Cisco Improves Performance, Security, and Analytics in Automated Networks

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Cisco’s latest DNA Center software integrates a ThousandEyes agent to improve network-level intelligence monitoring, double the number of clients supported by the system, and enhance security.

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With the features added to its centralized management platform for DNA Center networks, Cisco explains that administrators will be able to improve the performance, management analytics and security of their networks. The ThousandEyes agent integrated into DNA Center software strengthens the monitoring of the platform’s network intelligence, doubles the number of clients the system can support, and improves security and operational capabilities. At the heart of Cisco’s network automation strategy, DNA Center’s centralized network management platform supports a myriad of services ranging from network analysis, management and automation to insurance implementation, fabric provisioning, and policy-based segmentation for corporate wired and wireless networks. ThousandEyes support adds additional capabilities to manage installation, updates, and lifecycle management of Cisco Catalyst switches. “In fact, DNA Center can update up to 1,000 Catalyst 9000 network devices per hour as needed,” Cisco said.

Bought in 2020 by Cisco for $ 1 billion, the ThousandEyes software analyzes the performance of LAN and WAN networks and the Internet. Through its global software and agent system, ThousandEyes provides cloud, enterprise, and endpoint service insights that can enable network, application, and cloud teams to work together to isolate and resolve quickly. The problems. Cisco recently added ThousandEyes support to its Catalyst 8200/8300 edge platforms and Catalyst 9000 family enclosures to enable customers to monitor the performance of applications and network components on campus and branch office networks. ThousandEyes is also integrated with the Integrated Service Router software of the Cisco 4000 series. “The ability to deploy ThousandEyes from DNA Center will make it much faster and easier to deploy this software, and the ability to see everything and respond to requests. problems faster is important to us, ”said Dustin Metteer, senior network engineer at Renown Health.

Identify blind WiFi points

The insights ThousandEyes glean also reinforce the platform’s built-in support for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). “If some of your applications depend on distributed architectures, multi-cloud platforms, a complex network of APIs and third-party services, it is difficult to have good visibility into the performance of each entity and debug and troubleshoot, ”wrote in a blog post Vivek Bhargava, product marketing manager at Cisco Enterprise Networking and Cloud. “Cisco ThousandEyes enables monitoring of access to the cloud in such environments with agents installed and running on Catalyst access switches,” he added. In addition, the AI ​​/ ML used with DNA Center’s predictive analytics program allows the platform to identify blind WiFi points in buildings and place wireless access points to remove these areas of damage. ‘shadow. “The new benchmarks allow customers to assess differences in the performance of devices and customers on the network, set baseline levels of network activity, identify underperforming entities, and optimize overall performance of the network.” network, ”wrote Vivek Bhargava. “Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand what’s going on on the network and help us resolve problems quickly is key to our use of DNA Center,” said Shai Silberman, director of San Jose State University network services. “Our goal is to fix problems before they get worse, often before the end user even realizes it,” he added.

Additionally, DNA Center can create WiFi zoning maps that track device performance throughout the day to quickly isolate issues and perform root cause analysis, ”Bhargava wrote. Cisco said it will work with WiFi network design and spectrum analysis vendor Ekahau to enable customers to create optimal wireless networks. With this assistance, customers can export floor plans to Ekahau, design their WiFi deployment and re-import it into Cisco’s DNA Center, with recommendations on the optimal number of APs to deploy and where to locate it, ”a further explained Vivek Bhargava.

Terminal monitoring

From a security perspective, DNA Center can assist customers who wish to use the platform’s SD-Access technology to automate the enforcement of user and device policies, and to control network access and its network. segmentation. “DNA Center now enables users to gradually and individually transition from their current network to SD-Access technology,” said Bhargava. “The addition of new features does not require reconfiguration of existing VLAN-IDs, avoids disruption and tedious efforts, and directly initiates the conversion process.”

DNA Center can now continuously monitor endpoint behavior, compare it with posture and vulnerability status, and assign a digital trust score. “This score helps you know which endpoints to allow on the network, which to quarantine or which to remove,” Bhargava said. In addition to these new features, DNA Center software now supports up to 500,000 wireless endpoints, up from 250,000 previously, and 200,000 Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) endpoints, up from 100,000 previously. For disaster recovery implementations, DNA Center can be configured in a cluster of three nodes, compared to seven nodes previously. Cisco DNA Center Software, Version 2.2.2 is available starting today.

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