Adding to all the accolades our Digital Network Architecture (DNA) announcement has received, the automation engine within DNA (the APIC-EM Controller) won TechTarget’s Network Innovation Award. And I am indeed very proud that our approach to automating the Enterprise Network is receiving such positive recognition.

But I will also be honest, and as befits a winner in an awards show, humble. You see, over the last few years, as we were tracking towards our new vision for the Enterprise Network, and introducing the different point products we would build on to deliver on the vision, I got used to criticism: “Cisco’s SDN strategy is confusing!” was one I heard quite often. As we receive the TechTarget award, I have spent some time thinking why the momentum has shifted from some criticism to accolades – even though honestly we’re only 50% there on our way to fulfill our entire vision.

APIC-EM Visual

The answers? I think it’s because the pieces have come together with DNA. I urge you to read TechTarget’s Jessica Scarpati’s interview with Ronnie Ray. Several powerful statements there about the power of network abstraction, thanks to policies written in business language. Hard to pick a favorite, but if you forced me to, it would be this: “..We’re trying to bring down opex and shrink time to deployment. This can be done by a few clicks. Before, it took thousands of lines of programming to input the configuration. Today, it’s reduced to maybe 10 clicks per branch or 10 clicks per groups of branches if you apply the same template to them.  ..”. That sums up the essence of what we’re trying to do. Bring SDN benefits to our customers by having them deploy shrink-wrapped applications that come standard with APIC-EM, often for free (many other blogs address the details, just believe me – this is really simply to deploy). And, that’s why we seeing fast adoption, with over 100 customer deploying up to 4000 devices!

I want to keep this blog short so you can go read the TechTarget interview. But I’d like to wrap up by noting that I think that what we are seeing, as “SDN” and network automation go mainstream, is that many enterprise customers –not surprisingly- are adopting straight-forward solutions that simply free up their time away from repetitive manual tasks, and in turn allow them to look into additional solutions that elevate the business relevance of the network.

Please read the TechTarget interview here.

Also, if you are interested in this topic, please join our Cisco Chat on Monday April 4.






Paul Liesenberg

Digital Network Architecture Philosopher

DNA Product Solutions