Although it was hot outside in the 117F Las Vegas temperatures, it was cool in the ‘Bay at Cisco Live!  There were some exciting new announcements that directly affect our manufacturing customers and can help accelerate their smart manufacturing initiatives.

Manufacturers are expecting a flood of data from their factories especially with IoT.  This flood of data needs a new type of network to really enable a ‘digital factory core’-  which gets to the heart of our announcements last week. Built on Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA),  ‘The Network. Intuitive’ ushers a new era of networking and is the culmination of  the work of thousands of engineers.  Analysts and press agree that this is Cisco’s most significant development achievement in the last decade– a new, intuitive, learning network powered by intent, and informed by context.

There were two big innovations here – intent-driven infrastructure and a command center for the enterprise network today announced as DNA Center.  We knew our customers were spending too much time and expense operating their networks, and their infrastructure wasn’t agile enough.  This is particularly true in the manufacturing and industrial space where IoT and smart manufacturing require a robust networking foundation.

Now we have one unified system that spans the entire enterprise access network, covering all type of devices. It acts as a single platform, driven by intent. This intent-based infrastructure is programmable and integrated so that it can be automated, just like your production process.  With comprehensive network automation, assurance, and security, Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) simplifies management of your factory floor, reduces total cost of ownership, and provides deep network insights.

Check out this video that explains the ‘so what’ for manufacturers:

Security was (as always) a big focus at the show especially in light of the Nyetya attack that happened last week. Read more in my colleague Eric Ehler’s blog here.  In the manufacturing booth in the World of Solutions area, we had experts available to discuss IoT Threat Defense and your factory challenges.

Our experts described how Cisco IoT Threat Defense for manufacturing is an architecture approach to security, with a prescribed, regimented approach to security while still adhering to a standard Defense in Depth approach commonly followed in manufacturing facilities.  You can then employ a suite of integrated, interoperability tested security products, starting with Identity Services Engine (ISE) and TrustSec, which facilitate extensible, scalable segmentation using group-and device-based access policy throughout the network.   Check out more in this ZDNet article.

The heavy traffic around these demos indicated a lot of interest:

The big security buzz was around Cisco’s other major announcement, where engineers had discovered how to solve one of the biggest challenges in network security, previously thought impossible.  Finding malware in encrypted traffic.  Engineers were already showing four nines of accuracy in their test cases with Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) and no information was being decrypted. The fact that no decryption was involved meant their approach did not come at the expense of privacy.   Security and privacy together – at last!

It was a great show, with exciting new announcements!  If you missed CiscoLive, check out many of the videos and pictures by following @CiscoMfg.  And, learn more about Cisco DNA for Manufacturing here.



Scot Wlodarczak

No Longer with Cisco