Cisco DNA Center update leverages AI to improve network operations

The new software integrates Cisco’s ThousandEyes agent to improve network-intelligence monitoring and security.

This week Cisco released several updates to its DNA Center. The updates aim to improve performance, speed zero trust adoption, and increase the scale and security of corporate networks.

The DNA Center is a management platform for intent-based networking that uses machine learning to configure networks automatically. The same AI-powered tech can also be used to troubleshoot problems without human intervention. In short, Cisco DNA Center seeks to programmatically reduce the cost of administering networks. And they do this via data analytics, machine learning, and automation.

This latest update adds a variety of new features including an integration with ThousandEyes. This is a new artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) acquired by Cisco in 2020.

The new software also includes WiFi planning capabilities to help customers better understand what’s going on in their network. The update aims to ease the transition to Cisco’s SD-Access architecture. It will also increase the number of supported endpoint devices on the network.

Using AI and ML to more quickly identify and resolve network performance problems

Vivek Bhargava, product marketing manager with Cisco Enterprise Networking and Cloud, announced the updates in a in a blog post. “If you have applications that depend on distributed architectures, you likely do nt have good visibility into each entity’s performance,” he writes.

Cisco ThousandEyes provides monitoring for such environments, Bhargava explains. It extends from access to cloud using agents installed and running on Catalyst access switches. DNA Center also makes the installation of these ThousandEyes agents on access switches easy, he adds. They do this by providing a one-click solution to install the agent on all supported switched at once. It will even automatically download and install the latest version, providing significant time and cost savings, and simplifying maintenance.”

“DNA Center now allows custom ways users can gradually transition their current network to SD-Access,” Bhargava stated. “Use the new features that do not require you to reconfigure existing VLAN-IDs, avoid disruptive and time-consuming efforts, and jump-start your conversion process.”