The new Catalyst 9000 series switches are shipping with a management platform called “DNA Centre”, and the aim is to make the switches better able to apply security policies and controls for devices on a network.
The control centre can manage access policies and privileges for devices and apply specific security controls via the Talos security tools.
According to Cisco, the tools can analyse traffic and recognize things like malware infections based on the way they move packets over the network.
Meanwhile, Cisco claims machine learning components in DNA Centre will let the switches change policies to recognize devices and users.
All this means is that Cisco partners can push its gear deeper into IT management, letting the network hardware handle things like managing cloud apps and keeping access policies for mobile devices and guest connections.
CEO Chuck Robbins said that the gear can translate their business intent into the network.
The switches are based on custom ASICs from Cisco that will be customisable and reprogrammable to use with private clouds or specific applications and stacks. The 9000 series comes in three models for enterprises: the 9300, 9400, and 9500. The smaller 9300 and 9500 switches are shipping this month, while the larger 9400 switches will be making their way to customers in July.
The 9000 series uses subscription services. Cisco says that from now on, customers will have to agree to a package of either pre-bundled Cisco ONE software tools or as packages with the DNA Centre software.
This is all part of Cisco’s long-term goal to turn from a network hardware outfit into an IT management vendor.