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New network for a new era dominates discussion at Cisco Live

June 26, 2017  

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The big news of the day at Cisco Live, the company’s annual North American user conference, which started today at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas, actually happened prior to the event starting. Last Tuesday, Cisco launched a whole new product initiative and vision it called intent-based networking.

According to the company, intent-based networking “allows IT to move from tedious traditional processes to automating intent, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes – a crucial development to help organizations navigate today’s ever expanding technology landscape.”

It is made up of an assortment of software and hardware initiatives that combined, make up the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) and contain a range of upgrades including a dashboard called DNA Center that allows IT to centralize management of all network functions and new analytics platform that turns data into business intelligence and actionable insights.

DNA also contains Encrypted Traffic Analytic s, which Cisco says “can enable IT to detect threats in encrypted traffic with up to 99% accuracy,” and the Catalyst 9000 switching portfolio, the company said are built for the “new realities of the digital era, centred on the demands of mobility, cloud, IoT and security.”


In a blog issued on the day of the launch, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, wrote that “intent-based networking allows for automation at scale, so companies can manage a seemingly unmanageable array of devices and other technologies. Interpreting data with the right context is what enables the network to provide new, more meaningful insights. As an industry, we’re increasingly creating technology that is more intuitive — from interacting naturally with technology through voice or gesture to building more human-like qualities into the technology experiences we deliver.”

According to Susie Wee,  co-founder and lead of DevNeT, Cisco’s developer program, the initiative creates a new and programmable network that can anticipate actions, stop security threats in their tracks, and even learn to solve previously unsolvable challenges.

“For IT professionals, this is life-changing news as they try to adapt their skillsets to a new era of networking, or risk being left behind,” she wrote in a blog released today. “For app developers, the shift to intuitive and programmable networks is also creating a new world of opportunities.”

Meanwhile, a surprise guest today at Robbins keynote speech at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre was Apple CEO Tim Cook. The two talked about the ongoing technology relationship between both firms and also indicated that they are working on a plan to get organizations that use their equipment to receive discounts on cyber security insurance premiums.

Further details from Cisco Live will appear in an upcoming issue of Connections+.