Cisco embeds more AI, machine learning across the network

The company debuted a series of software enhancements meant to help IT teams glean more insights and visibility from network data.

Cisco on Monday debuted a series of software enhancements designed to put AI and machine learning deeper into the network. Key features include new network automation and analytics tools that are meant to help enterprise IT teams glean more insights and visibility from network data. 

On the visibility side, new machine learning features collect relevant data from local networks and correlates it against aggregate deidentified data, creating individualized network baselines that constantly adapt as more devices, users and apps are added. Meanwhile, Cisco's ML is also correlating network data against baselines to uncover potential network issues and alert IT before problems occur.

Cisco is also touting new machine-reasoning algorithms for improved troubleshooting, giving IT admins and network engineers the ability to detect and correct issues and vulnerabilities more quickly. 

Cisco also made updates to its intent-based networking technology, which the company has been integrating across its enterprise access portfolio to help customers manage more users and devices. Cisco is furthering this effort through multi-domain integrations designed to provide end-to-end security, segmentation and application experience.

According to Cisco, the integration of SD-Access with SD-WAN and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) will make it easier for IT teams to authorize, onboard and segment users and devices across branch, data center and cloud networks. Cisco will also now automatically convey application requirements between the data center and the WAN to improve the application experience, and it has also extended threat detection in encrypted traffic across public clouds.

Additionally, Cisco introduced new ruggedized industrial switches, access points, and routers meant to extend its intent-based networking technology to harsh work environments like chemical plants and oil refineries and mines.

Cisco also said that DevNet, the company's developer program, has new community resources including a new community-based developer center called Cisco DevNet Automation Exchange, which contains a curated repository of code for a range of network automation use cases, and the Cisco DNA Center Platform, which helps developers build new applications and integrations. 

What's more, Cisco is introducing new dedicated DevNet certifications meant to up-skill software developers in programmability proficiency. New courses will begin rolling out in June 2019 and exams will be available in February 2020.

Susie Wee, CTO and founder of Cisco DevNet, said the goal with the new DevNet certifications is to bring software skills to the networking industry. 

"Networking technology has evolved significantly over the last couple of years and the new network can accelerate business, catalyze new applications, and bring DevOps practices to networks," Wee said. "In addition, we are bringing software practices to networking by having a community of networkers and developers to solve tough network automation problems together through shared code repositories. This will allow the industry to take full advantage of the capabilities of the new network to accelerate business."

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