With our higher educational universities welcoming their students back to campus post-Covid, network admins are having a tough time handling the cumbersome and tedious task of onboarding student devices onto the network. With students bringing in their own devices all of which come alive only with network connectivity, it’s quite a tough task to ensure only the right devices are onboarded onto the network.

Cisco’s user-defined network solution helps in seamless onboarding. It also helps in providing a home-like environment to students. There are elaborate blogs that already cover the various benefits UDN 1.0 brings.

Bring your personal devices to the enterprise network with Cisco User Defined Network

With 1000s of students depending on the solution for their daily routines, it is crucial for admins to be equipped with the right set of tools to have visibility into their network. With the adoption of Cisco UDN solutions increasing, the network admin would love to have tools that can provide improved insights into their network and triage issues with lesser downtime. Cisco UDN 1.5 brings in a new dashboard and workflows to help admins have greater visibility of their network & identify any downtimes in their network sooner.

Improved Visibility into Cisco User Defined Network

With more and more students getting onboarded to the solution it is essential that IT admins have greater visibility & control over how their network is being used. This helps in effectively managing the network and deciding on how they need to channel their future investments.

UDN 1.5 brings in a detailed dashboard on Cisco User Defined Network cloud. This dashboard provides insights to the admin on how the Solution is deployed and how well it’s adopted by their students. These dashboards integrate data from Cisco DNAC Assurance, Automation & UDN Cloud and provide a single pane of glass to understand how their network is behaving.  The IT admin can easily understand how well the solution is adopted including details of the denser sites in their network with respect to UDN usage.

The dashboard shows up data on which Sites/SSIDs/RLANs UDN is enabled & the list of sites where it could be enabled to improve UDN adoption.

Summary & Sites View of your university
Figure 1. Summary & Sites View of your university

Customers have a view on how well the solution is being adopted on their campus and how many more clients could potentially be part of their UDN network. They also have a view of how many users are actively registering to the UDN network and the number of devices they are bringing to the rooms. It has several other insights like Top Failure/Top UDN User /Top SSIDs and Top Endpoint Type which enables the administrators to decide how they want to optimize their network.

Dashboards on Cisco UDN Cloud

Dashboards on Cisco UDN Cloud
Figures 2 and 3: Dashboards on Cisco UDN Cloud

Endpoint Management

In UDN 1.4, the ability to create rooms was limited to users with Cisco UDN apps. A user with the mobile app only had the ability to create UDN rooms. They could perform various actions on the endpoints like add/delete/move/reclaim the endpoints using the mobile app. This gave a lot of flexibility to the end user to decide which devices are part of his room, however, the IT admin of the university had no view/control over how the UDN rooms were designed. To solve this endpoint management and shared devices support are added in Cisco UDN 1.5 on the admin interface.

Endpoint Management screens on Cisco User Defined Network cloud do exactly what the student can do from a mobile app, however, the tenant admin has a view across various users in his network. The admin can add & remove endpoints from the student’s room, perform actions of bulk move and reclaim endpoints across the UDN room.

Dashboards for adding new device/ Sharing a device

Dashboards for adding new device/ Sharing a device
Figures 4 and 5: Dashboards for adding new device/ Sharing a device

In university networks, there are different use cases where users would want to share some common resources like printers across different endpoints. Such devices are not part of any rooms but are visible to all endpoints which are connected to UDN SSID. UDN 1.5 brings in the functionality to let tenant admin designate devices owned by the admin as ” Shared”. Admin user can provide the list of devices he intends to share with the students through the endpoint management screens on Cisco User-Defined Network Cloud.

UDN Network Health

Since the UDN solution had multiple touch points triaging any failures in the customer network was not always easy. Cisco UDN Health dashboard envisions identifying the issues which may happen in customers’ networks while trying to register/de-register the endpoints to UDN rooms. UDN dashboards expose an option to run test traffic on UDN network to identify any issues on their network. Any issues on adding/moving devices across UDN rooms can be triaged using UDN Health.

UDN Health requires the IT administrator to provide a mac address which the UDN health will try to add & remove from the tenant admin’s room. While doing this action, it traces through all the touch points in the system and queries other systemic data to identify the potential cause of device onboarding failure. The UDN health identifies the potential cause of onboarding failure and the possible corrective actions the IT administrator can take.

In cases when the onboarding failure is a result of misconfiguration in the customer network, UDN health will point out the potential next steps which the IT admin can take to fix his network. UDN health framework also allows customers to download the trace logs of the failed run which can be forwarded to Cisco TAC teams to triage issues further if needed.

UDN Health also supports scheduling of the trace runs every 6hr & 24hrs where a custom mac address will be added/removed from the tenant admin’s UDN room. This scheduled run helps ascertain the health of the network at different points of time during the day.

UDN Health

UDN Health
Figures 6 and 7: UDN Health

 Issues Dashboard on UDN Cloud Service

The issues dashboard provides comprehensive visibility of the UDN network. The dashboard is integrated with Cisco DNA C Assurance and lists all issues seen on their wireless network. The IT administrator can isolate  UDN issues seen in their network and resolve the same using Cisco DNAC Assurance.

Issues Dashboard on UDN
Figure 8: Issues Dashboard on UDN

Support for UDN extended globally

UDN Cloud solution is now available in US/European regions. Customers can benefit from multi-region support in UDN that ensures all customer data is stored in their respective regions. This helps in adhering to local regulations.

To learn more about UDN, visit


Cisco User Defined Network: Redefining Secure, Personal Networks


Veena Ramamoorthy

Engineering Leader

Enterprise Networking