Today’s network was devised decades ago. Over the years, it has been stretched to meet the ever-growing needs of enterprises – tinkered, tweaked and extended. It is time for a major reset. To take on this major shift in networking, we at Cisco introduced the Network Intuitive earlier this year. This was a culmination of a series of innovations that the enterprise networking engineering team has had in the works for a while. We brought together the level of vision and execution necessary to empower a network to automatically configure, understand and maintain itself based on the desired needs of business. This launch concludes the first leg of a phenomenal engineering journey, paving the way for our next set of networking innovations.

You may think revolutionizing the industry would be enough, but besides our big announcement around actualizing intent-based networking built on the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), the year was chockfull of other highlights. When I look back at the year, I feel like I just got off one of those action-packed, 3D rides at an amusement park. The year was a non-stop engineering extravaganza, one where Cisco showed that we are unafraid to disrupt ourselves. Here are my top seven for 2017.

  1. The New Generation of Catalyst Switches
    The Catalyst switch family has had an illustrious past. It continues to provide a trusted foundation for many organizations’ campus networks. So, this year, when we introduced the next generation Catalyst 9000 family of switches in June, we knew it had big boots to fill. And, what a punch it delivers– secure, completely programmable, cloud-ready, and tailored for the mobile, IoT-scaled world. We’re so excited about the rave reviews its already receiving.
  2. Accelerating SD-WAN Solutions
    In August, we were thrilled to welcome Viptela into the Cisco family, to provide a compelling software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution that simplifies management, increases agility and reduces costs of interconnecting dispersed enterprise networks. Its network management, orchestration and overlay technologies make it easy to deploy and manage SD-WAN. This cloud-first approach also aligns with Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA) transition to software-driven, automated networks that are more flexible, responsive and dynamic.
  3. Growth in Wireless LAN
    2017 was also the year our flagship wireless product portfolio saw lots of advancement including new capabilities like: Flexible Radio Assignment that automatically adjusts your wireless network to meet higher capacity needs and Mobility Express, a controller-less wireless network deployment that combines ease of deployment with affordability. Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) with Hyperlocation and Cisco Beacon Point deliver near-real-time analytics and engagements through precise location accuracy of less than three meters.
  4.  Cutting-edge Intelligence via Software-Defined Access
    SD-Access provides automated end-to-end segmentation to separate user, device and application traffic without redesigning the network. By decoupling network functions from hardware, SD-Access helps ensure policy consistency, enables faster launches of new business services and significantly improves issue resolution times while being open and extensible and reducing operational expenses. Furthermore, with dynamically segmented networks, at scale, networks are more secure since the edge can sense and enforce.
  5. Encrypted Traffic Analytics meshes networking and security closer together
    Gartner predicts 80% of web traffic in 2019 will be encrypted. This raises a serious question of how IT teams can detect malware hiding in encrypted traffic, without sacrificing privacy and decrypting it. Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) uses enhanced network visibility and passive monitoring to detect encrypted malware traffic on enterprise networks. We are literally “solving the unsolvable” with this solution.
  6.  Networking Magic with Cisco DNA-C
    Cisco DNA Center is the command center of the network, where all the magic happens, is Cisco DNA-C revolutionizes how networks are operated. It allows IT to centrally manage and automate their network with a centralized dashboard for design, provisioning, policy and even assurance. Elegantly simple yet with powerful, granular control over data, Cisco DNA-C provides control, security and analytics. Cisco DNA-C is our most exciting platform ever! Stay tuned for our next set of innovations coming in 2018.
  7. Software Subscription Model
    Besides the many engineering innovations we were able to launch this year, the other major highlight was our transition to a software subscription model. We have always been a software company but we are changing how infrastructure software is bought and deployed in the new era of networking. This reinforces our commitment to enable customers to flexibly, easily and quickly access ongoing innovation through a simple subscription-based model.

I’m incredibly proud of these seven innovations. If this year is a sign of things to come, I cannot be more excited and confident in our continued innovation in 2018. I guarantee you’ll see us continue to lead the industry forward. I hope you’ll continue to watch our journey and lend your support. Here’s to a great 2018!



Ravi Chandrasekaran

Senior Vice President

Enterprise Networking