Cisco DNA, SD-WAN injected with more automation, security

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Cisco DNA, SD-WAN injected with more automation, security

Cisco is building on its intent-based networking strategy with a series of software updates to give customers more advanced network segmentation, automation, and deeper visibility into IoT endpoints.

"Slow is the new broken for IT folks," Prashanth Shenoy, vice president of marketing, enterprise networks, IoT, and developer platform for Cisco, told CRN USA. Businesses, especially today, are prioritizing agile and resilient networks and are looking to drastically simplify as many operations as possible as employees work from anywhere, he said.

Cisco's network management dashboard, Cisco DNA Center, has been strengthened with two new software features. AI Endpoint Analytics will let Cisco DNA Center identify previously unknown endpoints at scale and then drawing from various contextual sources and AI, these endpoints can be segmented, grouped appropriately, and have policies applied, according to the company.

"More intelligence and insights let [businesses] run smarter operations, which has become even more crucial last quarter and heading into the new normal way of operating," Shenoy said.

The new functionality will be available via a premier software license that can be purchased through channel partners this summer, Cisco said.

The vendor's location-based services platform, Cisco DNA Spaces, also got an upgrade with the addition of Indoor IOT Services. The new cloud-based service for WiFi-6 access points can help businesses deploy indoor IoT applications at scale because Cisco DNA Spaces can now simplify activation, configuration and management of a number of IoT devices, including Bluetooth (BLE) devices. Cisco is relying on its ecosystem of industry partners for additional services, including asset tracking, monitoring employee safety, and space utilization -- all of which are important in helping customers get back to business in a post-COVID-19 world, Shenoy said.

Cisco DNA Spaces has been a very popular and heavily-deployed solution. There's been about one trillion location updates and the platform is managing close to a million access points around the world, Shenoy said.

Indoor IOT Services will be available via an extended software license by early August, Cisco said.

Cisco also revealed an integration between its flagship Cisco SD-WAN offering, powered by Viptella, with its cloud-based secure internet gateway Cisco Umbrella. The combination, Shenoy said, is important for businesses as they move toward a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture.

"Now, partners and businesses can turn on cloud security for thousands of branch offices and do it in minutes, instead of months," he said. "The SASE platform is all about bringing cloud-native SD-WAN and security so you can enable services for all your offices."

The Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Umbrella combination is available today to customers via a single Cisco DNA premier license, without having to pay extra, Cisco said.

"It's a huge benefit to our partners, as well as our customers, to have a comprehensive solution that they can provide to their end customers with the best-in-class security and SD-WAN," Shenoy said.

Cisco Live, originally scheduled for this week, was postponed amid worldwide outcry over the death of George Floyd and resulting protests. Cisco said the virtual event will be held later this month.

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