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500-551 Cisco Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions syllabus | http://babelouedstory.com/
500-551 Cisco Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions
The Cisco 500-551 exam, also known as Cisco Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions, is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of professionals in implementing and managing networking solutions both on-premise and in the cloud using Cisco technologies. Here is a detailed description of the exam, including the number of questions and time allocation, course outline, test objectives, and test syllabus.
Number of Questions and Time:
The exact number of questions and time allocation for the Cisco 500-551 test can be obtained from the official Cisco test documentation. Typically, the test consists of multiple-choice and scenario-based questions and is completed within a specified time limit to assess the candidate's understanding of networking solutions with a focus on on-premise and cloud environments using Cisco technologies.
The course for the Cisco 500-551 test covers various subjects related to Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions. The course outline may include the following key areas:
1. Network Architecture:
- Understanding network design principles and best practices.
- Exploring different network topologies and architectures.
- Virtual LANs (VLANs), virtual routing and forwarding (VRF), and software-defined networking (SDN).
2. Network Infrastructure:
- Implementing and managing network devices and technologies.
- Routing and switching protocols.
- Network security and access control.
- Quality of Service (QoS) and network performance optimization.
3. Cloud Solutions:
- Understanding cloud computing concepts and architectures.
- Cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and deployment models (public, private, hybrid).
- Integrating on-premise networks with cloud environments.
- Cisco cloud solutions and services.
4. Network Management:
- Network monitoring and troubleshooting.
- Network automation and orchestration.
- Network configuration and change management.
- Network performance analysis and optimization.
The objectives of the Cisco 500-551 test are to assess a candidate's proficiency in the following areas:
1. Designing and implementing network solutions based on Cisco technologies for on-premise and cloud environments.
2. Configuring and managing network devices and protocols.
3. Integrating on-premise networks with cloud environments and implementing hybrid networking solutions.
4. Monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing network performance.
5. Implementing network security and access control measures.
The test syllabus for the Cisco 500-551 test covers the subjects mentioned in the course outline. The syllabus may include questions related to network design principles, network topologies and architectures, routing and switching protocols, network security, cloud computing concepts, Cisco cloud solutions, network monitoring and troubleshooting, network automation, and network performance optimization.
Candidates should refer to the official Cisco test documentation and study resources for accurate and up-to-date information on the test format, content, and requirements. It is recommended to allocate sufficient time for test preparation, including studying the course materials, practicing networking concepts, and gaining hands-on experience with Cisco technologies in both on-premise and cloud environments.
Cisco Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions Cisco Networking: syllabus
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Cisco Networking: On-Premise and Cloud Solutions
http://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/500-551 Question: 54
Which two characteristics differentiate the Cisco Meraki dashboard from competing
network management interfaces? (Choose two.)
A. intuitive cloud-based user interface
B. built-in live chat for on-demand troubleshooting support
C. instantaneous access to virtualized applications
D. centralized single pane of glass access and management
E. comprehensive aggregator of multivendor networks Answer: A, B Question: 55
Which two characteristics describe the current SMB workspaces? (Choose two)
A. stationay users and hosts
B. hundereds of ports needed to access the network.
C. standard set of devices and operating systems to support
D. increading amount of devices requiring PoE.
E. increasing wiring and cable costs Answer: A, D Question: 56
Which two statements about the threat landscape of today's networks are true? (Choose
A. The use of cloud services is creating definitive security perimeters.
B. An increase use of Direct Internet Access leads to more VPN connections
C. Attackers are now well financed and extremely patient
D. Threat actors are now nation states and organized Crime syndicates
E. Victims of security attacks are random, violated by generic attacks Answer: A, E Question: 57
Which indicator that a customer would benefit from a Cisco Meraki cloud-managed
network is true?
A. Customer requires modular hardware customization and granular, command-line
B. Customer prefers direct access to on premises appliances and servers via in-line
C. Customer requires end-to-end visibility and a network that can be quickly deployed
and easily managed by a limited IT staff
D. Customer desires to implement a diverse solution of firewalls with third party
integration alongside other cloud applications Answer: C Question: 58
Which two benefits are included as a part of Cisco Meraki licensing? (Choose two.)
