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Mohamed Alhenawy
Rising star
Rising star




[Cisco DNA Digital Network Architecture]

Why I’m passionate about Cisco Digital Network Architecture
All of us look to the network engineer on the site during network configuration and think about the headache of doing that. Let’s imagine if we configure 30 or 40 switches.
For the past few years, I’ve been working with Cisco networking devices in different companies.

I’m passionate about how Cisco is transforming and simplifying networking through software and automation. Especially, how Cisco DNA is simplifying operations. In a short time, Cisco DNA GUI Centralized controller allows us to push all the device configuration from it and fully control them. Without any headache, we will get the same result.

How will simplify our network operations?

Cisco Devices have planes which is Control, Data, Management Planes

  • Control Plan: Control the traffic through routing Protocols and define the best path for traffic.

  • Management plane: Manage the administrative traffic of the device to control and monitor the device.

  • Data Plane: For forwarding packet and frames also we be called data plan as a forwarding plan.

Cisco DNA is coming to responsible for all the control & Management & Policy plane and Cisco devices only will use for data plan. This is an amazing feature.

Some of my favorite DNA features and Capabilities are….

  • GUI Centralization controller , as mentioned.

  • Separation of the control and data plan: Cisco DNA is responsible for all the control plan, and Cisco devices only will use for data plan.

  • Orchestration: This is the tool for managing and organizing the environment of the network, Cisco DNA configuration and transfer the data as I want.

  • Automation: This important role in the solution because is responsible for Automated device discovery, Policy creation, Device deployment, management.

  • Zero-touch[ PNP, ZTP, PXE]: This is the most important role in the solution because it is the one responsible for configuring the device automatically once I connect the device with the network and will implement orders from Cisco DNA to the device.

  • Application Visibility: Through this feature, we can discover applications running in the network and the users in the top usage of these applications.

**Some of the many advantages I see in Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture are…

  • Faster network configuration through software.

  • Securing my network from the attacking and treats.

  • Analyzing network issues before they happen: I know most of you will stop on this point and ask how Cisco DNA will do this. As we now, Cisco DNA is smart software and it will manage this feature by checking the packet loss in the service which will have the issue, for example, voice or wireless, Also the Telemetry service have two options [periodic which is sending data always streamed to the destination], Telemetry of change which is send data when some of changes happen in your network like Interface down, IGP neighbor ship up Etc…

Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture Modules

  • Design module: This module responsible to design your network include [Network Hierarchy, Network Settings, Image Repository, Etc…

  • Policy Module: This module responsible for creating Group-Based Access Control, Application Policy, Traffic Polices, Etc…

  • Provision Module: This Module contains Device Inventory, Network Telemetry, you will configure a fabric domain from this module.

  • Assurance Module: This is a module responsible for overall Health, sensors, Dashboard which you will use to monitor your network.

  • Cisco Network Data Platform: Through platform will Programmatically access your network through Intent APIs, integrate with your preferred systems to create end-to-end solutions and add support for multi-vendor devices.

The Cisco Catalyst 9000 series is the main hero in this solution

  • Cisco Catalyst 9200: This will work as a normal access switch.

  • Cisco Catalyst 9300: This device can be used as Core Switch and its support for stack wise and stack power, which is important.

  • Cisco Catalyst 9400: This device can be used as a distribution switch or access switch but for a megaproject.

  • Cisco Catalyst 9500: we can use it as a core switch, Switch 9400 and 9500 support for WLC in the feature.

Stay tuned for Part II about Cisco Network Automation!

Thanks, Mohamed Alhenawy





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