We love our mobile devices, don’t we? And the numbers prove it. The Cisco Visual Networking Index reports that there are 17 billion devices connected to worldwide networks today and will increase to 27 billion by 2021. As a result, data flowing from wireless, mobile, and IoT devices will account for more than 63 percent of total IP traffic by 2021. Organizations on the path to digital transformation and fluid workforce mobility need a secure wireless architecture that can address this growth with greatly simplified network and device management. Cisco’s Software-Defined Access Wireless Architecture provides the foundation today for the massive wireless networks of tomorrow.

Superior automation and segmentation of wireless networks

The flexible workspace of the future requires ubiquitous mobility supporting a high density of wireless devices, including multitudes of IoT nodes delivering Petabytes of telemetry.

With a single pane-of-glass view and just a few clicks, Cisco DNA Center automates the deployment of wireless devices with simplified IP, configuration, and image management, built on best practices with consistent policies for high-density networks. SD-Access Wireless uses Cisco’s Intent-based Networking workflows from DNA Center to configure mobile devices in minutes with complete security and policies for users, devices, and applications. This avoids the need to configure every node separately—like Radius, WLC, switches, DHCP server—which simplifies network management design, provisioning, policy, and assurance.

SD-Access combines the best of Centralized mode and Flex mode wireless by taking advantage of a centralized wireless control plane to simplify management. The distributed data plane of a SD-Access Wireless fabric network provides seamless roaming and unlimited network capacity without requiring any VLAN management. Organizations can easily implement network segmentation to provide L2 and L3 flexibility without stretching VLANs. SD-Access Wireless also supports hierarchical segmentation with virtual networks to provide security and polices at scale.

Reduction in complexity and operations

There are two ways that SD-Access Wireless architecture reduces operational overhead and expenses by simplifying guest access and reducing the number of SSIDs in the network.

  1. Simplified Guest Access

SD-Access Wireless simplifies guest access by avoiding the need for an extra guest anchor wireless LAN controllers. With SD-Access Wireless, guest traffic is directly tunneled in a separate virtual network from Catalyst 9K access switches or Wave 2 access points to a Fabric Border Node in the DMZ. This avoids the need for extra wireless controllers while providing high security with full data virtualization from access point to node in DMZ.

  1. Reduction of SSIDs

Enterprise customers are often forced to use separate SSIDs to provide segmentation, resulting in large number of SSIDs that are difficult to manage. Too many SSIDs also reduce overall wireless throughput by cluttering the RF with low data rate management frames, like beacons, probe response and more. With SD-Access Wireless and iPSK, organizations can create virtual networks with a single SSID that provides complete segmentation for different types of wireless devices.

SD-Access Wireless is IoT ready

We know that IoT devices can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks that can then infect other network nodes. The solution is to apply a robust segmentation policy to isolate IoT devices from the business-critical network segments. SD-Access Wireless provides automated end-to-end segmentation with consistently applied policies to enforce security for IoT devices. By segregating IoT devices in a separate virtual network segment in an automated fashion using DNA Center, organizations can easily deploy new IoT devices in their network without exposing existing networked systems to new threats.

I’m looking forward to seeing how increasing mobility and the addition of IoT devices changes the way organizations innovate, collaborate, and grow. To make the future wireless networks simple to deploy, secure, and manage, Cisco will continue to evolve our SD-Access Wireless architecture so that organizations can reap the rewards of a wireless world.

Perhaps in the future our mobile devices will love us for that.

To learn more, click here.


Anand Oswal

No Longer with Cisco