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Cisco Debuts New Products, Services in Enterprise Networking ‘Breakthrough’

Network Switches and Cables

Cisco on Wednesday unveiled a series of products and services as part of what it calls the “network of the future” — one that can learn, adapt and evolve.

Dubbing it a significant breakthrough in enterprise networking, the new offerings represent the IT giant’s vision to “create an intuitive system that anticipates actions, stops security threats in their tracks, and continues to evolve and learn.”

“The network has never been more critical to business success, but it’s also never been under more pressure,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO. Case in point: Network engineers managing hundreds of devices today will be expected to manage 1 million by 2020.

Cisco says its approach to networking is a system that learns, adapts, automates and protects, to optimize network operations and defend against evolving threats. This involved a shift from hardware-centric to software-driven networking that Cisco says will enable customers to experience a “quantum leap” in agility, performance and productivity.

“By building a more intuitive network,” Robbins added, “we are creating an intelligent platform with unmatched security for today and for the future that propels businesses forward and creates new opportunities for people and organizations everywhere.”

Cisco’s intuitive-network approach consists of three key tenets: intent (allowing IT to move away from tedious traditional processes, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes); context (interpreting data in new ways to provide new insights); and intuition (built-in machine learning that helps interpret data more quickly and more thoroughly).

Part of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), new products and services include:

  • DNA Center: an intuitive, centralized management dashboard that gives IT teams an intent-based approach spanning design, provisioning, policy and assurance. Controlled availability in August.
  • Software-Defined Access: automated policy enforcement and network segmentation over a single network fabric, designed to dramatically simplify network access for users, devices and things. Controlled availability also in August.
  • Network Data Platform and Assurance: an analytics platform that aims to efficiently categorize and correlate the vast amount of data running on the network and uses machine learning to turn it into predictive analytics, business intelligence and actionable insights.
  • Encrypted Traffic Analytics: software that identifies the fingerprints of known threats even in encrypted traffic, without decrypting it and impacting data privacy. Available in September.
  • Catalyst 9000 Switching Portfolio: a new family of switches designed for the digital era, centered around demands for mobility, IoT, cloud and security. The 9300 and 9500 series are available this month, with the 9400 orderable in July.
  • Software Subscription: When purchasing the new Catalyst 9000 family of switches, customers will access the DNA software capabilities by subscription, either via pre-bundled Cisco ONE software suites or a-la-carte components.
  • DNA Services: a new portfolio of services to help customers embrace intuitive networking. Cisco channel partners can also resell these services and build networking practices that incorporate software, security, automation and analytics for their customers.
  • Developer Center: The DevNet DNA Developer Center helps developers and IT pros create network-powered applications and integrate them within their IT systems and workflows. This includes new learning tracks, sandboxes, and developer support resources for using APIs and building skills.

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