Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA)

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA)
Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA)

In this article we will talk about Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), and in previous article we already discussed about Open Source Software and Licensing.

Cisco implements the IBN fabric using Cisco DNA. As displayed in the figure, the business intent is securely deployed into the network infrastructure (the fabric). Cisco DNA then continuously gathers data from a multitude of sources (devices and applications) to provide a rich context of information. This information can then be analyzed to make sure the network is performing securely at its optimal level and in accordance with business intent and network policies.

Cisco DNA

Cisco DNA is a system that is constantly learning, adapting to support the business needs. The table lists some Cisco DNA products and solutions.

Cisco DNA SolutionDescriptionBenefits
SD-AccessFirst intent-based enterprise networking solution built using Cisco DNA.It uses a single network fabric across LAN and WLAN to create a consistent, highly secure user experience.It segments user, device, and application traffic and automates user-access policies to establish the right policy for any user or device, with any application, across a network.Enables network access in minutes for any user or device to any application without compromising security.
SD-WANIt uses a secure cloud-delivered architecture to centrally manage WAN connections.It simplifies and accelerates delivery of secure, flexible and rich WAN services to connect data centers, branches, campuses, and colocation facilities.Delivers better user experiences for applications residing on-premise or in the cloud.Achieve greater agility and cost savings through easier deployments and transport independence.
Cisco DNA AssuranceUsed to troubleshoot and increase IT productivity.It applies advanced analytics and machine learning to improve performance and issue resolution, and predict to assure network performance.It provides real-time notification for network conditions that require attention.Allows you to identify root causes and provides suggested remediation for faster troubleshooting.The Cisco DNA Center provides an easy-to-use single dashboard with insights and drill-down capabilities.Machine learning continually improves network intelligence to predict problems before they occur.
Cisco DNA SecurityUsed to provide visibility by using the network as a sensor for real-time analysis and intelligence.It provides increased granular control to enforce policy and contain threats across the network.Reduce risk and protect your organization against threats – even in encrypted traffic.Gain 360-degree visibility through real-time analytics for deep intelligence across the network.Lower complexity with end-to-end security.

These solutions are not mutually exclusive. For example, all four solutions could be deployed by an organization.

Many of these solutions are implemented using the Cisco DNA Center which provides a software dashboard for managing an enterprise network.

Cisco DNA Center is the foundational controller and analytics platform at the heart of Cisco DNA. It supports the expression of intent for multiple use cases, including basic automation capabilities, fabric provisioning, and policy-based segmentation in the enterprise network. Cisco DNA Center is a network management and command center for provisioning and configuring network devices. It is a hardware and software platform providing a ‘single-pane-of-glass’ (single interface) that focuses on assurance, analytics, and automation.

The DNA Center interface launch page gives you an overall health summary and network snapshot, as shown in the figure. From here, the network administrator can quickly drill down into areas of interest.

At the top, menus provide you access to DNA Center’s five main areas. As shown in the figure, these are

  • Design – Model your entire network, from sites and buildings to devices and links, both physical and virtual, across campus, branch, WAN and cloud.
  • Policy – Use policies to automate and simplify network management, reducing cost and risk while speeding rollout of new and enhanced services.
  • Provision – Provide new services to users with ease, speed, and security across your enterprise network, regardless of network size and complexity.
  • Assurance – Use proactive monitoring and insights from the network, devices, and applications to predict problems faster and ensure that policy and configuration changes achieve the business intent and the user experience you want.
  • Platform – Use APIs to integrate with your preferred IT systems to create end-to-end solutions and add support for multi-vendor devices.

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