Technology moves very quickly and it is often difficult to keep up with new product announcements that are introduced in rapid succession. It is often necessary to take a step back and refresh our memory regarding how a solution is envisioned and then fulfilled.
As we look back on the last year, Cisco has released a lot of innovation focused on optimizing how IT defines and enforces policy; how they gain visibility of users, applications and devices; and how they simplify the network infrastructure.
Highlights Throughout the Year:
Cisco Live! San Diego was the launching pad of Cisco Unified Access One Policy, One Management, One Network vision that was focused on changing how IT enabled intelligent network platforms designed to enable new connected experiences and deliver operational efficiencies.
As the industry looks towards connecting people, clouds and thing, or what is commonly known as the Internet of Things, it was clear that the traditional approach of having separate Wired, Wireless and VPN networks, multiple disjointed access policies and multiple management systems would not scale to meet the performance and security demands.
This is why Cisco looked to deliver a model with:
- Centralized policy definition for consistent, network-wide security distribution and enforcement
- A single system for comprehensive lifecycle management and visibility
- Converged wired and wireless networks for a unified infrastructure
At Interop New York 2012 Cisco unveiled the first two components of the Cisco Unified Access Solution, One Policy and One Management.
The Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) simplifies the design and implementation of policy and security with One Policy across the wired, wireless and VPN infrastructure allowing for consistent enforcement of context-aware policies and control that includes user, device, location, time and application information. With ISE at the heart of security policy IT can assure compliance and improved user experience with self-service on-boarding and guest handling. Integration of ISE industry-leading MDM ecosystem partners mean IT can extend compliance and control to the end-user device.
Cisco Prime Infrastructure (PI) enables One Management with comprehensive unified access lifecycle management for easy deployment and management of Cisco devices and services, which in turn reduces operational overhead and cost. It also brings in unsurpassed visibility to users, devices and applications, which improves the end-user experience and speed problem remediation.
Cisco introduced Cisco Connected Experience (CMX) as a way for organizations to transform location data associated with devices seen on the wireless LAN (WLAN) into valuable business knowledge. CMX uses the Cisco Unified Access infrastructure as the foundation to do more than provide Internet access to mobile users. The massive amounts of information made available to these organizations provide new insight to the people using the network. This data is an actionable resource for marketing, operations and security to help fully understand how users interact within their environment and influence change.
Cisco Live! London allowed Cisco to complete the One Policy, One Management, One Network vision by introducing the first Cisco stackable switch to deliver both wired and wireless control in a single infrastructure device. With the Unified Access Data Place (UADP) ASIC at the heart of the Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch, organizations gain a level of consistency between for both wired and wireless access. The Cisco 5760 WLAN Controller, which shares the Same UADP ASIC, enables consistent functionality for larger network deployments. By bringing wireless control closer to the end user, organization benefit from:
- Consistent granular QoS for both wired and wireless
- Optimized rich media experiences
- Deep application visibility and control
This convergence of wired and wireless delivers vast operational improvements by simplifying the network infrastructure, meaning that less time is required to manage the devices freeing IT to focus on strategic business projects.
The UADP ASIC has become the foundation for all converged wired and wireless switches in the unified access portfolio and is fundamental to delivering programmability within the Cisco ONE Networks Architecture
Cisco expanded converged access to the Industry’s most widely deployed modular platform the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches by introducing the Supervisor 8-E. This allows a number of organizations who have deployed the 4500E switches to benefit from Cisco Unified Access with minimal cost and impact to the network infrastructure.
With all the innovation that Cisco has delivered around unified access in the past year you may be asking what is next. To find out the answer to that questions, please join us in person as we introduce the next unified access innovation at Interop NY 2013 or by registering for our online event at here.