A. entitlement to all firmware releases and cloud-managed security updates
B. 24/7 phone and email support with lifetime warranty
C. advanced replacement service fulfilled within 8 hours pending regional availability
D. access to purchase EOS/EOL Cisco Meraki hardware at a discount
E. extended refund window with a prorated restocking fee Answer: B, E Question: 59
Which two benefits of leveraging Systems Manager Sentry in a Cisco Meraki full stack
are true? (Choose Two)
A. provides logging and generates consolidated reports of potential security
B. entitles the organization to direct access to the SM group within Cisco Meraki
C. helps facilitate the rapid enrollment and onboarding of mobile devices
D. provides Layer 7 application filtering for client network traffic
E. efficient management of client VPN settings and Wi-Fi security configurations Answer: C, E Question: 60
Which three features does the Cisco Wireless RF Planner offer? (Choose three )
A. determines which users are logged into the network.
B. dynamically disconnects rogue APs from wireless network
C. provides a heat map of AP radio coverage
D. generates project bill of materials
E. estimates the number of access points required for a given area
F. creates customer quotes and bill of sale Answer: C, E, F
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Following in the footsteps of its Security Cloud platform, the tech giant debuts its Cisco Networking Cloud strategy at Cisco Live 2023 to the delight of channel partners.
Cisco Systems is taking a page out of its security book by introducing Cisco Networking Cloud, a platform approach to managing the entire on-premises and cloud-based networking environment, at Cisco Live 2023.
The tech giant last June unveiled Cisco Security Cloud, the company’s security plan for the future that includes a unified, open-standards-based platform for securely connecting people, applications and devices located anywhere. Now San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco is doing the same thing on the networking front with Cisco Networking Cloud.
“Cisco owns the network,” said Chris Konrad, area vice president of global cyber for St. Louis-based Cisco Gold partner World Wide Technology.
Customers are looking to consolidate and reduce technical debt by moving to a platform approach for their IT needs, he added. “For us, it’s a big deal. It gives us an opportunity to go in and have a new conversation with [customers] about consolidation,” Konrad said.
The company’s vision for Cisco Networking Cloud is to make managing networks easier by converging its disparate offerings over time to create a unified network management platform that works on-premises and in the cloud, Rebecca Stone, senior vice president of customer solutions marketing and CMO of Cisco Meraki, told CRN.
Cisco Networking Cloud is being driven in part by the success of the cloud-based Meraki portfolio, as well as Cisco’s core Catalyst portfolio, Stone said.
“[It’s about] wanting to make sure that our customers can use both of those methodologies in how they think about deploying their networks in a way that fits them, rather than maybe the siloed way that they’ve approached it in the past,” she said. “The idea here is to help unify things so that as IT, they can deploy things faster with more automation and simplicity in the use of the tools, which allows them to focus their energy on delivering a better experience to their customers.”
Cisco Networking Cloud won’t just simplify things from the customer’s perspective, it’s also a benefit to partners, Stone said.
“Both partners and customers are [saying], ‘Simplify the tools that you’re selling to us, simplify how we buy from you, and then help us to understand the outcomes and how your tools fit in the outcomes that we’re looking for,’” she said. “Just selling them the tools without giving them the solution for how to pull all these things together into one experience isn’t working for them.”
Taking a platform approach to networking will open the door for channel partners to have tighter integration between security and network infrastructure, said Lane Irvine, network business solutions director for Vancouver, British Columbi-based Cisco Gold partner Long View Systems.
“Even as a managed services partner, we kind of have two different views of the environments—you don’t have that single view. I think this allows us ... to see a much better opportunity to create a more integrated platform across security and networking,” Irvine said.
The first steps toward progress on the Cisco Networking Cloud strategy include a few features that the company rolled out Tuesday, including single sign-on to simplify access across Cisco networking platforms, an API key exchange/repository that when linked with single sign-on can make it easier for disparate Cisco networking platforms to connect and exchange data through automation, cross-platform navigation and a common user interface across Cisco networking platforms, according to the company.
Cisco’s efforts to simplify networking also include some rebranding and expanded licensing options. Cisco’s Viptela-powered SD-WAN offering is now branded as Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN. The company said that its Cisco Catalyst switch line now combines hardware and software support into a single subscription.
Tue, 06 Jun 2023 03:30:00 -0500text/htmlhttps://www.crn.com/news/networking/cisco-builds-on-security-platform-strategy-unveils-unified-networking-platformLooking ahead to Cisco Systems’ prospects in 2024
It was an interesting year for the world’s largest networking vendor.
Cisco Systems Inc. put up record revenue and earnings despite a highly volatile macro environment affected by wars, social issues, inflation, rising interest rates and the like. The company also made the biggest acquisition in its history in September when it announced the purchase of Splunk.
