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Intent-Based Networking

Intent-based networking

The network platform for IT and business innovation

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. But only if your network is based on an open platform.

What intent-based networking can do for you

Simplified operations

Simplified operations

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

Security throughout the network

Security throughout the network

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

Proactive ​management

Proactive ​management

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

Investment for innovation

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​

Intent-based networking demands an open platform

Intent-based networking demands an open platform

Learn how intent-based networking becomes an innovation engine and integration point across the organisation.

Gartner's analysis of intent-based networking

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

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

360-degree extensibility for enterprise networks

360-degree extensibility for enterprise networks

Streamline IT workflows and facilitate new IT and business agility. Transform your network into an open platform that extends and integrates its core automation and assurance capabilities beyond its traditional boundaries.

Continuous verification for data centre networks

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

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

Houston Methodist hospital case study

"DNA Centre 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
Bosch case study

"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

Building intent-based networks with DevNet

Building intent-based networks with DevNet

Start coding with open APIs on DNA Center Platform. Build apps that drive IT and business innovation.

Finding the needle in the haystack

Finding the needle in the haystack

New network assurance capabilities help you pinpoint and resolve issues faster.

Data centre intent-based networking

Data centre intent-based networking

Roland Acra discusses Cisco's strategy for intent-based networking and how network assurance fits in.

SDN and intent-based networking

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: