5 Reasons why businesses need Software-Defined Access
DNA Sales Leader in APJ
Technology, Digitization, Enterprise Networking, SDN, Security
Cisco recently announced Software-Defined Access (SDA), the industry’s first policy-based automation from the edge to cloud. A very powerful tool set to transform the accuracy and speed at which companies will run network operations, and a critical component of Cisco’s new Intuitive Network.
It’s predicted that by 2020, 4 out 10 companies won’t exist anymore. Those that succeed will have a network that can learn, predict, automate and protect, in order to keep up with today’s explosive number of users, devices and threats - more in Asia than in any other place in the world!
So how can SDA help to address these challenges? In this blog, we breakdown what you need to know about this new Cisco capability and how it’s going to be critical for both IT and businesses moving forward.
1 - SDA provides end-to-end segmentation
SDA’s greatest power is policy segmentation, which makes it possible to keep user, device and application traffic separate without a physical redesign of the network. With SDA, you can write your policies once and apply them everywhere, automating them across every user, device and application on the network. This is all done with a single network fabric, which means a common user policy for LAN, WAN and cloud, and across branches. As a result, there’s greater consistency and fewer errors: 48% reduced security breach impact, 67% improved network provisioning, and 80% improved issue resolution.
2 – SDA enforces security from the edge to the cloud
Combined with threat visibility (Network as a Sensor & Encrypted Traffic Analytics) and wide network analytics (Stealthwatch), segmentation is also key to fighting threats as points of attacks continue to grow – which can be anything from a mobile device to a parking meter! But now, with SDA, IT can easily segment all entities (including IoT devices) with a few clicks, separating the trusted and untrusted and dramatically limiting the impact of attacks like the WannaCry ransomware. In addition, by integrating with Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE), which provides visibility into everything that accesses the network, SDA also enables policy consistency between the data center (both public and private cloud) and the campus, and that’s what creates a true secure environment, from the cloud to the edge.
3 - SDA ensures consistent user mobility
Another key aspect of segmentation is that the user experience is consistent anywhere the user goes, without compromising on security. Again, this is because SDA provides a single policy that allows users to roam between Wired and Wireless Networks seamlessly. Further, it enables L3 roaming across the campus. This means that a voice or video call using VOIP won’t drop when the user moves around the campus or across the subnets.
4 – SDA enables Network Management and Troubleshooting in minutes rather than days or weeks
Today, 95% of network operations are still done manually, box by box, and IT spends 75% of their Opex on network changes and troubleshooting, tirelessly trying to fix user issues. With SDA, all these tasks that used to be so complex, time and resources consuming, can now be easily done in minutes. Cisco’s Network Data Platform complements further with predictive performance and analytics, which makes it possible for IT teams to get complete issue visibility proactively and to prevent them from happening.
5 - SDA runs both on Cisco existing infrastructure and the next generation Catalyst
As part of the Network Intuitive launch, we also announcement the release of the Catalyst 9K, a next-generation of switches optimized for the IoT era. In case you’re wondering, if you’re a Cisco customer running your network on Cat3K, Cat4K, Cat6K or Nexus 7K, you’re able to deploy SDA and automate tasks like configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting using your older infrastructure. If on top of programmability you want to enhance your infrastructure with Encrypted Traffic Analytics, then you’ll need to upgrade to the new Catalyst 9K platforms.
Only Cisco can do it!
Lastly, Cisco is the one and only provider offering Software Defined Access, empowering businesses with the speed and agility they have been looking for in this digital era. Thirty years ago, Cisco built the network to connect the unconnected, and today we lead the way again by transforming it into a powerful automation, analytics and security platform. The long-term vision is a network that is self-driven and self-healing, a true business ally that operates at the speed of digital.
Not sure where to start with SDA?
Start by doing a self-assessment of your digital readiness. You may also reach out to your Cisco sales contact or a Cisco partner, who can help you build a detailed digital network strategy aligned to your business priorities.