And all this is while Cisco is going through the biggest retooling of its products ever. Despite all the changes, because of its cautionary outlook, Cisco stock exited the year only slightly higher than it entered.
Given all the product changes in 2023, this upcoming year should be one where the company sees an acceleration in revenue. Many macro-level uncertainties remain, but the product work is done in many areas. These are five themes I’m expecting to see from Cisco in 2024:
Security gets rolling
The revamping of the security business began when Cisco appointed Executive Vice President Jeetu Patel to run the business unit. He began the transformation of Cisco Security when he hired Raj Chopra to be the chief product officer for security and then added Ambika Kapur, Jeff Schaeffer and Tom Gillis.
Since then, the team has been busy revamping the entire security portfolio. Gone is the seemingly random collection of products, replaced by a Cisco Security Cloud comprising three security suites – Breach, User and Cloud protection. Earlier in the year, Cisco introduced its XDR solution, powered by its next-generation firewall.
This approach greatly simplifies the deployment and purchasing of Cisco technology and creates a “1+1=3” effect. Recently, I talked with Chris Konrad, vice president of global cyber at World Wide Technology, Cisco’s largest reseller, and I asked him about the shift from products to platforms. “Cisco has always had excellent products,” he said. “Duo, Umbrella and others are fine products, but there seemed to be no strategy around how they fit together. Now, with the suites, it’s much easier to articulate the Cisco value versus competing on a product-by-product basis.”
Given the fragmented nature of cybersecurity and the market’s overall size, this is the biggest needle-moving opportunity for Cisco. The product work is done, and good sales execution should lead to a meaningful, organic uptick in revenue.
All in on Webex Contact Center
Cloud contact center is another area where Cisco fumbled the ball in the past. Under previous leadership regimes, Cisco pushed private cloud stacks and Broadsoft as a “cloud.” Although this is definitionally correct, they were not true software-as-a-service-based offerings like those from all the companies in the leadership quadrant of Gartner’s CCaaS Magic Quadrant. Cisco could have acquired one of the many pure plays to jump into the market, but instead it spent the time to leverage the rebuilt cloud-native Webex platform and, in 2023, took the covers off Webex Contact Center.
Although this created a longer journey, it was the right approach, as now Cisco can bring all Webex’s advanced capabilities and AI features to contact center agents. Features such as background noise removal enable agents to work from home without worrying that customers can hear TVs, kids, dogs barking or other distractions.
Like security, the past few years have been about building the product, but now it’s ready to go, and, according to Cisco leadership, the company has seen many early wins. 2024 should be a year of momentum building as Cisco goes from a relatively new entrant to a mainstream vendor.
During the pandemic, Cisco acquired internet monitoring company ThousandEyes. At the time of acquisition, ThousandEyes was considered the best internet monitoring company in the industry, but measuring and monitoring internet performance was primarily linked to SaaS apps.
Previous leadership was slow to leverage the product, but the current ELT has done a nice job integrating ThousandEyes into other Cisco products.
As an example, ThousandEyes is now natively supported on Meraki MX devices. It’s also one of the pillars of Cisco Full Stack Observability, or FSO. Another integration is with Webex, where ThousandEyes helps information technology pros better troubleshoot users and contact center agents working from home.
In the past, IT pros were only concerned with the private, corporate network and treated the internet as a black box. Now that companies have extended work from home indefinitely, ThousandEyes has become a critical troubleshooting tool for digital experience monitoring. I expect Cisco to continue expanding ThousandEyes integration’s footprint to include internet of things endpoints and perhaps some traditional competitors. More ThousandEyes in more places is good for customers, and I’m expecting Cisco to accelerate the reach of the product.
Get onto my networking cloud
If ever there was a product area that Cisco was successful in despite itself, it has been networking over the past decade. The company makes great products but puts so much burden on its customers to manage the various products through different dashboards. Meraki, Catalyst, Viptela and others all had their own management tools. Some were on-premises, and others were cloud-based. If you were a customer and wanted to know how the network was performing, you had to gather data from the various management centers, aggregate it and try to correlate it manually.
That strategy changed when Cisco appointed Jonathan Davidson as executive vice president of all networking products in August 2022. In one of my first meetings with him in this role, he promised the days of “swivel chair management” for Cisco customers were ending.
In 2023, the company announced the Cisco Networking Cloud, where, from a single cloud, customers can access Catalyst Switching, Wi-Fi, software-defined wide-area network, sustainability, AI and network assurance information. I’ve talked to many customers about the Networking Cloud, and they’re looking forward to having a single dashboard. Given the size of Cisco’s networking business, this was badly needed to shift from products to platforms.
