If you are preparing the office for the gradual return of workers, you may be adding sensors to monitor environmental conditions, track employee movements, and increase visibility of critical assets. Or you are rearranging the office space so you can rotate the same work area between different people on different days. Or you are busy adding more video equipment for better collaboration and enhanced expectations. Once again, you find the common factor that can help you with all these tasks is your network. Luckily, you can rely on Cisco access networking controlled with Cisco DNA Center, with its existing capabilities and ongoing innovations.
We are happy and excited to announce the availability of the new Cisco DNA Center version 2.2.2 that builds on the success of version 2.1.2, which itself saw the fastest adoption rate on record.
This software release will be generally available (GA) in mid-June 2021, or contact your account team for early access
The new Cisco DNA Center comes with several exciting innovations that are true to its core mandate – strong connectivity, enhanced security, and a delightful IT experience for both users and administrators. The table below summarizes some of the key enhancements.
Listen to the replay of the Network Insider Series online seminar in which we explain the latest innovations in Cisco DNA Center and SD-Access.
Is your network ready for your new workplace that is now more focused on people and supporting their way of working? Does it have the proper controls to ensure they have a good user experience? Make it easy on your IT teams, your user base, and your business. With automation and AI-enabled analytics technologies, AIOps is now a reality for network operations. Cisco DNA Center brings more automation, increased visibility, faster deployment, and built-in resiliency.
Full visibility across your apps, services, and infrastructure with ThousandEyes
If you have applications that depend on distributed architectures, multi-cloud platforms, a complex web of APIs, and third-party services, you likely do not have good visibility into each entity’s performance. You would be hard pressed to debug and resolve issues. Cisco ThousandEyes provides monitoring for such environments extending from access to cloud using agents installed and running on Catalyst access switches. Cisco DNA Center makes the installation of these ThousandEyes agents on access switches easy by providing a one-click solution to install the agent on all supported switched at once. It will even automatically download and install the latest version, providing significant time and cost savings, and simplifying maintenance.
Ease your way with AIOps and strong analytics
Cisco DNA Center continues to amplify the role of AI/ML in networking. AI/ML is used for predictive analytics ranging from improving coverage of wireless AP placements to identifying Wi-Fi-deficient areas in buildings. New comparative analytics lets you evaluate the performance differences of network devices and clients, identify poor performing entities, and further optimize the overall network performance.
New dynamic Wi-Fi coverage heatmaps track hourly performance of selected KPIs throughout the day, helping you gain deeper visibility, isolate observed issues, and perform root cause analysis.
The new Baselines Dashboard helps you improve user experience by giving you improved visibility into Wi-Fi onboarding KPIs across buildings and SSIDs.
Wi-Fi deployment planning with Ekahau
We get it. Your users depend on a strong Wi-Fi network. You want to custom build a network that considers your floor plan and capacity requirements. You want to place the right number of access points in the right locations. You now have help from EkahauTM integration with Cisco DNA Center. Use this integration to export your floor plans to EkahauTM, design your Wi-Fi deployment, and import it back into Cisco DNA Center, finally giving you the assurance that you have the optimum number of APs in just the right places.
As you are rushing to complete your network changes, you will appreciate that the new Cisco DNA Center can be up and running quickly. We have also defined easier step-wise journeys to evolve your network to the visibility and security of SD-Access that you can undertake starting from where your network is currently.
Get a jump start
A network controller should be as easy to start and run as the network devices it controls. Working on this directive, our engineers built an express setup workflow into Cisco DNA Center. Within minutes of plugging it in, you can begin to use automation, assurance, and several of its most used features.
If you have a traditional Layer 2 access network and want to enjoy the benefits of SD-Access but are concerned about how the transition might affect your users, worry no more. Cisco DNA Center now allows custom ways you can gradually transition your current network to SD-Access. Use the new features that do not require you to reconfigure existing VLAN-IDs, avoid disruptive and time-consuming efforts, and jump-start your conversion process. No matter what your starting point is, you can take small incremental steps, evolve your network over time, and enjoy increasing benefits along the way. Read the SD-Access blog for the details and listen to this podcast.
Complete your zero trust security journey
You have already established trust by identifying and profiling all endpoints using AI endpoint analytics, defined access policies using group-based policy analytics, and enforced these policies through Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) and your network devices. But can you be sure that the endpoints remain trustworthy after that initial check? Could they be spoofing MAC addresses and trying to trick their way into the system? Cisco DNA Center can now continuously monitor the behavior of endpoints, cross reference endpoint behavior with posture and vulnerability status, and assign the endpoint a numerical trust score. You can use this score to determine whether that endpoint should be allowed to stay in the system or be quarantined or removed.
Increase scale and security
Twice the number of clients
The new Cisco DNA Center running on the 3-node cluster with extra-large appliances doubles its capacity for the number of endpoints. This gives you the freedom to manage your growing network of users and IoT devices, and brings the cost per endpoint down.
More upgrades faster
You can now enjoy even more productivity gains and reduce network downtime with Cisco DNA Center’s ability to upgrade up to 1,000 Catalyst 9000 devices every hour.
New APIs for better security and integrations
APIs from Cisco DNA Center enable better network automation, complex workflows involving external systems, and reporting. APIs avoid manual porting of information from Cisco DNA Center to other systems. Some of the new APIs available in version 2.2.2 help in disaster recovery, wireless configurations, license management, compliance updates, and consistent security.
High availability and disaster recovery
If business resiliency is on your mind, we are making it easier to combine high availability with disaster recovery. You no longer need to install Cisco DNA Center in a three-node cluster configuration before leveraging disaster recovery benefits. Use the same 1-1-1 cluster for both, operate only three nodes and not seven as before, and reduce the costs of deployment and management.
Measure your return
You already know that Cisco DNA Center saves you an enormous amount of time and money. You use its advanced automation and deep analytics every day to keep your networking humming and the business running. But do you know exactly how much your are improving your efficiency? Cisco DNA Center can now tell you exactly how much time and money you are saving based on your usage. You can even compare your return with other organizations in the same vertical or geographic area. Now you can put a number to those productivity gains!
For more information
Look for the banner on your Cisco DNA Center dashboard inviting you to update your current version to 2.2.2.x. Update your version and make use of these wonderful new features. Find details in the datasheet and release notes and be sure to learn more. The only question is, if you do not have Cisco DNA Center yet, what are you waiting for?
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