Cisco announces that it will help engineers, developers, partners and customers embrace a monumental change in how networks are built and managed—preparing the industry for the transition to digital-ready networks. Cisco is also building on the intersection between security and networking with new technologies designed to simplify branch office security and make it more effective.
In March, Cisco reports to have launched the Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) – a radical new approach to networking designed for the digital era. As customers embrace mobility, cloud, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to digitize their business, IT teams are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing complexity of the network, sophistication of security attacks and growing customer expectations.
Cisco DNA is touted to help IT address these demands by moving networking from hardware-centric to software-driven, from manual to automated, and from reactive to adaptive.
“Organizations need to address the expanding threat landscape across mobility and cloud, while facing increasingly sophisticated security attacks,” said Jeff Reed, senior vice president, Networking Infrastructure and Solutions at Cisco. “With DNA, Cisco is reinventing how we secure networks for the digital era by embedding advanced security capabilities into single network architecture. But technology alone isn’t enough. We are also preparing IT professionals with new skills, training network-savvy developers and helping customers navigate the journey to digital-ready networks.”
Effective Security Starts with the Network
Using the network to elevate threat visibility and enforcement is one of the key tenants of Cisco DNA. Cisco recently introduced three new technologies that embed security into the branch office infrastructure to provide greater protection to the business:
- Umbrella Branch gives organizations simple, fast and comprehensive security at their branches by putting them in control. After activating the software on Cisco’s popular branch office router, the Cisco ISR 4000 Series, IT can apply content filtering and block malware, phishing, and C2 callbacks before these threats can reach the network—even when offices connect directly to the Internet.
- Stealthwatch Learning Network License extends Cisco’s market leading network as a sensor and enforcer capability for branch-level threat detection and response. The software resides on the Cisco ISR 4000 Series and offers new adaptive security anomaly detection technology. The solution worksby analyzing data only available on the network device to identify malicious traffic and instantly protect branch network from immediate threats.
- Meraki MX Security Appliances with AMP and Threat Grid make it simpler than ever to deploy and manage advanced threat protection capabilities. This integration combines the streamlined cloud management of Meraki with best-in-class threat protection, enabling administrators to rapidly detect, contain, and remediate threats.
Beyond Technology Innovation
To turn the Cisco DNA vision into reality, Cisco reports to rally its vast global ecosystem—from customers and engineers to partners and developers – to build the skills necessary to scale, secure, and innovate on digital-ready networks.
- Network Engineers: Cisco certified networking engineers build and operate the world’s most sophisticated networks. As the network becomes more automated and software-driven, these engineers must expand their programmability skills and deliver more value to the enterprise. Cisco is upgrading its career certification portfolio to help fill that rapidly growing need — including a new Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) framework that is being launched across all expert-level certifications along with a new Cisco Network Programmability Engineer Specialist Exam.
- Application Developers: As the network becomes more open and programmable, the developer community will become critical, unlocking the potential of Cisco DNA with a new generation of network-aware applications. DNA is a key element of DevNet—Cisco’s 300,000 strong development community. Here in Las Vegas, Cisco held a two-day event designed as a springboard for developers wanting to leverage the interfaces to rapidly program and pull analytics off of network controllers and devices. The event sold out almost immediately, and was viewed as a resounding success. Cisco plans to roll out similar events globally over the next year.
- Channel Partners: After years of building hardware-centric networks, Cisco’s 70,000 channel partners are evolving to flexible networks driven by software. Over the years, Cisco and its partners have evolved through numerous market transitions together. Now, Cisco is helping partners evolve their networking practices, develop new skills and open up business opportunities around automation, analytics and security. Cisco continues to offer partner incentive programs and has designed new software business roles within our existing Partner Ecosystem to help accelerate this transition.
Lastly, the networking heavyweight is known to help IT customers navigate the journey to a digital-ready network by introducing a network readiness model. The model identifies the five key elements of network readiness: automation, analytics, assurance, security, cloud and IoT. This model builds out a customer’s journey across the five phases, with a new tool helping customers to assess their current state, followed by recommended steps to better guide their network transformation.