Preventive Automation – Intent-Based

Today’s networks are comprised of hundreds or thousands of active devices, which may include switches, routers, storage, and security components. But, while the devices themselves are very visible and how they connect to one another is very physical, it is the application and service delivery architect’s performance “intention” that really matters. So, while all the devices may be up and running, the delivered performance for a specific business service may be degraded or unavailable entirely.

NetBrain understands that application design intents directly support business objectives. NetBrain assures that networks are continuously delivering on their design intents and at the same time enables any needed resolution to be conducted automatically through automation. NetBrain’s Intent-Based Automation proactively validates that your hybrid network is doing the job expected of it and all of its applications, catching problems before they impact the business, and conducting immediate root cause analysis to enable faster incident resolution.

Preventative automation is the ability for network operational tasks to be performed continuously without any operator intervention. Design intent and troubleshooting knowledge are captured in Network Intents (without any coding expertise) and can be run continuously in the background. Network Intents look for various changes to conditions (e.g., config drift due to human error, policy changes, performance degradation, security holes) and can then proactively resolve them by enacting policy enforcement of design rules, best practices, and security policies. This provides intelligent and proactive network status monitoring and automation of the health check of your entire network. It can compare the current configurations of thousands of devices for changes that may have occurred outside of the normal processes or verify the end-to-end performance of the connection available between two business services (network connectivity intentions). At scale, this allows hundreds or thousands of application designers’ intentions to be continuously verified to prevent one business service from stepping on other previously deployed business services.

Network Intent

Network Intent provides users a no-code way to define a network design for a specific network device, design baselines, and how to verify design enforcement. 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 without any code. 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 automatically significantly reducing MTTR.

Network Intent as Automation Unit

As part of Adaptive Monitoring Automation, a NI automatically triggered by a Flash Probe as a backend process monitors the entire network’s status periodically. When NetBrain detects a flash alert, the system will automatically send notifications to the appropriate NetOps personnel. You can click the Incident/Map hyperlinks to open the map or incident in NetBrain Workstation. A respective runbook with time-of-event data will also be available in the map interface to assist with the root cause analysis. An end-user views the triggered NI results with the flash probe via a Decision Tree.

Monitor Network Intents

NetBrain Adaptive Monitoring Automation uses a set of scalable, hierarchal logical flash probes as monitoring units to detect when a data anomaly occurs on a single device via SNMP/CLI data polling and advanced anomaly analysis algorithms. As soon as one detects an anomaly, the system will take immediate action to execute the pre-defined network intents, the results of which will provide critical references to the root cause analysis and speed up the troubleshooting process.

Trigger the Execution of Network Intent (NI)

Flash probes generate flash alerts to trigger the execution of a NI. When an incident occurs, the adaptive monitoring system captures the problem at the time of the incident. The NI executes, comparing the network status with the pre-determined threshold, previous status, or baseline data, and shows the results in the IBA dashboard or shares them with the user. The diagnosis is provided at the time of the event, allowing the user to check the problem before users experience performance degradation or outages preventing a serious network impact.

Scalable Adaptive Monitoring

Adaptive Monitoring can horizontally scale as:
• Distributed analysis on front servers: the data retrieval and flash probe calculation are executed on front servers locally, which can be scaled to very large networks with distributed front servers.
• Hierarchical analysis from Primary Probe -> Secondary Probe-> Network Intent: the hierarchical

Enforce Configuration & Design Rules

Each network has its own design intent and configuration standards. By leveraging intent-based automation, you can encode the design intent and configuration standards into the Network Intents. These intents can be shared across the entire team and can be verified periodically.

Proactively Monitor Application Performance

IT operations professionals face a number of challenges in their efforts to proactively monitor IT infrastructure and application performance and mitigate performance degradations. Today’s complex enterprise IT environments are characterized by a mix of physical and virtualized infrastructure located across multiple remote sites and data centers, in addition to cloud environments and “as-a-Service” platforms.

Intent-based automation allows you to define the monitoring parameters via SNMP/CLI, providing you a variety of ways to achieve problem-based monitoring. And you can easily view the results via the dashboard.

Automate Compliance and Security Check

Intent-based automation allows you to define the compliance and security check rules within Network Intents, which the system executes automatically.

Automate Well-Known Diagnosis

Network issues can significantly negatively impact productivity. Every time a network issue occurs, it takes time to identify and fix it. And some problems can occur multiple times, so you need to identify these “well-known” problems in your network and prevent them from happening in the future. Intent-based automation allows you to run network intents automatically without human intervention. This automates the diagnosis of all “well-known” problems in your network and instantly identifies them to reduce the volume of service tasks.

Notify Users or 3rd-party System with Alerts

Generate intent-based automation alerts and share them with other users by email. You can subscribe to certain types of alerts and stream them to your alert or incident management system for handling.