Home Networking Cisco introduces first DNA building bricks

Cisco's Digital Network Architecture - originally announced earlier this month at the company's Partner Summit in the US - was presented to customers at the first time at Cisco Live in Melbourne today.

Cisco ANZ director of enterprise networking described it as "a major, major change" that "facilitates our customers' change to digital business."

Digital Network Architecture (DNA) encompasses virtualisation, automation, analytics and cloud, explained Cisco vice president of enterprise infrastructure and solutions Jeff Reed.

The first three products are APIC-EM (automation for software-defined networks, including the ability to deploy switches and other equipment at other locations without pre-configuration), Enterprise NFV (for rapid deployment of network services), and CMX Cloud (a cloud implementation of Cisco's CMX presence analytics software).

The basic APIC-EM product is available now, with a cloud version expected in May. The IWAN (intelligent wide area network) app is also available, with the EasyQoS service for policy-based quality-of-service adjustments expected this month.

Enterprise NFV will be released to selected customers this month.

CMX Cloud is already available to US customers, and will be released elsewhere as local laws permit, said Reed.

He explained that Cisco has already applied these technologies internally, for example using data from CMX showing where people move and congregate to redesign workspaces with the appropriate number of meeting rooms and so on.

DNA changes the way Cisco develops products and the way customers use their networks, he said, as it makes it easier to consume networks.

If, in a few years time a customer is forced to use the command line interface (as opposed to merely choosing to do so), then DNA will have failed, said Cisco APJ vice president of enterprise networking sales and CTO Dave West.

Cisco senior vice president and chief security and trust officer John Stewart (pictured) said DNA will help with security in various ways, including the introduction of trusted devices, the ability to move policies along with workloads in a sophisticated way, and reducing the opportunities for attackers by adding resilience to network devices.

EPIC-EM abstracts all of the technology beneath it, providing a platform for orchestration, automation, management and analytics, said West.

"Customers have never been able to take full advantage of what we've done" because of the complexity, but that's changing with DNA, he said. There will be a series of apps to simplify routine network tasks, and "this changes networking forever."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.


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