Many of you told us your travails of making the switch to remote working at the beginning of the pandemic as a lot of your office workers suddenly became remote workers, and your IT support teams working offsite struggled to keep everyone connected.
In time of this crisis, you were able to use our new Cisco Remote Workforce Solutions to scale your remote access infrastructure quickly, deploy and configure Wi-Fi access points at your employees home with minimal effort, while retaining the same security policies that you had in your office. Analytics, problem detection, and guided remediation built into Cisco DNA Center helped you find and fix issues without being onsite. With the help of Cisco DNA Center, you achieved business continuity and kept your workers engaged and productive with the best user experience possible.
Cementing the prominent position that Cisco DNA Center plays, not just in networking and IT, but also in achieving larger business outcomes, we are happy to announce the availability of its latest version – 126.96.36.199. This new version delivers a host of new features that are targeted at further simplifying NetOps and facilitating remote workers.
- Intelligence with new machine reasoning capabilities
- Analytics and Insights with AI Endpoint Analytics, Group-based policy analytics, smart buildings, and a Wi-Fi 6 dashboard
- Integrations and Automation with User Defined Network, Cisco Umbrella, and ServiceNow
- Ease of use with a whole new UI
A whole new platform for growth
You will note that the version number of the new Cisco DNA Center release went up to 2.1 from 1.3. So why this jump? We did it because of the extensive new set of features in this new version, the fact that it sports a whole new user interface, and because it is optimized for access over VPN and otherwise slower connections, facilitating offsite IT teams.
Cisco DNA Center is now more intelligent. It adds to its already extensive AI/ML enabled features with a greatly expanded machine reasoning engine (MRE). This new MRE defines the next intelligence evolution and helps in complex workflows where the result of one action determines the next. It closely resembles how human beings themselves reason things out and accomplish multi-step tasks. An example where Cisco DNA Center uses MRE is to find and fix potentially crippling routing loops that require a careful analysis spanning multiple devices. This allows your new IT team members to accomplish complex tasks instead of escalating them, and for your more seasoned IT team members it saves time by automating tedious workflows.
Analytics & Insights
Having your finger on the pulse of your network helps you assess its health and take corrective actions if necessary. With that accurate assessment you can position the network for what the future might bring.
Learn what is on your network …
AI Endpoint Analytics, an application running within Cisco DNA Center, uses a variety of data sources including packet and protocol analysis from deep packet inspection (DPI), telemetry from network devices, configuration information, and crowdsourced knowledge, to fully characterize endpoints that were previously known only by their MAC and IP addresses. Particularly useful for IoT devices, AI Endpoint Analytics can mine detailed information such as make, model, operating system, location, etc., about connected devices that greatly enhances your visibility into who and what is on your network so you can take necessary steps to define and apply appropriate access policies.
… And how they are using it
Group-based policy analytics, another new application in Cisco DNA Center, analyzes traffic patterns in your network giving you fresh granular insights into the interaction between your groups of endpoints and resources, so you can top undesired access and fine-tune your policies. You can then plug in these policies into the Access Control Application (ACA) matrix and enforce them through the network infrastructure.
Build smarter buildings
Energy efficiency is near the top of the design goals for a modern commercial building. Such buildings use a variety of connected devices such as surveillance cameras, door locks, video terminals, printers, desk phones, monitors, and even HVAC systems. A lot of these devices obtain their power from their access switches through power-over-ethernet (PoE). If power distribution is not planned properly, this can result in suboptimal usage with some switches being overloaded while others staying unused. PoE analytics – a new dashboard in Cisco DNA Center, provides insights into PoE usage for maintaining a balance and planning.
Make way for the new Wi-Fi standard
Want to take advantage of the many benefits of Wi-Fi 6? Hesitating because you are not sure exactly what you will gain, what you need to upgrade, and how many devices can take advantage of it? Cisco DNA Center has a new Wi-Fi 6 readiness dashboard that can analyze both your clients and access points, their current density and usage patterns, and figure out how you might gain if you had Wi-Fi 6 instead.
Integrations & Automation
With added integrations with security applications and IT support ecosystems, and freedom to end-users to create and control their own network partition, Cisco DNA Center cements its status as the central orchestrator for all your network management needs.
Let your users control their own network
Keep both your users and administrators happy. Free IT from having to deal with endless end-user requests to add, modify, and remove their devices. Give them the freedom to control their own secure partition. Cisco User Defined Network slices the network for each end-user. Via a mobile app, end-users can securely and easily register, remove, or share their devices.
Use Umbrella to shield your remote workers
With a lot of your workforce remotely accessing corporate resources in the cloud via direct public internet connections, it is now more crucial than ever to safeguard such users and their devices from malware and phishing emails. Cisco Umbrella provides a secure internet gateway (SIG) that can intercept attempts to connect to potentially harmful sites that users may receive through such emails and block any malicious code that could be downloaded in unsuspecting devices. Cisco DNA Center makes deploying Umbrella easier by automatically configuring network devices to route DNS requests to Umbrella.
Make trouble tickets trouble free
Making it easy for network administrators to open, detail, track, and fix trouble tickets, Cisco DNA Center exchanged information with IT service management (ITSM) systems such as ServiceNow. With the latest enhancement, such ITSM systems can automatically close tickets once the recommended fix is complete. This integration is accomplished via Cisco DNA Center support of an extensive set of open, REST based APIs.
Interact in a whole new way
Cisco DNA Center now sports a cleaner interface with a more intuitive menu structure. User navigation is now improved and more intuitive. The dashboard now has a “hamburger” style menu that opens to reveal all top-level choices. Hovering the mouse over each opens detailed options – making screen to screen navigation a breeze. This clean, uncluttered interface makes managing your network from a laptop much easier. Good news for offsite IT teams.
Find out more
With the release of version 188.8.131.52, Cisco DNA Center continues its tradition of innovations using its intent-based networking principles and helping IT run faster and smarter. These new features are available with the Cisco DNA Advantage subscription. Refer to the following to get more details on these and other new features:
Check out our Intent-Based Networking video channel