Cisco brings intent-based networking to the data center

A decade ago, one of the big knocks on Cisco was that its products were difficult to deploy and often even harder to manage. Over the past few years, though, particularly since Chuck Robbins took the helm as CEO, the company has been laser focused on making its products simpler to operate.

It’s important to understand that making products easy to use is actually much more difficult than those that are hard to use. As an example, Cisco’s network-intuitive, intent-based networking solution enables the operations for the campus network to be fully automate, dramatically cutting the operational overhead required by network engineers.

This week, Cisco is bringing the benefits of intent-based networking to the data center with the 3.0 version of its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software-defined networking (SDN) product. The latest release of ACI will increase network automation, simplify operational tasks and make it easier to secure agile workloads regardless of whether they are in containers, in virtual machines, on bare metal or in on-premises data centers. 

Data centers have undergone a massive transition over the past decade from having dedicated infrastructure in silos to highly agile environments where constant change is the norm. Also, most businesses, over 80 percent, according to my research, are extending their data center out to public clouds in a hybrid, multi-cloud architecture. This has raised the value of the network, as it has become the fabric that connects all these resources together. However, legacy networks do not have the necessary levels of automation and agility, making network modernization a top priority for data centers.

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