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Key takeaways from Cisco Live 2017

July 05, 2017

If you missed this year’s event, be sure to check out the Cisco Live portal for several on-demand presentations and trainings, and here’s a highlight of three additional takeaways from the show:

#1—The network of the future is here

Today’s network engineers manage hundreds of devices, and within the next three years, they’ll each be expected to manage 1 million devices. Cisco’s intent-based networking solutions will play a key role in enabling this exponential ramp-up. One of the noticeable differences in this new networking approach is the shift from hardware-centric to software-driven networking, which provides new capabilities, such as software-defined access (SD-Access), which enables what Cisco calls intent-based networking, the ability to interpret data in context and machine-learning at scale (e.g., intuition). SD-Access uses automated policy enforcement and network segmentation over a single network fabric to simplify network access for users, devices and things. By automating day-to-day tasks such as configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting, SD-Access slashes the time it takes to adapt the network, improves issue resolution from weeks and months to hours, and dramatically reduces security breach impact. Initial analysis with field trial customers and internal testing have shown a reduction in network provisioning time by 67%, improved issue resolution by 80%, reduced security breach impact by 48% and increased OpEx savings 61%.

In conjunction with the announcement, Cisco introduced a new family of switches, the Catalyst 9000 Switching Portfolio, which was built with the digital era in mind and centered on the demands of mobility, cloud, IoT and security.

#2—Cisco Jasper removes obstacles to IoT

We’ve all heard the statistics about the billions of IoT devices being deployed, but recent research shows that 60% of IoT initiatives stall at the proof-of-concept (POC) stage. The reality is several key challenges come with IoT, including the need for more flexibility, greater security and the ability to address new use cases.

To help partners overcome these challenges, Cisco Jasper introduced a new expanded model to bring the benefits of its IoT connectivity platform—Control Center—to a broader audience. Control Center 7.0 addresses business’ needs for greater flexibility with a new multi-tiered IoT platform that gives companies various options to meet their specific needs, regardless of their stage of IoT implementation. Three key components of Control Center 7.0 include:

  • Advanced capabilities. A new tier of the platform—Control Center Advanced—caters to customers with more sophisticated deployments that need greater capabilities, including advanced security solutions, automation and analytics.
  • Premium services.The introduction of two new premium services, compatible with Control Center, enables customers to solve for previously unmet IoT business needs. The Threat Protection & Smart Security (TPSS) service provides an IoT-specific solution to protect against malware and other cybersecurity threats and is built on Cisco Umbrella. The second service, Traffic Segmentation, provides a new solution to support different types of revenue-generation models. Cisco Jasper service providers can customize premium services to meet their customers’ specific needs.
  • Low-power wide area network (LPWAN) support. Control Center 7.0 extends the platform’s capabilities—including the platform’s global reach and scale via support for cellular networks—to low power devices via support for multiple LPWAN technologies, including narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and long-term evolution for machines (LTE-M). 

#3—Network Programmability Foundations unveiled

Cisco also introduced a new DevNet learning path called, “Network Programmability Foundations.” The path is a curated set of sessions and activities scheduled throughout the week in the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live. These sessions and activities are designed to provide a starting point in both core programming and network programmability topics. The idea behind the path came from discussions with attendees within the DEVNET Zone at recent Cisco Live events in Melbourne, Berlin, Cancun and last year in Las Vegas. Network programmability is such a large topic, that it can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to figure out exactly how to jump in, and where to start.

Network Programmability Foundations was designed to offer a curated set of sessions and activities scheduled through the week within the DevNet Zone that provide a starting point covering both core programming and network programmability topics.  The topics covered in the classroom and workshop sessions are in the categories of:

  • General strategy
  • Coding and DevOps
  • Device capabilities and APIs
  • Network controllers

If you missed any of the sessions, you can view them on demand here, or visit Cisco’s DevNet portal for upcoming programming and development training opportunities.