In my last blog I discussed how Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture fits with the Cisco ONE. Let’s now look at how the new Cisco ONE Enterprise Architecture provides at least 6 significant benefits to Enterprises. ONE + ONE = 6!

Problems that Enterprises are facing:

As enterprises are consolidating their IT infrastructure into private cloud (enterprise data-centers) or public/hybrid clouds they’re realizing massive economies of scale in application deployments. Further, they’re taking advantage of XaaS (Software/Infrastructure as a Service) offerings from Cloud Service Providers with Pay As You Go models that increase the speed of deployment and the agility of their business critical applications. This is a major shift in how applications are now being delivered over the WAN to their end-users in branch offices and on mobile/BYOD devices. IT consolidation and virtualization in the data-center are placing a lot of requirements on the enterprise WAN. Business agility and end-user and customer application experience are imposing critical requirements on the WAN. The major challenges that enterprises are facing with cloud migration are:

  • Application Visibility and Control: lack of visibility into applications running in the branches and being served over the WAN from a consolidated data-center.
  • User experience: End-users accessing applications and enterprise customers accessing applications on BYOD devices experience high latency due to congestion on the WAN. This negatively affects the employee productivity and customer loyalty.
  • Security: Enterprises are having to hairpin all branch traffic through the data-center, where security policies can be applied. This increases congestion on the WAN link with non-business critical applications potentially consuming a significant portion of the WAN bandwidth.
  • BYOD traffic visibility: With employees and customers increasingly accessing applications on BYOD devices over the wireless infrastructure, enterprises have no visibility into these applications running and cannot adequately prioritize their WAN bandwidth consumption.

How Cisco ONE + ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture address these problems:

Here is what Enterprises can expect as additional benefits from the Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture. At each layer there are significant benefits that accrue due to Cisco ONE.

Network Element Layer:

This layer provides the industry’s richest set of devices  with service-rich IOS and open APIs. The combination of Cisco IOS + ASICs  and APIs enables the Network Element Layer to convey deep network intelligence to the Control Layer. The same APIs allow the Control Layer to automate the configuration and provisioning of all the network devices, simplifying network provisioning. Figure 1 shows the details of the Network Element Layer.


Network Element Layer
Figure 1: Network Element Layer of Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture


From this Network Element Layer, Enterprises can expect these benefits:

  • Networks that just work: A trusted and scalable network that just works. Cisco continues to deliver an end-to-end network infrastructure portfolio, that spans routers & switches, physical & virtual, wired & wireless, with industry leading IOS software and ASICs.
  • Access to deep network intelligence: Across the entire end-to-end network: wired & wireless, LAN & WAN. With OpenFlow, onePK and CLI APIs the network element devices provide programmatic access to deep network intelligence made available by Cisco IOS+ ASICs.


Control Layer:

This layer provisions network services consistently across all network devices, instead of device by device. It creates a multi-layer abstraction for the enterprise network itself, improving enterprise agility and accelerating service deployment.  And it optimally provisions services such as QoS and PfR, at the appropriate device or control layer. Figure 2 shows the details of the Control Layer.

Control Layer
Figure 2: Control Layer of Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture


With the Cisco ONE/XNC Controller Enterprises can expect these benefits:

  • Massively simplified provisioning and configuration:  End-to-end configuration through open APIs instead of a device-by-device CLI configuration. Zero-touch deployment and consistency across wired and wireless infrastructure.
  • Rich Network Analytics: The Cisco ONE/XNC Controller gathers and translates network wide intelligence and state that create opportunities for innovation.
  • Openness: With open APIs both northbound and southbound, and with open sourced base codebase, the Cisco ONE Controller fosters rapid innovation through unprecedented openness. 3rd parties can easily develop innovative business applications built on rich network and user analytics. Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experience is a great example of this innovation.


Network Application Layer:

This is the layer for network application, whether developed by Cisco, third parties or our customers, open APIs enable applications optimized for performance, innovation and user experience across the network. Figure 3 shows the details  of the Network Application Layer.


Figure 3: Network Application Layer of Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture
Figure 3: Network Application Layer of Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture


Building on top of the Network Element Layer and the Control Layer, the Network Application Layer is where Enterprises can expect these benefits:

  • Reduced IT Complexity: IT departments can expect massively simplified configuration and provisioning and can rapidly deploy new business applications securely and with low TCO and help lines of business realize new growth opportunities.
  • Open Application Ecosystem: With open APIs access to both the Control Layer and the Network element layer, 3rd parties have deep and open access to network intelligence and can rapidly create applications, both network and business applications, without out having to have deep knowledge of the network protocols etc. Application developers are now freed up from having to know the gory details of network protocols and network device peculiarities and can therefore rapidly create and deploy enterprise applications.

To summarize, Cisco ONE and ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture provide enterprises with

  • Reduced IT Complexity: that solves the Application Visibility and Control and BYOD traffic visibility and Security challenges.
  • Rich network Analytics and Openness:  that enhances User experience and enables IT to rapidly innovate and help lines of business realize new business growth opportunities.
  • Massively Simplified Configuration and Provisioning:  that simplifies network provisioning, addresses pervasive security challenges and frees up IT resources to create innovative business models.


Open application ecosystem, access to deep network intelligence and a network infrastructure that just works: Being able to create network and business applications on a foundation of a comprehensive, end-to-end network infrastructure that is programmable with open APIs creates a vast eco-system of 3rd party application developers that speeds up innovation for enterprises and respond rapidly to changing trends such as BYOD Access and Cloud Migration.

Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture brings the networks and applications closer together across the entire Enterprise network. This is true and effective openness of enterprise wide networks that increases the speed of the deployments of new services and applications. Through open APIs at each layer and deep access to network resources through programmability, Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture creates the mutual awareness of networks and applications. This mutual awareness helps enterprises overcome the WAN challenges.

What’s next:

  • In the next few blogs I’ll cover additional aspects of SDN and Cisco ONE Architecture.
  • Details around the control layer for ONE Enterprise Networks
  • Elaborate on Use-Cases in Branch and Campus networks

Thanks for reading and please comment on any and all aspects. More importantly please write:

  • if you agree with these benefits
  • what else would you like me to cover with the EN Architecture

I look forward to your comments. Thanks in advance. Stay tuned for the next blog post.


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Satish Katpally

Senior Marketing Manager

Application Centric Infrastructure, SDN, ONE Software Suites