April 18, 2024

Unlock the Power of the Platform for managing Cisco networks

Simon McCrostie
Sales Specialist – Enterprise Networking Data#3 Limited

Do you feel like your efforts to simplify network operations are being outpaced by growing network complexity? If so, you’re not alone.

The demands of digital transformation, hybrid workforces, multi-cloud, and IoT are rising, complicating network management and stifling innovation and progress.

Trying to get ahead of this complexity curve requires a simpler approach to IT management. For years, network teams have wanted to combine multiple management, monitoring, and configuration tools into a single solution, with limited success.

That’s because no single tool is able to conquer network complexity, but a platform can.

Platform thinking isn’t new. Operating systems, eCommerce, marketing, and many other fields have all used platform approaches to bring consistency and simplicity to their environments. Platforms act as aggregators of different tools, plugged in and operated via a common interface.

These platforms often use the 80/20 rule, bringing together the most powerful capabilities of standalone tools to make the experience simpler and easier for users. As the platform continues to evolve and organisations buy into the vision, new platform-native tools are developed, creating momentum that increases platform value.

The most effective medium for a network management platform is the cloud, but it must account for on-premises equipment. Cisco has continued to invest heavily in next generation networks, last year launching the Cisco Networking Cloud – an ambitious goal to deliver a unified management experience platform for both on-premises and cloud operating models. The Cisco Network Cloud will bring together campus and branch, data centre, compute, IoT, and SD-WAN, as well as applications like ThousandEyes and ISE, for both Cisco Catalyst and Meraki customers.

As a cloud-based platform, the Cisco Networking Cloud delivers a host of benefits:

The success of the Cisco Networking Cloud hinges on the tight integration of its components. Cisco is continuously developing and improving the platform, incorporating its traditional portfolio alongside more recent acquisitions.

However, we recognise that enterprise environments still have a level of complexity, and IT teams have become adept at building their own collection of processes and tools to bring order out of chaos., Some still rely on Command-Line Interfaces (CLI) to manage their Cisco switches.

We’re seeing these methods becoming increasingly inefficient and difficult to maintain. At some point, a new approach will be necessary. One such approach, Cisco’s Networking Platform with its integrated CLI editor, will become a “must-have”, even for legacy Catalyst switch environments.

To help facilitate this change and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding current approaches and barriers to adopting cloud-based platform management, we are actively engaging in exploratory discussions with our customers. Our goal is to document the challenges and plot potential pathways for organisations to see the power of the platform approach for themselves. We’ll share more on those learnings in future posts, but if you’d like to have a discussion with our engineering team now, please contact us.

The Cisco Networking Cloud is finally bringing this vision of a single management platform to life, making a compelling case for all Cisco customers to take another look at how they manage, monitor, and automate their environments.