Co-author: Adam Ozkan, Product Marketing Lead, Data Center Networking

Network infrastructure and network operations are experiencing unprecedented demand to support digital transformation initiatives to move at the speed of the business. The need for architectures and underlying infrastructure to become more agile and flexible is greater than ever, and the same demands are placed on those who operate and manage networks daily.  IDC expects that the amount of data created in 2023 will reach over 100ZB (one trillion gigabytes) or 10 times more than the amount of data created in 2014. Clearly, data and applications fuel the modern enterprise.

In a recently published, cross portfolio modern networking infrastructure report authored by Moor Insights and Strategy, two prominent customers of Cisco, a large public university, University of Utah and a global leader in IT services, consulting & business solutions Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) modernized their Data Center network operations by adopting Cisco’s multi-domain, Intent Based Networking (IBN) architectures to gain pervasive application and infrastructure visibility, ensure the highest levels of security and to reduce repetitive manual tasks such as device provisioning.

Figure: Intent-based Networks (IBN) spans across the entire network topology

Intent-based networking captures and translates business intent into network policies that can be automated and applied consistently across the network. The end goal is for the network to continuously monitor and adjust network performance to assure the desired business outcome.

Recent events have caused significant changes in the way we live and work. While the short term focus has been on always-on end user connectivity, one of the long-term impacts is a strong focus on how the distributed data center networks, spanning on-premises data centers and cloud application environments, can be modernized to provide crucial support for business continuity and resilience.

With infrastructure that scales, Cisco consistently executes on an IBN strategy that ensures Day 2 operational efficiencies. This is delivered with Cisco Network Assurance Engine built on Nexus and ACI foundation, as well as Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), and Cisco DNA Center for campus and branch networks. According to Moor Insight and Strategy, Cisco has added significant functionality across these different platforms. New assurance and policy integrations across these domains enable consistent performance, compliance, and security enforcement. IT and business intent can be expressed in one domain and then exchanged, enforced, and monitored across all of them.

Networks serve as the digital nervous system for increasingly important applications and data and helping to keep enterprises running during crises, network operators are expected to leverage pervasive real-time visibility to provide faster identification, isolation, and automated resolution of network security incidents. In this context, policy and event-based detection and prevention will be essential to ensure that networks and their operators play valuable roles in protecting the integrity and resilience of applications.

The report also adds that, Cisco, with its comprehensive set of IBN solutions for campus, branch, SD-WAN, and datacenter, extends to leading cloud vendors for cross-domain policy consistency to meet the demands of customers regardless of location or networking platform deployment choice. Cisco’s multi-domain IBN architecture is well-positioned to deliver a comprehensive, scalable, open standards-based platform for network operators

As a result of modernizing its data center operations, the University of Utah that operates four teaching hospitals and twelve medical clinics has fully realized proactive control over network functions through a modern architecture that supports hybrid/multi-cloud needs as well as data segmentation in a multi-tenant environment. Given this new-found agility, the IT staff now focus on more strategic, value-added endeavors such as the ability to stand-up a disaster recovery center in record time and improve the overall patient care experience.

By implementing Cisco’s IBN solutions, TCS reduced its Offshore Development Centers (ODC) creation time from 40 days to 3 days. TCS also realized the agility of new-found human resources through the ability to move employees more easily among engagements, thus improving its project management execution.


Usha Andra

Leader, Product Marketing

Data Center and Cloud Networking