Networking & Cloud Innovations from Cisco

One thing is certain In enterprise networking today, most of the Innovations we see revolves around the management and orchestration plane, whether its SDWAN , DNA center or Nexus dashboard platforms. At the heart of this innovation are automation capabilities that serves the needs of NetOps, SecOps, DevOps and AIOps teams who are scoped with managing and operating the networking Infrastructure.

I was recently invited by Cisco for an exclusive pre-briefing to hear about these innovations first hand. The meeting was hosted by Cisco cloud networking solutions marketing and Champions program team that covered Innovations in enterprise Networking and Cloud solutions. Specifically the Innovations Is spread around four solution categories that aims to ease operational burden for networking and security professionals

  • SDWAN Cloud – Release 17.6
  • DNA Center – Release 2.2.3
  • Nexus Dashboard (ND)
  • Cloud ACI on Google Cloud

In this blog I highlight some of the key innovations within SDWAN, DNA center and Nexus Dashboard

New SDWAN Integrations

Three separate SDWAN Integrations has been announced as part of this release, one with Equinix, Google cloud hub and Cisco’s own network analytics platform Thousand eyes

SDWAN Integration with Equinix

As part of SD-WAN onramp solution, Cisco SDWAN customers can now leverage Equinix for both site-to-site connectivity and site-to-multi-cloud connectivity that delivers better application experience and Increased connectivity options. The site-to-multi-cloud connectivity option allows SDWAN sites to connect to AWS, GCP and other IaaS and SaaS providers through a private secure backbone from Equinix.

Cisco SDWAN Integration with Equinix – Create Network connections to your multi-cloud deployments

SDWAN Integration with Google Cloud Hub

This Integration automates the network policy creation and Implantation between Google cloud Cisco SDWAN cloud hub. DevOps teams define traffic-profiles for their applications on the Google cloud and this policy flows automatically to the Cisco SDWAN cloud hub which is then translated to network QoS policies and applied to the SDWAN fabric by vManage.

Cisco SDWAN Integration with Google Cloud Hub – Automate network policy creation and Implementation

Cisco SDWAN Integration with Cisco Thousand Eyes

While Cisco SDWAN’s native features provides point-to-point network telemetry at the application level, Its Integration with Thousand Eyes provide hop-by-hop network telemetry that includes SDWAN underlay and end-to-end network. This allows the NetOps teams to correlate application and network performance and gain deeper visibility Into the operation of their SDWAN fabric. The Integration demo video can be watched here

Cisco SDWAN Integration with Thousand Eyes – Correlate your Application and Network Insights

DNA Center Innovations

NetOps teams can now use the new Wireless 3D analyzer map that gives the ability to do first person visual walkthrough to assess the wireless coverage on the floor. The first person view shown in the simulation below allows the admin to step into a modeled environment to understand the physical environment to measure parameters like RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator). Furthermore what-if simulations to assess wireless propagation can be performed for planning purposes within a building or an office. Detailed Information on the 3D analyzer feature can be found In this Cisco blog

Wireless 3D Analyzer – Modeled environment to understand the physical environment

For SecOps Teams, a new policy-analytics dashboard that enhances the zero-trust network solution has been released. New features around analytics include the ability to perform deep packet inspection of the client traffic. With this feature, it takes very little effort to troubleshoot client connectivity issues (e. g, Why clients cannot connect to DHCP service).

We use deep packet inspection to look at mac address of a device, to see if there is any nefarious Information or the activity going on. Based on the device identity and activity we assign a trust score that will allow, limit or deny access to the user or device.

Bill Rubino, Solutions Marketing Manager, Cisco

Cisco Nexus Dashboard (ND)

Several enhancements and Integrations were announced for Nexus dashboard. Cisco ND application is now available on AWS and Azure marketplaces. Announcements also Include Google cloud Integrations, One View capability of ND clusters and ND Data Broker.

Cloud Networking operators are dealing with a dis-jointed operations Infrastructure with different types of network fabrics, whether its cloud or onprem.

Usha Andra, Sr. product marketing manager, Cloud networking team, Cisco

Nexus Dashboard Integration with Service Now and Splunk

Integration of Nexus dashboard with Service now automates Incident creation on the Service now platform with relevant Incident details (network anomalies, advisories or faults) that is automatically populated within the case. This allows the case owner to quickly act on the case and take it towards resolution

Integration of the Nexus dashboard with Splunk allows the network, storage or compute incidents(network anomalies, advisories or faults) to be automatically Indexed within the Splunk platform. The indexing allows the Splunk administrator to develop dashboards with powerful KPI’s on the data center operations. Along with this Splunk features the ability to perform correlation of data which provides much deeper insights

Nexus Dashboard Integration with Splunk and Servicenow

Further Resources

Cisco DNA Center 2.2.3 Release Announcement

Cisco SDWAN Release Notes

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Integration with Splunk

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights White Paper

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