It’s Cisco’s turn to take over Las Vegas this week, with Cisco Live 2023 attracting 20,000 in-person attendees and nearly 1 million online viewers. Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, opened the meeting by emphasizing a vision for Cisco’s portfolio to be simpler, more inclusive and sustainable.

Below is a recap of the new announcements on the first day of the show, covering observability, network technologies, and generative AI services (no surprise!). Moor Insights & Strategy Modern Work Principal Analyst discusses his second day of announcements focused on Collaboration and Contact His Center.

Full-Stack Observability (FSO) Platform

Cisco announced the Cisco FSO Platform, an open, extensible, API-driven platform built on OpenTelemetry. The platform enables the collection and analysis of Metrics, Events, Logs and Traces (MELT) data generated by any source.

This is important because IT teams need to prevent network-layer and application-layer issues from leading to security and performance issues, while developers need to create well-behaved and secure applications. Observability reduces the friction between these two groups by bringing together data, analysis, actions and practices. Done right, observability increases operational efficiency and reduces business risk.

The FSO platform is vendor agnostic and collects data from application, networking, infrastructure, security, cloud, sustainability and business sources. The system generates predictive insights that are correlated and in context, reducing the time required to resolve issues. The platform is extensible so developers can build custom observability solutions such as API monitoring and analytics.

Cisco has already built several applications on the FSO platform. An example is Cloud Native Application Observability, a cloud native application performance monitoring solution with business context. This enables you to make informed decisions about digital experiences, tailor performance to end-user expectations, and improve security.

Other modules include Cost Insights, which provides visibility into application-level costs alongside performance metrics. Application Resource Optimizer: View Kubernetes workload resource utilization. Security Insights helps DevOps and SecOps teams identify, prioritize, and eliminate threats, vulnerabilities, and data breaches on cloud-native infrastructure. Cisco IT AIOps collects data related to infrastructure, network, incident, and business application performance all in one place.

At the event, Cisco shared some examples of partners who are already building solutions and business use cases. These include vSphere Observability and Data Modernization for CloudFabrix. This allows a user to view his vSphere data through her FSO platform and correlate it with Kubernetes and infrastructure data to generate insights and recommended actions across infrastructure and containerized application stacks. . Evolutio Fintech is an observability solution that helps generate business insights by monitoring his KPIs based on ingested data, such as payments and credit card authorizations. Kanari Capacity Planner and Forecaster provide visibility into time series data relevant to capacity planning and forecast events including risk factors determined by predictive machine learning (ML) algorithms.

The fractalization of infrastructure and applications makes full-stack observability a must for modern enterprises. Observing the entire hybrid multi-cloud environment is also a requirement.

Cisco Networking Cloud—A Commitment to Simplifying IT

The promise of the Cisco Networking Cloud is a unified management platform for both on-premises and cloud operating models. The Cisco Networking Cloud brings together Meraki, ThousandEyes and Cisco Catalyst into her one platform. Innovations include single sign-on (SSO), which simplifies access across Cisco networking platforms, and API key exchange/repository, which facilitates connectivity and data exchange across Cisco networking platforms through automation.

Cisco ThousandEyes also extends visibility, automated insights, and seamless workflows to ensure digital experiences across any network, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Like observability, hybrid multicloud network support is a current and future requirement. I have yet to speak to a large company that does not use multiple his IaaS providers with different networks for each cloud. This is unsustainable and Cisco offers a solution that simplifies cross-cloud.

Security powered by generative AI

Cisco has previewed the generative AI capabilities of the Cisco Security Cloud. Cisco Security Cloud leverages AI-powered generative policy assistants to help security and IT administrators author security policies and evaluate how best to implement them across their security infrastructure . In the first implementation, available later this year, customers will quiz her AI Assistant on Cisco to leverage existing rule sets in the Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center to evaluate more efficient firewall policies. and can be created.

Cisco’s AI assistants support customers’ Security Operations Centers (SOCs) to detect and respond to threats faster. When an incident occurs, the assistant examines emails, endpoints, and network-wide events to explain what happened and its impact. Analysts can then interact with their assistants to make inferences and leverage an extensive knowledge base of potential actions while also considering analyst input to determine the best remediation approach. The event summary feature will be available by the end of 2023, and the rest of the features will be available in the first half of 2024.

New security enhancements

Cisco also announced enhancements to its cloud-native application security solution, Panoptica. Panoptica provides complete cloud-native application lifecycle protection from code to development to production runtime in distributed multi-cloud environments. This partnership is a good one and once again supports hybrid multicloud.

Meanwhile, the new Cisco Secure Access is a Security Services Edge (SSE) solution that provides frictionless access to information across all locations, devices and applications through one platform.

On the hardware side, Cisco’s new Secure Firewall 4200 works with Cisco Multicloud Defense to deliver a seamless connectivity experience for end users in the office or on the road, with the goal of improving security in any environment.

Analyst warp up

While Cisco’s core business is still networking, we love how the company continues to invest in hybrid multi-cloud, security cloud, and full-stack observability. The future of IT is hybrid, with infrastructure and applications distributed across on-premises, Colorado, and the public cloud. Networking and observability need to be hybrid and multicloud as well. This is why the Cisco Networking and Security Clouds make so much sense.

I also like that simplicity continues to be a big theme of future product value propositions, as it hasn’t been for decades. Indeed, it is commendable for Cisco to acknowledge its role in creating, in some cases, excessive complexity over the years. At Live 2023, Cisco will take another step in unifying its networking portfolio, ultimately towards a single management platform and a consistent user experience across networking, security and other portfolios. I look forward to that day. And I think many of you feel the same way.

We knew that Cisco was already building AI into many of its IT products, but companies want to empower technology providers to gain a competitive edge through the “magic” of generative AI, so there’s an ongoing It was nice to see the voices raised. Security and observability are easy achievements to make, and it looked like something Cisco should be looking at to be confident they can get to market quickly enough.

Strategically, I think Cisco Systems is well positioned for the future.

The company is focused on profitable businesses and has created software and services that can monetize workloads wherever they reside: on-premises, at the edge, in Colorado facilities, or in the public cloud. Oh and remember all these places need a connection.

As a trusted provider to large corporations and governments, simplicity is pleasing to the ears of our customers. Organizations have too many disconnected “best of breed” security and observability features that need to be integrated. This takes enterprise time and resources, and by the time the “best of breed” tools are integrated and fireproofed, the entire enterprise will be as insecure as a disconnected, 3rd generation old point product. Given its current importance, we look forward to learning more about the company’s commitment to quantum security.

Cisco CEO and Chairman Chuck Robbins opened the show by reiterating Cisco’s mission to “securely connect everything to make it happen.” From my analyst’s perspective, this is exactly what the company is doing.

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