Whatever word you choose to describe 2016, boring won’t be one of them. From changes in political arenas across the globe to beloved public figures passing away to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series and ending 108 straight seasons of losing. The last year has been anything but ordinary.
It’s been an extraordinary year at Cisco too.
The biggest news of 2016 was the March introduction of Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA). Quite simply, Cisco DNA revolutionizes the way you deploy and manage your network for the digital era through a software-driven architecture focused on automation, security, and analytics.
How does DNA make things simpler? Automation is one way. By using the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) your operations are streamlined through automating tasks and creating consistent workflows and policies across your network.
Keeping your data secure is the most important job you have. Cisco DNA allows for Network as a Sensor (NaaS) and Network as an Enforcer (NaaE) through services such as Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) and StealthWatch. Think of it as the network becoming an end-to-end sensor that proactively detects and stops threats across all segments.
Whether it’s sports or the entertainment industry or business or even politics, the reason why people are successful in these industries is because they know the numbers. Cisco DNA provides you with easy-to-understand analytics through solutions such as Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX). This gives you the insights from your network to make faster business decisions based on customer behavior or what your employees are doing.
It’s true that your hardware and software should work well together, but that sort of symbiosis doesn’t always provide the most freedom. With DNA, Cisco has reimagined the network architecture by allowing virtualization to take center stage. Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (E-NFV) allows you to move fast and start up software instances of network functions wherever you need it. This is a huge time-saver because you don’t have to buy, deploy and test proprietary hardware appliances.
What does that all mean though? Customers that have deployed the Cisco DNA solutions have seen key improvements such as:
- A five-Year ROI of 402% and a nine-month payback period with an average of $48K annual benefits (per 100 users)
- 42% faster WAN branch deployments
- 17% faster delivery of applications
- 28% more efficient IT networking staff teams
This isn’t just about us tooting our own horn, the industry has embraced Cisco DNA.
“DNA and its focus on software represents a significant realignment of Cisco’s approach to the network and is a nod to the rapid changes businesses are undergoing.”—Jeffrey Burt, eWEEK
“Ultimately, Cisco DNA is a game changer, and one that will likely elicit a response from key infrastructure players and solution providers.” – Rohit Mehra, IDC
Our customers have responded to the overall Cisco message as well. This past year has seen an overabundance of customer success stories that show how DNA is helping our customers accelerate their digital transformation.
- CMX Comes to the London National History Museum
- Swiss City Modernizes with Digitization
- Digital Transformation and the Retail World
- The University of British Columbia and CMX
Besides DNA, Cisco has released a number of truly revolutionary products – all of which form the infrastructure foundation on which the DNA solutions run on.
The year saw the extension of the 802.11ac Wave 2 access point family into a cohesive, all-purpose solution that covers the needs of your organization—no matter the size—and your outdoor network. Read all about the release of the Cisco Aironet 2800 Series and 3800 Series Access Points, the Cisco Aironet 1810 Series Office Extend and Aironet 1810w Series Access Points and the Cisco Aironet 1560 Series Outdoor Access Points.
Switching saw a release of products that will future proof your network for the next decade and more. Designed to provide higher performance, better scalability and enhanced hardware-enabled features, these switches are ready to take advantage of the 802.11ac Wave 2 revolution.
If you missed any of these launches, check out Cisco Catalyst Supervisor 6T for Catalyst 6K Series, Catalyst Supervisor 8L-E for Catalyst 4K Series, Cisco Catalyst 3650-Mini or the Cisco Catalyst 2960L.
It was a big year for enterprise routers as a multitude of new products, including branch virtualization and OS container innovation made their way to the field. From a price- and performance-optimized branch router to DC-class WAN aggregator, each platform offers a digital-ready and application-centric foundation for your enterprise network.
Here’s a year worth of new products distilled into a few links: ISR 4221, Multi-carrier LTE 2.5, WAAS 6.2R, UCS-E 6-core blade server, ASR 1000 RP3, ASR 1001-X, ASR 1001-HX, ASR 1002-HX, ASR 1006-X and ASR 1009-X. On the virtualization front, we introduced industry’s first Enterprise NFV solution for the branch followed by App Hosting on IOS XE for Cisco, homegrown, or 3rd party lightweight applications.
What’s in store for 2017? I can’t say anything right now, but I invite you all to stay tuned and see what surprises we have in store for you in the next 12 months.