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Cisco Opens Up Intent Based Networking

Tuesday Jun 12th 2018 by Sean Michael Kerner

New DNA Center Platform extends Intent-Based networking to non-Cisco hardware and software.

Cisco first announced its intent-based networking during Cisco Live in 2017. On June 12 at Cisco Live 18, Cisco announced that it is opening up intent-based networking with the Cisco DNA Center platform.

"What we're truly focused on today is to release new developer tools and open APIs across our intent-based networking portfolio," Prashanth Shenoy, vice president of marketing for enterprise networking, explained to EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.

Shenoy said that Cisco is now extending an open framework for intent-based networking to Cisco's enterprise partners. At the core of Cisco's open intent model is the company's DNA Center Platform.

With DNA Center Platform, there are software development kits (SDKs) that enable developers to connect with and benefit from intent-based networking. The platform also has pre-built APIs and adapters as well. Shenoy said that with DNA Center Platform, Cisco is extending the network to IT systems and business operations, providing a dynamic foundation that enables third-party programmable infrastructure.

"The SDK supports Cisco's open platform commitment," he said.

Among the initial capabilities of the DNA Center Platform are adapters for IT and network system processes from companies including ServiceNow, Tableau, Micro Focus, and LiveAction. The platform also includes business and network intent APIs to enable a host of capabilities, including application policy, assurance, wireless provisioning, network inventory and software image management.

"DNA Center uses device packs to understand the characteristics of any network device," Shenoy explained. "The SDK provides an easy method to develop device packs for any type of network device.

Shenoy added that DNA Center Platform is now an open platform that can enable a single policy framework from the user to the application edge. Among the device packs that Shenoy said are initially available are packs for switches from rival networking vendors Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Juniper Networks and Huawei.

Looking forward, Cisco is planning on continuing to expand and improve its intent-based networking model over the rest of 2018 and beyond.

"We are constantly updating intent-based networking, and we're working now on applying new machine learning capabilities and security capabilities into the network," he said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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