Cisco Live 2019 Demonstrates Networking Giant’s Intent

Cisco kicked off its Cisco Live US event on June 10, announcing an expansion of its Intent-Based Networking initiatives.

Intent based networking was first announced by Cisco at the Cisco Live 2017 event, as a new way to help organizations define and establish network policy, visibility and security. Over the past two years, the effort has steadily expanded and now in 2019 is set to benefit from additional artificial  capabilities.

At the WAN level, Cisco is now bringing its SD-Access and SD-WAN together with Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). It’s an approach that Cisco is calling multidomain integration for policy.

“Multidomain integration means that policy applied in one place (like the access network) will get applied to the other networks (like SD-WAN and data center) that are involved in delivering the desired result,” Scott Harrell, SVP and GM of enterprise networking at Cisco, explained.”Each domain continues to support its primary role, but as changes occur, it will dynamically update across other domains.”

AI Network Analytics

The promise of Intent based networking is that the network can infer what a given process or data flow requires based on the intent of the operation. Understanding how that relates to network efficiency and throughput takes intent a step further and is now being folded into Cisco’s DNA Center offering.

Cisco DNA (Digital Network Architecture) Center Assurance technology was first announced back in January 2018. DNA Center is Cisco’s single dashboard for enterprise network health that helps to provide provisioning capabilities.

“Cisco AI Network Analytics, within Cisco DNA Center, adds another layer of intelligence to Intent-Based Networking, making networks even smarter, simpler to manage, and more secure,” Anand Oswal, Senior vice-president of engineering at Cisco, explained. “Integrating decades of Cisco network engineering experience into the AI Network Analytics platform to continuously analyze network operations and deviations leads to faster problem resolution and thus greater IT efficiency.”

Evolved Certifications

Cisco isn’t just about hardware and software, it’s also about training and certification of the IT staff that need to operate and manage networks.

“As we think about the IT teams of the future, we think there will obviously infrastructure engineers, and there will always be a need for infrastructure engineers,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during this keynote. “One thing is very clear. If you don’t know how this stuff works, you can’t program it.”

Robbins added that there will be many IT professionals that focus on infrastructure and there will be many that are software developers.

“I would venture a guess that there are a lot of you who would like to do both,” he said.

In order to support and enable the new world of networking professional that want and need to both understand infrastructure and development, Cisco announced a new set of Cisco Certified Devnet certifications.

“We believe that while will continue to build modules that will run on top of DNA Center, on top of our security controllers and on top of our collaboration portfolio, you’re also going to build applications, you’re going to build capabilities and you’re going to want to be able to build those.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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