By: Shraddha Gopalakrishnan RIG Cooperative Researcher

                               

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranged branch of computer science designed to make computers intelligent so that they can act intelligently! AI is meant to be the next industrial revolution because of the way it will change everyone’s lives with respect to literally everything – work, entertainment, travel, business interactions, and many more. Let me give you a brief on how intent-based networking works and how AI comes into play.

 

As illustrated in Figure 1, the bottom-most key area in the intent-based networking is the Infrastructure (switches, wire boards, wireless AP’s, routers, etc.). On top, there is Intent (this is what the user wants to do) which we use to Translate into the network & security policies to be applied on the Infrastructure. These are then Activated through open and standard API’s or programmable models. For instance, Cisco is totally supportive of open-base models, OpenConfig models in particular. [1]

 

At this point of networking, we want to instantiate an intent on the infrastructure and determine if it is actually working the way it should ? These questions are what come under Assurance. The goal of assurance is to assure that the network is doing what’s intended by the users without forgetting the crucial elements— visibility, insights (context +policy), continuous verification and corrective actions.

Figure 1 Intent-Based Networking[1]

 

What’s interesting here is that AI comes into play in all of these different boxes. Here, Assurance helps  improve business performance by transforming operations in software-defined data centers using continuous network verification and analysis. Through Network Assurance we can gather huge amounts of data and perform various analysis, i.e., data behavioral analytics to determine:

  1. Is network behaving correctly?
  2. Is there a problem?
  3. Root cause of the problem & how to fix it

The feedback is provided to the users, and the user could then say, “hey yes, I see that problem and want to fix it as recommended”; I’m going to instantiate that in the Infrastructure once again and check to see if it works as Intended. If it does work, awesome!! Else we make additional changes as required.

 

Now, we have a very powerful feedback loop in-between the Activated elements & Assurance and having AI in all the different parts accelerates what we’re doing, improves agility & for the customers it improves the performance, reliability and security overall. This AAA layer does the baselining of all the data we have, in addition to which it can now do normal detection, side comparisons and not to forget about the predictability of what may happen sometime later in the future.

 

Figure 1 diagram is incredibly useful for clients/customers because before, they did not have any of those capabilities. It’s a valuable representation, and thousands of people spent about five years building the concept. Intent-based networking captures business intent and uses analytics, machine learning, and automation to continuously align the network to changing business needs, including service levels, security policies, regulatory compliance, and operational processes. It lets the businesses decide on the desired outcomes of network composition, automates network accessories, the formation of servers, and full LCM of application services.[2]

 

An elaborate extension of Figure-1 emphasized as a context diagram in Figure-2 below:

Figure 2 RIG’s plausible Intent-based Networking[3]

 

Revolutionary Integration Group Inc. (RIG) continues to invest in building more and more capabilities by providing various kinds of probable use-cases into integrating the AI networks through its range of customizable services that are Diverse, flexible, and trusted in nature. Moreover, RIG unravels System-Design, Test Planning, Cloud-based MVP’s, Risk Maintenance for deployed AI-agent based systems.

 

With their revolutionary Products like Dynamic TrustTM (evaluates trust levels and functionally validates intent-based networks by allowing the secure share of data), NimbusTM (Private Integration Group (PIC) for the integration of heterogenous AI systems) & Services for MDM and IoT systems, RIG is sure to rock the many industries looking to form a true validated System-of-Systems!

 

Explore more about RIG through this link: https://rigroup.co/

References

 

[1] Solutions – Cisco Intent-Based Networking At-a-Glance. (2019, December 6). Cisco. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/enterprise-networks/digital-network-architecture/nb-06-intent-based-networking-aag-cte-en.html

 

[2] Cooney, M. (2020, October 29). Cisco fortifies and simplifies its security portfolio with eye toward cloud, zero trust. Network World. https://www.networkworld.com/article/3587793/cisco-fortifies-and-simplifies-its-security-portfolio-with-eye-toward-cloud-zero-trust.html

 

[3] Kiran Ghodgaonkar Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems. (2018, July 18). Bringing the Future of Intent-Based Networking to ONUG 2018. ONUG. https://www.onug.net/blog/bringing-the-future-of-intent-based-networking-to-onug-2018/