Intent-Based Networking

What Does Intent-Based Networking Mean?

Intent-based networking (IBN) is a form of network administration that automates aspects of the management of the network. Though similar in some ways to software-defined networking, which abstracts some of the tasks in a given network's administration, intent-based networking adds its own abstraction and automation of what used to be a strictly manual process.


Techopedia Explains Intent-Based Networking

In intent-based networking, a user interface directs the administration of the network with higher-level indicators that function to "show" the technology the system administrator's "intent," which the technology then implements with some degree of automation. Intent-based networking removes some of the labor burden of traditional, manual, iterative management of individual switches, routers and other components. Through machine learning and artificial intelligence systems, intent-based networking tools can deliver functionality without express human step-by-step programming.

One of the best analogies to intent-based networking is to the evolution of HTML editor interfaces in the early days of the web. Instead of writing raw HTML or CSS code, the user inputs commands into an abstracted system that then writes the code by itself. Similarly, intent-based networking tools take abstracted commands and undertake the nuts and bolts of implementation more or less on their own.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.