify a domain (such as data centre, campus, or WAN) that would most benefit from the transition.
  • Assess which elements of the existing network infrastructure support an intent-based architecture and which need upgrading.
  • Choose a technology partner that can help you create and implement your intent-based network roadmap.

Learn how Cisco can help

Data centres:

Enterprise networks: