In anticipation of the return of employees to the office, Cisco is extending DNA Spaces location services to Catalyst 9000 switches.
The technology pack unveiled by Cisco will build on major existing wired and wireless systems to, according to the OEM, allow companies to better control their physical environments and ensure a safer and more secure return to the office. If, according to IDC, more than 52% of employees will continue to work remotely or in hybrid mode in the post-Covid era and take advantage of the arrangements made by companies to support remote offices, the others could return to a modified professional space. . “In these offices, sensors and devices, previously used to manage lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, could be used to monitor occupancy levels, air quality, and contact tracing, ”said Anoop Vetteth, vice president of product management in Cisco’s Enterprise Switching and Software Solutions group. “Smart building technology is still used to save energy, but the data it generates could also be harnessed by a converged, interconnected and operational IT network to make the environment safer for returning employees. , especially in terms of social distancing, ”he added.
In order to contribute to this secure environment, the supplier has added support for its DNA Spaces geolocation software to its Catalyst 9000 range of branch and campus switches. Cloud-based, the DNA Spaces offer consists of the following Cisco’s wireless Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) and enterprise geolocation technology acquired by the OEM with the July Systems takeover in 2018. CMX is a software engine that uses location and other information gleaned from the industry. firm’s wireless infrastructure in San José to generate analytics data and provide mobile services to customers. The software also includes a service called IoT Gateway which allows customers to manage various IoT devices, form factors and communication protocols. “DNA Spaces also collects analytical data that makes it possible to know which person and which device is in which physical location, and to act on that information in real time,” said Cisco. DNA Spaces can not only show which spaces – department stores, waiting rooms, cafeterias – are used and when, but also where occupants come from, how long they stay there, what data resources they use and where they go when they leave these places ”.
Integrate terminals with more security
Until now, the system was intended for mobile environments, but Cisco is now introducing it to the wired world of Catalyst switches where the service could find new applications, as the OEM hopes. “Through the widespread use and power of Cat 9000 switches and access points, we provide a cloud service capable of interpreting and standardizing telemetry from various end points in an ecosystem of smart buildings, deliver information to DNA Spaces and allow customers to easily integrate and control thousands of different devices, ”said Mr. Vetteth. “With this data, customers can create new applications around the concepts of flexible office, hotel, but also around air quality, health and safety, and space occupancy and also use the management data integrated from third-party systems ”. Indeed, Cisco DNA Spaces can integrate data from many third-party systems, including those of IBM, Molex, Superior Essex Communications, Somfy, to name a few.
Because integrating IoT devices into the corporate network can be a real security nightmare, DNA Spaces can be partnered with Cisco’s DNA Center to micro-segment and control access to these devices. At the heart of the firm’s automated networking initiative, but also a central network control platform, DNA Center offers a myriad of services for enterprise networks, from analytics, network management and capabilities. automation, building assurance, fabric provisioning, and policy-based segmentation capabilities. “With the intelligence of Cat 9K and DNA Center, customers can categorize all endpoints and use analytics and other tools to block access to applications and resources by setting static limits and by enforcing them, ”Vetteth said. In addition, the network assurance provided by Cisco’s DNA Center has the unique ability to monitor the health status of connected POE (Power-over-Ethernet) devices and other wired and wireless devices in a building. “This gives the OT-ops team the tools to optimally plan energy consumption and proactively troubleshoot so that employees can work safely and productively,” wrote Anoop Vetteth in a blog post about of the ad.
Converged management of IT and OT technologies
“The expansion of DNA Spaces and its IoT Gateway to Catalyst 9000 products will enable a much larger number of Cisco customers to benefit from asset tracking and tracking and paves the way for future use cases. interesting, ”said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst at IDC. “In a post-COVID context, the possible use cases are very varied, for example sending an alert when capacity limits are reached in certain areas, or even monitoring spaces to find out which ones are used and how often” , said the analyst. “Another emerging use case for this technology concerns the converged management of IT and OT technologies. Very often OT environments are very different from IT environments, but companies could derive considerable benefits if they could apply common policies for use / access, monitoring / visibility and security / analysis in the IT and OT sectors ” , said Mr. Butler. “DNA Spaces, with the integrated IoT gateway, can help bridge this gap. The extension of DNA Spaces to Cisco Catalyst switches and access points should encourage customers who have not yet explored this technology to think about the benefits they could derive from it in initiatives around the work of tomorrow, IoT and smart buildings, ”he added. The software components of this offering will be available this month with DNA Advantage and DNA Premier licenses.