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What is Cisco DNA Architecture?


Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is an open, extensible, software-driven architecture that accelerates and simplifies your enterprise network operations, while lowering costs and reducing your risk. Refer to the Cisco DNA Solution Overview for a list of architecture products and solutions.

What are the primary principles of Cisco DNA?


The following are the core principles of the architecture, which is designed to help businesses innovate more quickly, reduce cost and complexity, and lower risk:

  • Policy: Cisco DNA enables you to create policies that reflect your organization’s business intent for a particular aspect of the network, such as network access. Cisco DNA Center™ takes the information collected in a policy and translates it into network-specific and device-specific configurations required by the different network device types, makes, models, operating systems, roles, and resource constraints of your network devices.

  • Security: Cisco DNA elevates the role of the network in securing the enterprise. It enhances visibility into everything across the network from branch to campus to data center by collecting enhanced telemetry – including encrypted data. You can go from mapping IP addresses to understanding threat vectors based on who, what, where, when, and how users and devices are connected and how they access network resources. Cisco Software-Defined Access allows you to automatically scale segmentation across your network – from the campus/branch to the data center – and define consistent access policies throughout. Cisco Identity Services Engine, upon detecting a threat on an endpoint, can automatically remove the infected endpoint from the network.

  • Automation: Using controllers and open APIs, Cisco DNA simplifies network management through abstraction and centralized policy enforcement that allows IT to focus on business intent and consistently apply configurations to improve service and keep operations consistently secure from the core to the edge.

  • Analytics: Cisco DNA proactively predicts performance through correlation of user, device, and application data for contextual business and operational insights, identifies issues and provides actionable insight to deliver better, more personalized experiences. By storing network data, Cisco DNA is able to “go back in time” to re-create and analyze events that happened in the past.

  • Open platform: Delivered through Cisco DNA Center, Cisco DNA provides open APIs that allow custom applications to build on its native capabilities, enable automation of IT workflows, further integrate with other technology domains (such as data center and security), and interwork with other vendors’ network equipment.

  • Cloud: Cisco DNA Center is informed by the cloud. This allows Cisco to provide updates and upgrades continuously, shifting the paradigm from the traditional network upgrade cycle that could extend into months and years.

  • Physical and virtual infrastructure: Cisco DNA works seamlessly with both physical and virtualized network resources, allowing the deployment of network services in minutes on any platform – branch, colocation, or public cloud – and connecting users to applications in one logical, coherent network.

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