Despite its importance, intent is often a little-understood buzzword. Well-structured intent is fundamental to simplifying automation, making its implementation easier, and reducing the future maintenance burden.
Intent means that we define what the customer wants or needs - improving the likelihood of satisfaction. In addition, intent can define the operator's internal business objectives - for example at the lowest cost that meets the customer's need - improving business performance. Technically, intent means defining a service or function declaratively rather than imperatively. A simpler way to view intent is define the desired outcome, rather than how to achieve it.
An example is define the capacity or latency required rather than define various image sizes or containerized apps to deploy. Essentially, you define the SLA, not how to achieve it. This implies that the orchestration logic has the ability to find and implement a solution to the SLA. The truth is, that we use intent today poorly. The producer believes it is more productive to think about well structured' vs poorly structured or good vs bad intent.
Good intent defines a functional objective and therefore allows for a high degree of solution flexibility, delivers loose coupling and minimizes ongoing maintenance. Bad intent, on the other hand, tightly-couples services to a specific implementation, or a set of possible implementations - limiting flexibility and requiring constant maintenance and re-integrations down in the bits and bytes. This ruins automation and leads to high cost and complexity.
Key Topics Covered
- Introduction; Executive Summary
- What's at Stake?
- Intent Market Landscape
- Today - Bad Intent
- What Does Good Intent Look Like in Telco Operations?
- Operators' Deployments Today
- Supply Side Situation Today
- Summary & Recommendations
- Further Reading
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