Cisco simplifies network management with AI, machine learning

Cisco extends intent-based networking platform with multidomain integration

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can enable businesses to efficiently discern which issues to prioritise, becoming more nimble and proactive, Al Zoubi said.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can enable businesses to efficiently discern which issues to prioritise, becoming more nimble and proactive, Al Zoubi said.

Cisco is introducing new artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to make managing and securing networks easier.

Cisco is also unveiling products to more effectively manage users and applications across the enterprise network – from campus networks and wide-area networks, to data centres and the IoT edge.

"As the pace of change and diversity of the environment continues to rapidly evolve, Cisco is committed to continually simplifying our solutions," said Osama Al-Zoubi, chief technology officer, Cisco Middle East and Africa. "Artificial intelligence and machine learning can enable businesses to efficiently discern which issues to prioritise, becoming more nimble and proactive. This will have a profound effect on network operations and the IT teams that run them. At Cisco, we’re future proofing our networks and the workforce through automation and intelligence."

IT teams currently face a daunting challenge. According 451 Research, nearly two-thirds of organisations report that their IT teams are facing increased workloads; but increased IT headcount is in the cards for only about one-third of companies in the coming year. At the same time, it has never been more imperative for IT to deliver great digital experiences in this hyper-competitive landscape. Bridging the gap between the needs of a business and the resources available requires innovative network automation and analytics tools, powered by data and underpinned by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Through its extensive installed base, Cisco collects vast amounts of telemetry data. Cisco can now correlate this data against the aggregate deidentified data set to create individualised network baselines. These baselines constantly learn and adapt as the number of devices, users and applications evolves, and as environments change.

Network complexity has grown beyond the human scale of processing.  Cisco uses machine learning to correlate the immense amount of data coming from the network against the individualised network baselines to uncover the issues that will have the greatest impact on the network. This improves issue relevancy, alerting IT of the issues that matter most. It also discovers trends and patterns, so IT can pre-emptively identify issues before they become a problem.

Cisco uses machine reasoning algorithms and automated workflows to perform the logical troubleshooting steps that an engineer would execute to resolve a problem. This helps IT detect issues and vulnerabilities, analyse the root cause and execute corrective actions faster than ever.

Reducing complexity with the multidomain network

To help customers simplify the unprecedented complexity of modern IT, Cisco is building an architecture that spans campus, branch, WAN, IoT, data center and cloud with products optimised to meet the needs of each of these networking domains. Today, Cisco is introducing new integrations, so users have a secure, consistent experience no matter where, when or how they connect.

The integration of Cisco SD-Access with Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) makes it easier for IT teams to consistently authorise, onboard and segment users and devices across campus, branch, data centre and cloud networks, even when users and applications change. Because of this segmentation, IT is able to safeguard against unauthorised access to sensitive data and critical applications.

Cisco now automatically conveys application requirements between the data centre and the WAN, allowing the network to select the best path and prioritise traffic even if applications move or change. This allows IT teams to dynamically elevate application performance across the enterprise and branch.

By extending the ability to detect threats in encrypted traffic across public clouds, and by protecting the campus, branch and WAN against threats, Cisco is providing an end-to-end security platform.

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