Cisco has announced new intent-based networking solutions to help optimise business and network operations.

As organisations face mounting challenges to deliver consistent and positive digital experiences, Cisco is driving networking advancements to keep customers connected, productive and secure.

The new innovations, focused on simplifying automation and providing IT and business insights, will enable IT teams to be agile, while staying closely aligned with business objectives. This alignment has never been more important than in today’s dynamic business environment.

“In today’s ever-changing world, it is critical for a business’s network to be in tune with its strategic goals, whether that’s supporting and securing a remote workforce, accelerating expansion to the cloud, or driving business transformation,” says Scott Harrell, senior vice-president and GM of Cisco’s Intent-based Networking Group.

“With this announcement, Cisco is helping IT rapidly roll out advanced networking and security capabilities by simplifying and automating segmentation and cloud-based security at scale. We’re delivering on our promise to build a networking platform that continues to deliver innovation to help customers, no matter where they are on their intent-based networking journey.”

Cisco is providing advanced automation capabilities to drive better user experiences, while simplifying processes for IT.

Automation has become foundational to increasing IT efficiency, enabling IT teams to become increasingly flexible and proactive while reducing the amount of time simply maintaining the network. New automation innovations include:

* Cisco SD-WAN Innovations [link to blog]: Cisco SD-WAN powered by Viptela now offers complete cloudnative security through the integration with Cisco Umbrella to deliver protection to enterprises against all major web attacks arising from SaaS and Internet access. Cisco Umbrella offers secure web gateway (SWG), DNS-layer security, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality in one integrated cloud service. With automated provisioning and simplified licensing, Cisco SD-WAN unified with Cisco Umbrella is fast to deploy and easy to consume while delivering an optimized user experience and the best security protection. This convergence of security and networking is a crucial step for customers as they move towards a SASE architecture. Other new innovations include support for multicast and integrated voice and unified communications

* Cisco User-Defined Networks: IT staff can now provide end-users control of their own wireless network partition through Cisco DNA Center. End-users have the ability to securely onboard their devices, as well as control which devices can connect to their own personal network partition through the User Defined Network mobile app.

Cisco is expanding insights to previously unmonitored devices, granting IT the ability to drive more efficient segmentation and better manage IoT devices.

Performance and security has traditionally been a difficult task, particularly in environments with an evolving and diverse ecosystem of IoT endpoints. To help solve for this challenge, Cisco is introducing:

* AI Endpoint Analytics: Cisco DNA Center can now identify previously unknown endpoints at scale, then use various contextual sources and artificial intelligence to logically group them. With this information, IT can create the basis for scalable, automated policies.

* Group-based policy analytics: Cisco DNA Center now analyses traffic flows between groups of endpoints to design policies that can be used as the basis for proper segmentation.

Today’s wireless networks are adding immense business value, not just through the experiences they enable, but through the behavioural insights they provide. Cisco’s indoor location services platform, Cisco DNA Spaces is adding new capabilities to extend visibility.

Cisco DNA Spaces introduces an Indoor IoT service offering for WiFi-6 access points to help customers rapidly and cost-effectively deploy indoor IoT applications at scale. Cisco DNA Spaces simplifies activation, configuration and management of a wide number of supported IoT devices, including support for Bluetooth (BLE) devices.

Through Cisco’s wide ecosystem of industry partners, Cisco DNA Spaces enables asset tracking, environmental monitoring employee safety, space utilization, room finding and other use cases across healthcare, workspaces, and retail, education, manufacturing and hospitality verticals.