Cisco Live 2022: It’s all about unified experience and cloud management

Cisco announced, among others, that its flagship switching portfolio Catalyst can now be managed via its cloud-based Meraki dashboard.
27 June 2022

Cisco Live 2022: It’s all about unified experience and cloud management. Source: Cisco YouTube snapshot.

  • Much of the innovations unveiled at the 2022 edition of Cisco Live was aimed at making the day-to-day job of IT professionals easier.
  • Besides the interaction of Catalyst and Meraki, Cisco also announced ThousandEyes WAN Insights, a product that can predict network events to prevent outages.
  • The company also launched AppDynamics Cloud, which allows the correlation of telemetry data from across any cloud environment at massive scale.

In today’s IT environments, the connections that businesses rely on have multiplied in number and diversity. Network and overall IT experience in a workplace has turned more fragmented, less secure and increasingly difficult to scale. For Cisco, there is a need to address this complication and so it did, durings its 2022 Cisco Live in Las Vegas about two weeks ago.

The networking giant took the stage at its first ever hybrid event after two years of virtual hosting with a slew of announcements, including more unified IT experience through cloud-based, intelligent platforms. In essence, this year’s conversation and innovations focused on hybrid work environments and guidance on how organizations can implement them in the best, most secure way possible.

In his keynote at Cisco Live, Cisco chair and CEO Chuck Robbins highlighted the network giant’s commitment to offering a unified experience and cloud-based management. “We want to deliver a unified experience as a better customer experience for you. Our goal is to deliver cloud-based management platforms that actually have the same look and feel. We’re working on the same single sign-on, things that just make your experience better,” he shared.

Those targets, according to Robbins, are in line with the network’s evolution over the past few years. “We all built our networks based on applications running in a private data center in a very clear understanding of how our traffic was going to flow. None of that exists any more,” he said. Now, “we have to really build these dynamic agile networks that have security built-in, that can accommodate any traffic pattern, any user, and any application anywhere.”

Let’s take a look at some of the new technologies Cisco unveiled for the modern enterprise.

Catalyst-Meraki integration for the “best of both worlds”

A week prior to Cisco Live 2022, the networking giant introduced the Security Cloud, a set of cloud-based services that provides threat detection and prevention, minimizes cyber risks, and integrates breach response and remediation with machine learning technology. Among the key components of this Security Cloud is its unified secure access service edge (SASE) platform, now called Cisco+ Secure Connect Now, which combines its Meraki SD-WAN capabilities with Umbrella security services.

Then, at this year’s Cisco Live, the vendor announced it will start connecting its Catalyst switching and wireless hardware to the Meraki cloud-based dashboard.

Nexus Cloud, and predictive future with ThousandEyes

Cisco also introduced the new Nexus Cloud, a cloud-based management dashboard delivered as-a-service for its Nexus data center switches. Separately, Cisco ThousandEyes products, made to proactively forecast and optimize WAN performance, were also unveiled.

WAN Insights uses machine learning to make predictions as to when a performance issue might arise and provide guidance on how to prevent it. Cisco’s enterprise networking, cloud EVP and GM Todd Nightingale reckons those innovations highlight “Cisco’s strategy to provide customers with the agility, resiliency, and productivity that their businesses need to thrive in the face of unpredictability through the power of cloud-managed platforms.”

AppDynamics Cloud

Also launched during Cisco Live this year, AppDynamics Cloud enables delivery of digital experiences by correlating telemetry data from across any cloud environment at massive scale. It leverages cloud-native observability to remediate application performance issues with business context and insights-driven actions.

“The application data could be used to fuel the previously mentioned WAN Insights, enabling Cisco not just full stack observability but potentially full stack automation. Cisco is perhaps the only company that has granular data across the stack,” eWeek said in its write up on the unveiling.

New free, open-source apps

At Cisco Live, two new apps – Cisco’s Panoptica and Calisti apps – were unveiled as the latest additions to its suite of cloud-native, API-first tools. They aim to result in faster application development cycles, and provide businesses with modern application connectivity, security, and observability.