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Cisco DNA Technologies Reign in Three Finalist Spots for Best of Interop!

I believe I can speak for the Cisco Enterprise Networks team that today’s announcement of Best of Interop finalists is a proud moment for all the product managers and engineers that have invested years of man-hours to bring the Cisco DNA Architecture to life . We have made some great inroads with Cisco DNA with a very positive reception from press and analysts. The further validation by the Best of Interop judges is the icing on the cake. We are seeing many competitors mimic the DNA end-to-end strategy, but at the end of the day execution is key.  And, Cisco Enterprise is firing on all cylinders as a finalist for not one, not two, but three nominations across SDN, Mobility and Networking categories. Here’s the summary on each nomination. Check them out and learn how each can benefit your organization!


SDN Finalist: Cisco DNA Controller – APIC EMAPIC-EM Visual

APIC-EM is Cisco’s SDN Controller for Enterprise Networks and delivers on the premise of automation and innovation for legacy, current and future network elements in the WAN and Access domains. Support for legacy elements is of vital importance to avoid a critical hurdle to wider-spread SDN adoption; Cisco has over 100 deployments scaling up to 4000 devices today. APIC-EM provides automation when it comes to provisioning both physical and virtual network functions and advanced network features contained within those. It thereby eliminates the need for repetitive, manual configuration for Day 0, Day 1 and Day2 operations, and frees up time for IT innovation via programmability through intuitive, easy to consume RESTful APIs. Here are some capabilities that can benefit your organization today:

  • Plug and Play (PnP) application provides zero-touch deployment, eliminating the need for centralized staging and truck rolls that reduces installation costs up to 78%.
  • EasyQoS automates QoS dynamically end-to-end based on application policy, eliminating hours of updates while providing a great user experience.
  • Intelligent WAN (IWAN) simplifies remote branch roll out with validated designs, replacing 1000 CLI instructions with 10 GUI clicks.
  • Enterprise Services Automation (ESA) provides design and management of new network services and branches on any platform, physical or virtual.
  • Path Application helps resolve trouble tickets associated with connectivity issues in minutes rather than the average one-hour.

APIC-EM is available for free download to everybody with an account on


Networking Finalist: Cisco Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (Enterprise NFV)

nfvEnterprise NFV decouples software from hardware to enable customers to deploy network services in minutes, on any platform.  It is the first NFV solution designed, built and available in the market with enterprise customers in mind versus service providers.  It transforms how customers design, provision and manage network services including routing, security and WAN optimization services traditionally served by a physical, dedicated hardware.

Cisco Enterprise NFV advances the state of the art by:

  • Quickly roll out new services through policy-based automation using best practice templates that can be a mix of physical and virtual services for remote locations.
  • Simplify day to day operations by
    • deploying new services (VNFs) using a graphical user interface, leveraging programmable,
    • providing open APIs (REST, NETCONF) that allow enhanced applications such as plug-and-play (PnP) application to automatically connect to the central orchestration controller,
    • supporting lifecycle management capabilities to manage and monitor VNFs and their performance, and
    • enabling Service Chaining with Elastic service insertion and multiple independent service paths based on applications or user profiles
  • Flexible deployment options with
    • Software – virtual network functions such as virtual router, firewall, WAN optimization, wireless LAN controller will be available to be deployed, and is also open to 3rd party VNFs for deployment flexibility.
    • Hardware – freedom to choose any hardware platform including Cisco ISR with x86 blade (UCS E-Series), Cisco x86 (UCS C-Series) or 3rd party x86.


Mobility Finalist: Flexible Radio AssignmentCisco_FlexibleRadio_Blog1-04-550x550

Flexible Radio Assignment is an early example of how Cisco is automating the network by building intelligence into the network to understand changes and then adapting to meet those changes in demand. Flexible Radio Assignment allows the access points to uses a 5GHz. radio and a second radio that can run in 2.4GHz. or 5GHz. band enabling the access point to adapt to the environment. For example if a flash crowd or gathering occurs in a given footprint, such as a common area, the access points will identify the increase in wireless demand and can automatically change the second radio from 2.4Ghz. to 5GHz. to boost capacity in that area. This delivers a better experience and minimizes the impact of device density.

  • Flexible Radio Assignment optimizes your wireless network for high-density conditions in real-time
  • Dual 5GHz. support offers 2X the scale of 5GHz. mobile devices so you gain a significant increase in performance
  • Available on Cisco Aironet 2800 and 3800 Access Points for best of class wireless access



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  1. This is the best weblog for anyone who desires to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its virtually hard to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just nice!

  2. Ha! Ha! How many times are you going to rename the controller and never ship? Each rename gets a new nomination.

    Seriously though looks like a serious lack of innovation at Interop

    • Hi Sirius,
      Thanks for your comments. To address your concerns

      1. APIC-EM has been in production and shipping since last November. We have over 100+ customers and 1000+ downloads across the globe. This is the first time Cisco submitted APIC-EM 1.1 for best of interop. So I don’t think you have your facts correct

      2. As to your comment on lack of innovation, as you can see, Cisco has been selected as the finalist in 5 of the categories including SDN, networking, mobility, security, and data center. I think it speaks to our innovation across the board.

      Happy to discuss this with you further on this


  3. incredible, nice work. Hopefully in the future more successful and more and more positive impact on many people –