A data migration project is a huge undertaking. It’s a consuming venture that absorbs considerable resources to complete, which is why you must get it right. So, how will you conclude whether the project was a success or not? There will be multiple determining factors such as whether timetables and schedules were met and if the project stayed within budget. However, there’s one overriding measurement of success that is the most important of all: Does it achieve the business objectives that it was aligned with? In other words, will it fulfill its intended purpose? That’s what truly matters.
If this is your deciding element, then it is critical to accurately define what those intentions are. But that’s only half the equation. Once defined, you need a way to translate those intentions into the network and system configurations that will ensure that all datacenter components work collectively to achieve those intentions. This means that configurations now have a purpose beyond technical requirements. It means that business intent should drive them. Welcome to the intent-based datacenter.
Let’s first talk about the concept of the intent-based network (IBN). According to Juniper Networks, IBN is a software-enabled automation process that uses high levels of intelligence, analytics, and orchestration to improve network operations and uptime. Its premise is simple. Operators state the business objectives that must be met, and the IBN translates those objectives into the required configurations that are then deployed throughout the network. This conversion process is completed without human intervention. Gone are the days when datacenter management relied on CLI commands, scripts, and SNMP managers. IBN replaces those labor intensive and unscalable approaches with automated intelligence, thus lessoning the dependence on highly trained specialists.
SDN Evolves Into IBN
IBN is considered the next evolutionary step of software-defined networking (SDN). SDN utilized software-based controllers within a central controller that communicated with the underlying network using application programming interfaces (APIs). This software-based architecture made the network nimbler and gave admins the ability to control all network components through a single pane of glass. This gave us the software-defined datacenter in which virtualized components were provisioned, monitored, and managed programmatically.
SDN could provision additional resources, servers, or bandwidth to accommodate dynamic workloads without human intervention. IBN goes beyond the task of configuring network changes to accommodate the adjusting needs of workloads. It adjusts to the dynamic nature of your business objectives. Once configuration changes are deployed, they are validated to determine if they are achieving their intended purpose and alter them if necessary. IBN will then continue to monitor and verify that the intent of those configurations are continually being met and act accordingly if not. If the desired intent isn’t being met, the IBN system can take corrective action, which could include the modification of a QoS policy, VLAN or ACL. The result is not only a more objective-based network, but a more compliant one as well.
IBN simplifies troubleshooting with its ability to perform root cause analysis thanks to powerful analytics. Its boundless visibility across the IT estate allows it to keep operators aware of what’s happening in the network in real time. Don’t think of IBN as a giant alert mechanism, however. It can discern what’s important and what’s just noise so IT personnel aren’t inundated with alerts.
IBN isn’t about technology for the sake of technology. It’s about preventing your network from straying off the disciplined path that aligns with the needs of the business. It’s a business-first mindset of creating, operating, and managing your network.
Do Right From The Start
While IBN provides the automation and intelligence to ensure that your network is working as intended, the creation of a new datacenter presents the invaluable opportunity to define what its purposeful objectives are at the very beginning. That’s where Juniper Apstra comes in. Juniper Apstra is a multi-vendor, intent-based networking software solution that both automates and validates the processes of designing, implementing, and operating a datacenter. It converts the stated intent of the project and converts it into objects, which are then translated into configurations that are deployed to all the systems across the network.
Juniper Apstra takes you through the entire design process step by step, from designing your rack space to creating your VLANs and security policies. Because your migration project isn’t Apstra’s first rodeo, architects and administrators can use existing templates or choose from vetted configuration options to accelerate the design process. Every configuration is validated before giving the go ahead for deployment. This limits the impact and scope of a possible failure following the initial deployment. If need be, configurations can be instantly rolled back or rolled forward on command.
The age of intent-based networking is here, and it represents a new era in which the datacenter and the business work cohesively with one another. The only way to truly ensure that your future network is intention-based is to integrate it from the very beginning starting with the design process. Juniper is a leader in intent-based networking technology and Apstra is the tool that ensures that your datacenter operates with business intended purpose.
Next Steps: Whether you are responding to evolving workloads and performance needs or changing scalability and resiliency requirements, chances are your enterprise will undergo a data center migration at some point. Download our white paper, Simplifying Your Data Center Deployment And Management Strategy and learn:
- The challenges of inevitable data center migrations
- How to incrementally build and validate blueprints
- How Juniper Apstra executes your intent
- Apstra automated data center deployment service