Is Cisco Leading the Way to Software-Centric Networking?

In June, Cisco Systems, Inc. launched Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), a next-generation intent-based networking system (IBNS). In August, the networking giant acquired software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) provider, Viptela, Inc. This recent activity is a massive step forward for Cisco, but it may also be a sign of an even greater breakthrough for software-based enterprise networking.

Intelligent Networking

The emergence of IBNS unlocks a slew of opportunities for enterprises to create smarter and safer networks in the age of the cloud. Cisco DNA is designed to enable enterprise IT teams with an intuitive system that evolves and learns on the fly, anticipates risks and proactively mitigates threats. And Cisco DNA isn’t alone. Networking startups Veriflow, Apstra and Forward Networks have also launched IBNS products, signaling a paradigm shift toward software-driven, automated enterprise networks that require less hands-on management from IT teams.

The Rise of the Software-Centric Network

Adding high-powered SD-WAN architecture to the mix doubles the flexibility offered by next-gen IBNS. SD-WAN arms enterprises with more flexible, cloud-based WAN technologies that save IT teams from installing new and/or specialized hardware. While an SD-WAN creates a software-based network architecture, the IBNS designs, plans and manages the network. This approach is especially beneficial for large enterprises with geographically dispersed user bases.

By acquiring Viptela, Cisco can combine its own SD-WAN capabilities with the SD-WAN provider’s cloud-first approach to simplifying network management, increasing agility and reducing the costs of interconnecting geographically dispersed enterprise networks. The result is an enhanced portfolio of SD-WAN solutions built for today’s hybrid, multi-cloud architectures.

Together, IBNS and SD-WAN combine to create a highly secure, flexible and software-centric network that can scale quickly and enable enterprises with greater agility. Cisco may be the first major networking provider to leverage the combination, but it’s likely they won’t be the last. One thing is for certain — it will be exciting to watch how enterprise networking continues to evolve.

Interested in how a software-based network can benefit your business? Speak with the networking specialists at Select Communications.