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Make Good on Your Good Intentions

Timothy Rooney

Timothy Rooney

Jan 05, 2024

Make Good on Your Good Intentions

Happy new year and may all of your resolutions be kept and your intentions bear fruitful outcomes! As a network engineer, your primary work-related intent may be to meet or exceed your network service levels of availability and performance. Of course, fundamental to network resilience and stability are foundational DHCP-DNS-IPAM (DDI) network services, which automate IP address assignments via DHCP or API and facilitate navigation and service chaining via DNS.

While inadequate performance or unavailability of a given IP service will adversely affect users of that service, any DDI instability could impact every one of your network and cloud applications. So it makes sense to bolster your DDI infrastructure to help achieve this overarching service level intent. But with today’s ever-increasing network complexity and flat or shrinking staff levels, achieving this intent is growing more challenging.

Moving beyond automation

Automation and API integration of DDI functions can help in streamlining manually initiated provisioning or management tasks across your multi-domain network landscape. Cygna Labs DDI solutions currently offer a GUI-based workflow creation and management system as well as API integrations with ServiceNow, Cisco DNA Center, Terraform, and several others. Since DDI tasks comprise key elements within broader IT tasks such as VPC subnet provisioning, server instantiation, or even publication of email policies, the integration of these tasks into broader workflows saves time and reduces errors.

But there is an opportunity to go even further. As part of the ITU’s Network 2030 initiative, the concept of intent-based or intent-driven networking strives to approach the utopia of self-managing networks. This would be achieved not only through the automated provisioning of desired “intents,” but also through ongoing monitoring of the network with respect to the intent, and the triggering of automated tasks to initiate or modify networking configurations to adjust the network to better align with the intent over time.

Self-managing DDI

Cygna Labs is currently experimenting with the application of intent-driven networking to DDI components. As mentioned, we already offer several integrations and rich REST APIs to automate DDI provisioning. We are incorporating a feedback monitoring loop with AI-driven analytics to facilitate proactive and predictive DDI changes in accordance with DDI intents. Our goal is to enable customers to express DDI based intents, which our intent-driven DDI (I3DI) system would manage via provisioning, monitoring, analyzing, and adjusting DDI configurations accordingly.

Our I3DI system will also provide REST endpoints of its own to enable its incorporation into broader network-level intent-driven network solutions. This will enable network engineers to express network-wide intents leveraging our I3DI system to automate the monitoring and management of DDI elements. True to our hallmark of flexibility, this architecture provides the flexibility of expressing either DDI-specific or network-wide intents, both leveraging the robust DDI systems from the experts at Cygna Labs.

Intent Driven DDI

To learn more about intent-driven DDI, please view our webinar on this topic. We look forward to hearing your feedback and input as we progress on developing this innovative DDI solution.