Our thoughts on Cisco’s Software Defined Network
Digital Network Architecture
Its been years since Cisco launched a new generation of switches. That why when Cisco announced a new Digital Network Architecture (DNA) last year, all heads turned to ask the question – is this the software defined network we’ve all been waiting for? A network built on software and designed for the digital landscape (more mobile devices, more virtualisation, more cloud, more applications, and a lot more data).
The software defined network has landed
The answer to the question is yes. Our customers are already adopting DNA, because the biggest company in networking have finally closed the loop between wired and wireless technology, delivering a software defined network that works.
Its not that software defined is new, but clunky consumption models have slowed down adoption in the past. So, what’s changed? DNA is a single software defined architecture built from the ground up. Customers can design, build, and scale the entire network and security infrastructure all from a single digital ready device. Security, cloud, mobility, and IoT – it’s readily available on a digital ready infrastructure, as and when its needed. Wrapped around this are the tools built for intelligent automation that successfully deliver simplified management and agility in what used to be very complex.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘intent’ based networking, and thats because this is a very considerable step forward. Intent based networking is the difference between a network that needs continuous attention and one that simply understands what you need and makes it happen. The business can tell the network what it needs, and the network will translate those needs into policy and implement it automatically. In a world of data the potential here for IT departments to address everyday operations challenges are very significant.
What this means for Network Security
A combination of intelligent networking, cloud based visibility, and a software defined infrastructure, have made the entire network a security sensor. The ability to enforce policy and to quickly identify and respond to threats are embedded networkwide. In fact, Cisco’s catalyst 9000 switches can detect threats hidden in encrypted traffic. Combined with Cisco’s other cloud based products including Cisco Umbrella, and AMP for Endpoints, we’re left with a very impressive and effective security portfolio for the Network, covering all blindspots.
The right decision for my business?
At VCG we work with customers to best leverage software defined networks for their environment and business outcomes. As vendors and technology move towards software defined IT, its becomes hard to argue against a digital ready network.