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Cisco Expands Intent-Based Networking Portfolio

Cisco Partner Summit and BroadSoft Connections are in the books, at which Cisco made some big moves in SD-WANhuddle rooms, and cloud calling -- not to mention kicked off a new brand campaign. The other notable product news from the event was the expansion of its Catalyst switching portfolio, meant to bring intent-based networking (IBN) to a broader audience.

When Cisco unveiled IBN, it also launched the Catalyst 9300/9400/9500, which replaced the older Catalyst 3000, 4000 and 6000 series. The 9500 is an aggregation switch, and the 9300/9400 are enterprise class edge switches.

(Image: Pixabay)

At Partner Summit, Cisco announced its new Catalyst 9200 Series which is meant for branches and mid-markets. The “Cat 2k” was extremely popular and currently accounts for about one-quarter of all the networking ports in the world. The refresh opportunity here for Cisco is massive. In fact, the entire Catalyst line is the most successful product line in networking and perhaps in IT history, with cumulative sales of over $100 billion. The new 9200 has the same feature set as the 9300/9400 and brings those capabilities, which includes security, to the mid-market.

Cisco also announced the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller, which is the company’s first IOS-XE based controller. Older versions of Cisco controllers ran the AireOS operating system that came from the acquisition of Aironet way back in 2002. The benefit of an IOS-XE based controller is that all of the new features that Cisco has added to the new Catalysts are now available on the Wi-Fi network, including encrypted traffic analytics (ETA) that lets businesses find threats in encrypted traffic. Also, customers can manage the entire end-to-end network – from the core to the wireless edge -- using Cisco’s DNA Center management console.

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