Cisco – Software Defined Access, and Intent-Based Networking

First published by - December 11, 2020

Cisco’s Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) solution provides policy-based automation from the edge to the cloud

Network administrators are being asked to extend network connectivity beyond the air-conditioned space more and more to connect and manage Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as traditional enterprise end devices being deployed in outdoor or extreme-temperature environments such as in parking lots, warehouses, manufacturing floors and more.

For many in IT, this is new and unfamiliar territory. However, even those with industrial experience find it challenging due to a large number of suppliers, multiple form-factors, and numerous industrial protocols. Beyond the need to connect it all, security becomes imperative because countless new assets in the network increases the threat surface. For IT, this means more time spent managing the network and extending connections when they need greater autonomy to innovate new business solutions.

The trend to provide more network connectivity and enable more services beyond the air-conditioned space will only continue.

The SD-Access solution can be extended to manage the ever-increasing presence of IoT devices in outdoor, and industrial spaces. Cisco’s vision is to design an enterprise wide solution that not only focuses on policy based automation and simplified security, but also incorporates the varying needs of the enterprise to manage nonstandard devices (IoT devices). The SD-Access solution is designed in a way that allows for an extension of the SD-Access fabric to easily incorporate and provide services for the IoT devices. Customers can take advantage of Cisco’s SD-Access solution to manage not only the network and network devices that are traditionally found in the enterprise, but also nontraditional devices.

Software- Defined Access, and Intent-Based Networking

Secure segmentation for users and things is enabled through a network fabric, drastically simplifying and scaling operations while providing complete visibility and delivering new services quickly. By automating day-to-day tasks such as configuration, provisioning, and troubleshooting, Cisco® SD-Access reduces the time it takes to adapt the network, improves issue resolution, and reduces the impact of security breaches.

Intent-based networking uses the SD-Access solution to deliver a network that has the intelligence and automation to meet an organization’s business needs. Intent-based networking applies business intent to network configurations. The intent-based network continuously monitors and adjusts to ensure alignment to business intent. This is achieved through a closed-loop system that includes policy based automation, network analytics, and machine learning.

The business benefits of intent-based networking are speed and agility, an IT staff focused on delivering business value, and a reduced risk of compliance. With increasing use of network-based automation, operational results are achieved faster, issues are contained more rapidly, and downtime is reduced. Read more