Are Networks Getting Smarter?

A leading network vendor is working on it.

Last month, Cisco, a global leader in networking technology, announced their entry into a new networking market known as intent-based networking systems (IBNS). It's a concept that has been around for a while, but technology has finally reached the point where the idea can become reality. By using machine learning algorithms, networks may finally become more intuitive and able to respond more quickly to the needs of the enterprise.

This article from Brandon Butler of Network World explains what IBNS is and how it may change enterprise networks and the role of network administrators. Many of the tasks network administrators perform currently are manual and maintaining and updating a network can be time-consuming and tedious. By implementing IBNS, the anticipated benefit is that networks will be able to monitor themselves and adapt to changing conditions automatically.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1.  To help explain the concept of intent-based networking, share this video with the class: Intent-Based Networking, Explained.
  2.  Divide the class into small groups. Each group should research an area related to intent-based networking and the role of network administrators. For instance, one group may investigate the concept of machine-based algorithms, while another may look at the day-to-day tasks of a network administrator. Each group should put together a presentation to explain their topic and findings to the class.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to locate a recent article about intent-based networking and summarize it in a report.


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