Digitization has resulted in an explosion of people, devices and processes interacting with each other. The current network, built to connect just people, is clearly incapable of meeting this demand. There is a need for unprecedented scale, automation, seamless mobility, visibility and security in the network. This can be made possible only by simplification of infrastructure and automation of network operations. Building this new era of networking has driven Cisco to innovate in many different ways.

Disruptive innovation often happens at the confluence of different domains. Harnessing the value that resides in these intersections results in the creation of disproportionate value. From a networking perspective, this meant innovation at the confluence of hardware and software; wired, wireless and Wide Area Networks (WAN); security and networking; automation and analytics; networking and applications. Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA) lays out a blueprint to bring together these different vectors of innovation in a cohesive architecture to create the network of the future.

Under the aegis of this blueprint, we recently announced a series of innovations. Innovation at the intersection of hardware and software resulted in the creation of the all-new Catalyst 9000 series, our first set of platforms purpose-built for DNA. Innovation along the vectors of wired, wireless and WAN has culminated in Software Defined Access, the first-ever policy-based automation from the edge to the cloud. The confluence of security and networking has given rise to Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA). ETA enhances the ability of the Cisco network to act as a sensor and uncovers threats hidden in encrypted traffic using machine learning (without decryption). Likewise, DNA Center (DNA-C) was a product of the innovation across the domains of network automation and analytics. DNA-C creates an abstracted layer that hides the complexity of networking. It makes available capabilities and insights from the network in simple form for application developers to use without having to learn networking. This platform also abstracts networking into simple, intuitive and intelligent constructs so the network can co-exist with the overall IT infrastructure.

In the industry, we often witness singular, unidimensional progress. What makes me proud of this launch is how we simultaneously delivered innovation across multiple vectors – at the scale we operate at.  This is a testament to Cisco’s commitment to long-term, sustainable differentiation and broad-based investment. It is also a reflection of not just our technical depth and breadth but our engineering culture that encourages such cross-domain innovation and collaboration.

We’re awed and stoked by the magnitude of building an intent-based network. Working on this program has been an engineer’s delight. The Network. Intuitive. This isn’t just a new way of networking, although it surely is that, it is a new chapter in our engineering history and transformation.




Ravi Chandrasekaran

Senior Vice President

Enterprise Networking