​Cisco launches new architecture, bolsters software lineup

While Cisco billed its DNA "as the most significant change" in its enterprise networking model since being founded, the larger takeaway is that the company is building out its portfolio applications.

Cisco on Wednesday outlined its Digital Network Architecture in a move that adds more software to its arsenal as the company diversifies away from hardware.

The company outlined the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) at its partner conference. While Cisco billed its DNA "as the most significant change" in its enterprise networking model since being founded, the larger takeaway is that the company is building out its portfolio of standalone applications.

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DNA, lumped in the Cisco ONE family, is designed to be a complement to the company's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) that is used to manage the data center and connected clouds. DNA provides policy management through various nodes in an enterprise network.

According to Cisco, the architecture's key tenants are virtualization, automation, analytics, cloud service management and open via application programming interfaces. Under Cisco One, customers can choose the platform as well as model.

As for the parts that play into DNA, Cisco outlined the following:

  • A new version of Cisco's enterprise controller dubbed APIC-EM Automation Platform.
  • Cisco Plug and Play, an automation service that provides deployment automation from the cloud to end points.
  • Intelligent WAN, which is a service to deploy branch office networks.
  • Easy Quality of Service, which manages settings across a network.
  • An upgraded version of Cisco's network operating system called Cisco IOS XE. IOS XE includes enterprise network functions virtualization which is typically used by carriers to offer services.
  • CMX Cloud, which is provides management of Wi-Fi on boarding, customer data and engagement and analytics as a service. CMX Cloud is available in April based on 1-, 3- and 5-year subscriptions.