periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues.

In this piece David Erickson, co-founder and CEO of Forward Networks, makes the case for intent-based networking and its use in existing networks.

IBN is a visionary approach to network automation and management that aligns the intended high-level behavior and policies of the network with the actual network design and configurations.

Implicit in this definition is that there is a great deal of automated intelligence that understands how to design efficient, error-free networks, as well as how to reason about the resulting behavior from an extremely large number of various design and configuration details.

Looking to take advantage of this kind of automated intelligence, carrier-grade providers frequently ask if IBN technology can be deployed on existing networks, or if the integration issues and technology upgrades lend themselves only to greenfield deployments?

The good news is that verification of existing network designs is a much more thoroughly solved problem and completely lends itself to any existing network today (assuming the IBN system has the capability to model and analyze the various vendors, devices and protocols in the underlying network).

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