Streamlining IT operations, gaining better control of IT systems and end-to-end network management are key to an organisation’s ability to use IT for what it is intended – business innovation.

But, according to Collins Emadau, Comstor Architecture Lead, Enterprise Networking at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa, this is something that can be done with ease with Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA).

Cisco DNA is an intent-based networking (IBN) solution that bridges the gap between business and IT. By its very nature, intent-based networking is the next step in the evolution of modern, intelligent networking. In short, it lets network administrators and business owners select and decide the way in which they want a network to behave. This then ensures the simplification of operations, strengthens security and heightens agility – using advanced automation.

“A carefully crafted software solution, Cisco DNA ensures a customer is assured of automation throughout the network and business environment. As an example, a business can define plans and policies and then rely on Cisco DNA to automatically implement and enforce these across the business with the use of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI),” states Emadau.

“The real benefit of an intent-based networking architecture is that it truly marries business and networking automation, as an admin can preselect behaviours and then the system will automate provisioning, the configuration of servers and conduct full lifecycle management of application services,” he adds.

In support of an intent-based network, Cisco DNA takes a software-delivered approach to automating and assuring services across a WAN and campus and branch networks, by enabling a customer to streamline operations and facilitate IT and business innovation.

It allows a business to automate, analyse, and integrate with IT by viewing a network as a whole, provisioning devices based on policies, troubleshooting using AI-assisted analytics and including the network in the IT and business process. Cisco DNA also helps customers deliver on the promise of a multi-cloud environment by optimising the application experience and securing cloud access with integrated, comprehensive security. With Cisco DNA an admin can view multiple clouds in a single management dashboard and use this data to forecast and plan cloud expansion and consumption using insightful recommendations.

“Cisco DNA also takes a customer’s security to an all new level by giving complete visibility of users, devices, apps, and processes. This helps to reduce the potential attack surface and because of the security inherent in the software, a user can accelerate incident response and stop potential breaches. Its integration capabilities across multiple sites, networks and systems truly gives an admin the ‘single view’ they demand, which then helps to better enforce and monitor common policies and end-to-end compliance with regulations. At the same time automating the app experience for the end user,” adds Emadau.

Built on an open, extensible, software-driven architecture Cisco DNA accelerates and simplifies enterprise network operations. The automation developed into the solution is built on a Software-Defined Network (SDN) controller, rich contextual analytics, network virtualisation and the scalability of the cloud. The Cisco DNA family of products and solutions, such as SD-Access, network security and SD-WAN and Cisco DNA Center, are helping customers to better adopt digital strategies by simplifying processes and bringing the intelligence into the network.