Just a few months ago I was at Cisco Live 2023 in Amsterdam and got the chance to hear directly from customers about their biggest challenges. What I heard the clearest and most consistently was their need to simplify their industrial networks and more easily scale as their businesses grow.
Some steep challenges are in the path of that goal. Security is always top of mind. How can you protect your networks from additional physical and environmental challenges in these operational settings? Doing more with less was also a common thread in the conversations. How can you leverage your IT skills and investments to accelerate your digitization in their operational settings? The digital acceleration is adding to the complexity to operational environments. How can you leverage the cloud to ensure simple, secure and predictable experiences across the network?
To help address those challenges, we announced new cloud services at that same event for a new way for IT and OT to collaborate on managing and securing the network via our Catalyst Industrial Routers. With our cloud-delivered IoT Operations Dashboard, customers can use Cyber Vision to provide visibility into OT assets and their security posture, as well as leverage Secure Equipment Access for safe remote access to machines.
We are excited to expand these cloud services to our Industrial Ethernet switching portfolio in alignment with our Networking Cloud announcement here at Cisco Live 2023 in Las Vegas. Now, customers can leverage their existing Catalyst Industrial Ethernet Switches and quickly realize the benefits of these cloud-driven software functionalities since there’s no additional hardware needed. This further enables our customers to use their network as a platform for IT to simplify, innovate, and deliver unified experiences to their customers. And it’s a key part of our Cisco Networking Cloud vision.
One of the main challenges we see in digitization initiatives is the complexity around deploying different point solutions in a growing infrastructure with small IT and operations teams. Cisco is tackling this challenge by transforming the network into a platform by offering cloud-delivered OT services deployed at the edge as a converged solution with the network, reducing the need for additional hardware. This demonstrates Cisco’s intent to simplify IT for industrial networks and help organizations achieve real business transformation faster.
– Patrick Filkins, Senior Research Manager, IDC
Industrial IoT delivers simplification across industries
Let’s dig a bit deeper into how we are delivering simplicity at scale. Here at Cisco IIoT, we work with thousands of customers across industries and across the globe to help them accelerate their journey to digitization and automation.
At the heart of our manufacturing customers’ networks are hundreds or even thousands of industrial switches that all need connectivity. OT needs to have visibility of what’s connected to the network; technicians need to access machines remotely to troubleshoot and maintain. Customers can purchase these services from different vendors and stitch them together, but this results in complexity, shadow IT and security risks. Now Cisco is converging functionalities as software features on our industrial networking portfolio delivered through IoT Operations Dashboard without any additional hardware.
- The Cyber Vision service in the IoT Operations Dashboard inventories connected assets and identifies unsecure configurations and rogue equipment — reducing risk of assets connected on the factory floor.
- The Secure Equipment Access service in the IoT Operations Dashboard delivers remote access to assets to troubleshoot problems or for routine operations — eliminating the need for OT to install rogue gateways and/or shadow IT solution to enable remote access.
Our transportation customers are facing the same technology challenges as they strive to make travel safer and more secure. They need to connect thousands of signals and intersections, as well as other devices like high-definition cameras, LiDar sensors, and digital signage.
- All the same services from our cloud delivered IoT Operations Dashboard can help them secure and manage these services to geographically diverse assets without sending personnel to troubleshoot.
- To help power high bandwidth and high power devices, we’re also introducing 5 new models of our Catalyst IE9300 Rugged Series Switches, including 1GE and mGig copper ports, 10GE uplinks, and high wattage PoE.
“We are excited about the new Cisco Catalyst IE9300 Rugged switches with 10Gbps uplinks. It will allow Pennsylvania Turnpike to deploy the Cisco SD-Access fabric to more rugged locations, connecting our roadside assets with all the Cisco Catalyst switching, features, security, and bandwidth we need to operate a more reliable and safer highway system.”
– Jesse Ream, Manager of Transportation Tech & Communications, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Enterprise-grade outdoor connectivity
Customers across industries are looking for new wireless connectivity options for their outdoor spaces. Our new Catalyst IW9167I Heavy Duty Access Point is purpose built to withstand rugged outdoor conditions with its IP67 rating and is Wi-Fi 6E ready. It is the perfect way to extend your existing Cisco investments into new outdoor use cases, like parking lots, school and college campuses, outdoor malls, and more.
The Power of Simplicity
Here at Cisco Live, we announced the Cisco Networking Cloud – our vision and commitment to simplify IT, everywhere, at every scale. With our expanded cloud services and a full portfolio of cloud enabled IoT connectivity devices, Cisco IoT is delivering on the vision of Cisco Networking to provide a simple and consistent experience across all Cisco platforms.
- We’re helping our IT and industrial networking customers more efficiently manage and secure their industrial network at scale and extend their Cisco investments and skills.
- We’re reducing complexity by delivering cloud services like OT asset visibility, remote equipment access, and security to deliver a unified experience to our customers.
Learn how our latest innovations bring simplicity, security, and scale to your industrial networks.