Cisco unveils smart 'network of the future'

June 21, 2017 //By Rich Pell
Cisco unveils smart 'network of the future'
Networking technology company Cisco (San Jose, CA) has unveiled what it describes as "the network of the future" - an intuitive network that can "recognize intent, mitigate threats through encryption, and learn over time."

The new network is said to be a culmination of years of research and development by Cisco in an effort to reinvent networking for an age where network engineers - who today, using traditional IT processes, are managing hundreds of devices - will be expected to manage 1 million devices by 2020. The new intuitive system says the company, "constantly learns, adapts, automates and protects, to optimize network operations and defend against today's evolving threat landscape."

According to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, "The network has never been more critical to business success, but it's also never been under more pressure. By building a more intuitive network, we are creating an intelligent platform with unmatched security for today and for the future that propels businesses forward and creates new opportunities for people and organizations everywhere."

Leveraging its position in the networking space - where most internet traffic runs on Cisco networks - the company says it has been able to capture and analyze this traffic data, providing IT with insights to spot anomalies, even in encrypted traffic, and anticipate issues in real time, without compromising privacy. According to the company, the resulting intuitive network is an intelligent, highly secure platform "powered by intent and informed by context."

"Intent-based" networking, says the company, allows IT to move from tedious traditional processes to automating intent, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes. "Context" refers to being able to interpret data in its surrounding context - i.e., the "who, what, when, where and how" - enabling the network to provide new insights. "Intuition" refers to machine-learning at scale, where the vast data that flows through the company's networks around the world, with machine learning built in, is used to provide actionable, predictive insights.

The company has introduced a suite of Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) technologies and services designed to work together to power the intuitive network:

  • DNA Center - an

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