Using Network Intent to Document and Validate Network Design

Network Intent (NI) describes a network design for a specific network device, what these design baselines are like, and how to verify design works properly. It provides a way to document network design intent, allowing other engineers to quickly understand the device's design and baseline or normal state of a particular device.

More importantly, it provides a way to validate and verify network design. When a network problem occurs, one or multiple NIs are violated. In the postmortem stage of this problem, the violated NIs are coded and automatically monitored. The next time a similar situation occurs, it can be solved in a few minutes and significantly reduce the Mean Time To Repair (MTTR).

NI is supported by the visual parser on Config/CLI in no-code automation flow:

NI in the automation reference workflow:

The key components of NI are as follows:

Device(s): the network device with which this NI is associated.

Config and CLI: the device configurations or CLI command outputs for this NI.

Variables: the variables decoded by visual parser of this NI.

Notes, Diagnosis and Status Code:

oNotes: any texts to describe the design, best practice, and any hint.

oDiagnosis and Status Code: an executable code to verify this design and create an alert if it is violated.