The digital transformation of business is fueled by several megatrends – Mobility, IoT, Analytics and Cloud. First, mobile traffic is expected to exceed wired traffic by 2017. Second, IoT devices will triple by 2020. Third, 75% of all companies are planning to, or are already, investing in Big Data. Fourth, 80% of all companies will primarily use SaaS by 2018. Thus, to go digital, businesses will be focused on three priorities: simplify and automate processes, empower workforce efficiency and innovation and personalize customer and citizen experiences.
But this digital wave creates new questions: How do you make it easy to provision and scale? How do you build a resilient network? How do you secure the network? How do you gain visibility into the network?
The new Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T offers several software services designed to address these questions.
Automation: the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T supports Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM). This replaces complex manual network operations such as provisioning with the click of a button. It is implemented as a software application (like PNP or PATH) packaged as a virtual machine on a UCS server.
The software application communicates through RESTful API’s to APIC-EM, which then communicates with network devices through CLI, OpenFlow or the OnePK API’s, exposing network intelligence for business innovation. This offers the ability to run the same commands on any Supervisor Engine 6T within your network without worrying about details such as IP Address, logins etc.
Visibility: Flexible Netflow collects and measures data allowing network devices to become a source of telemetry and monitoring. A wide range of packet information for IPv4, IPv6 flows can be tracked including IP Addresses, Ports, Multicast and Layer2 VLAN entries amongst others. This is due to product capabilities such as new Layer2-Layer7 fields, scalable flow monitors, customizable policies with Embedded Event Manager and a broad collector ecosystem. Key use-cases for such visibility include: real-time network monitoring, application and user profiling, network planning, security detection & classification, accounting & billing, troubleshooting, data warehousing and mining. The next-generation Supervisor Engine 6T supports up to 1M Netflow entries offering superior visibility into your network infrastructure.
Security: A threat-centric security model is based on three stages within the attack continuum – before, during and after. ‘Network as a Sensor’ means that Cisco Lancope StealthWatch can be used to detect anomalies affecting the environment.
Cisco Identity Services Engine can then translate this “visibility” and “detection” to actionable feedback for the network, which could range from proper segmentation to threat remediation. Since the security group within Cisco TrustSec becomes the common classifier for network devices; customers can leverage the Network as an Enforcer concept to simplify security operations, automate remediation based on detection and secure their investments.
Resiliency: An architectural approach to resiliency comprises the following components: upgrade management, operational resiliency, network resiliency, link resiliency and infrastructure resiliency. Resiliency-based software features on the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T include Bidirectional Forwarding for static routes and logical interfaces, Flexlinks, Virtual Switching System, 16-way Layer 3 load balancing, and configuration rollback amongst others. Such features are meant to provide deterministic and automated recovery and simplify network design by eliminating spanning trees and first-hop redundancy protocols.
Software services on the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T create value throughout the various phases of the digitization journey – from base automation in existing deployments to complete software control through policy-based automation for greenfield scenarios.
As you can tell, the new Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T offers the optimal combination of simple, smart, scalable and secure network services for the next-generation campus.
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