Network downtime is the enemy of any business. Unplanned downtime results in frustrated customers and irritated employees – not to mention wasting thousands of dollars per minute.
Planned downtime for upgrades, changes and testing is almost equally problematic. Despite the opportunity to alert employees and customers ahead of time, planned downtime can still cause customer service nightmares, and there’s no getting around the drop in production.
Further, as any IT professional will tell you, planned downtime almost always takes longer than expected. This leaves employees tapping their fingers and staring at their devices while customers with immediate needs contemplate switching to a competitor.
Since upgrades, changes and deployments are essential to expanding your network and maintaining security, how can you minimize change windows?
Many businesses are turning to is intent-based networking (IBN) as a solution. With IBN, the network computes and implements the optimal course of action for upgrades, maintenance and deployment, minimizing downtime. Intent-based networking (IBN) offers efficiency and simplicity when it comes to deployments, provisioning and more.
Minimizing Change Windows With IBN
As digital transformation becomes a must for today’s enterprises, businesses need network changes to be quick with minimal downtime to maintain an always-on digital environment. IBN offers several routes to minimize change windows, including:
- Zero-touch provisioning. Intent-based networks recognize new devices and automatically provision them.
- Simple deployment. A significant amount of work can be done on the front-end of deployments, drastically reducing implementation time.
- Automated testing. The network tests itself, verifying changes and acting when needed. If an issue arises, it alerts systems administrators in real time, providing the information they need for resolution.
IBN uses AI and machine learning to translate intent into action. For example, a system administrator could input their intent to implement upgrades during times of minimal disruption. The network can then translate that intent into actionable steps to carry out the upgrade during a low-volume period to minimize productivity and communication downtime. And since the upgrade is automated, it often takes less time than a manual deployment would.
Software changes often come with unexpected consequences, and the network can handle those as well, testing the software on an automated schedule and ensuring security is maintained throughout the process.
Change Without Disruption
Non-disruptive network changes are the goal, and IBN makes that a reality. Instead of having longer-than-anticipated downtimes, administrators can prescribe changes and let the network do the legwork. In addition to minimizing downtime, this eliminates human error from the equation and frees up administrators to focus on other goals. It’s a win for everybody.
Cisco’s IBN solutions are built on the company’s decades of expertise. Acadia Technology Group uses Cisco IBN solutions to optimize enterprise operations and security. Visit our IBN overview to learn more about what IBN can do for your organization.