One more note: If the strategy looks similar to the transition security went through, it’s because the two leaders, Davidson and Patel, worked closely to ensure Cisco Security and Networking can leverage each other to raise the Cisco value. Although there is minimal integration between the two clouds, this is an area of focus for 2024.
Sustainability takes center stage
Although ESG initiatives for all companies have been big for several years, particularly since the pandemic began, a switch flipped in 2023, where sustainability became a much bigger component of IT procurement. I conduct a chief information officer roundtable monthly, and early in the year, sustainability kept popping up as a top subject to care about, even in the U.S., where it has typically been further down the priority list. As the year went on, I realized the importance of sustainability had shifted and taken on a more important role in IT purchasing, with one CIO telling me it’s now 20% of his company’s request-for-proposal decision-making.
This was echoed by Cisco Global Innovation Officer Guy Diedrich. “If you asked me two years ago how many government leaders cared about sustainability, I would have told you zero,” he said in a conversation at the recent Climate Meetings in New York. “Today, it’s all of them.”
Cisco has a massive amount of data on sustainability that spans all its products. The data can help companies design networks with sustainability in mind, build eco-friendly hybrid workspaces, and understand the impact of data center refreshes. Most important, Cisco’s data can help customers measure their progress toward their sustainability goals, something few customers can do today.
Given the importance of sustainability, combined with the breadth of Cisco’s internal and customer-facing initiatives, it should be able to use this shift to separate itself from its smaller competitors.
What about Splunk?
I’m sure many readers will wonder why I didn’t list Splunk as a top theme for Cisco in 2024. The primary reason is the deal won’t officially close until October, so the impact will be minimal.
One question I can speculate on is what group Splunk will report to. There’s an obvious tie-in to security, but there is also one with networking. Splunk also bolsters Cisco FSO and plays a key role in service engagements. The most likely scenario is that Splunk will report directly to Chief Executive Chuck Robbins, and the data will be used across every part of the Cisco portfolio.
2023 was an interesting year for Cisco in that it put up impressive numbers but finished the year with a negative tone, given its guidance. Product innovation can’t fix macro issues or buyers putting a hold on projects, but the current portfolio is in the best shape in a long time. Security, networking and collaboration have all had major shakeups, and the company is using adjacent products such as ThousandEyes and AppDynamics better. In 2024, particularly the back half, we should see an acceleration of growth for Cisco and networking.
Zeus Kerravala is a principal analyst at ZK Research, a division of Kerravala Consulting. He wrote this article for SiliconANGLE.
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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 13:26:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://siliconangle.com/2024/01/01/looking-ahead-cisco-systems-prospects-2024/Cisco to acquire cloud-native networking and security startup Isovalent
Cisco announced this morning that it intends to acquire Isovalent, a cloud-native security and networking startup that should fit well with the company’s core networking and security strategy. The companies did not share the purchase price.
Isovalent has helped develop eBPF, a key open source technology that gives developers deep insight into the operating system layer, typically Linux, but also Windows, while Cilium, another open source project created by the startup, gives visibility into cloud native applications. Tetragon is the company’s open source security visibility component.
Tom Gillis, senior VP and general manager of Cisco’s Security Business Group, says the combination of these three elements used to be provided by a hardware appliance, but in the cloud world is increasingly software-driven. “In a cloud world, there’s still boxes in there somewhere, but it’s abstracted under layers and layers of software. And so eBPF and Cilium provide that visibility for cloud world,” he told TechCrunch.
Specifically, that involves being able to see exactly what’s happening as an application interacts with the network, and being able to determine whether that looks normal or not. “What this allows anyone to do is to provide a very high level of visibility into the inner workings of an application. So when one little container is talking to another container, Cilium can intercept and see that traffic, and it can also see the inner workings of the OS itself,” he said. “So this becomes a platform that allows us to provide connectivity, like should this particular cluster talk to that particular cluster, yes or no. But also security inspection, like what are they talking about? Does this make sense? Does this thing look logical?”
It’s worth noting that Cilium is the default connectivity and security piece for Google Kubernetes Engine, Google Anthos and Amazon EKS Anywhere. It’s also being used in a who’s who of large enterprises including Adobe, Bell Canada, Capital One, Datadog, Palantir, IKEA and Sky.
It’s always tricky when a large company buys a startup built on popular open source projects like this and it could potentially cause consternation in both the community and the large companies who have come to depend on this software. Isovalent has key roles at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and eBPF Foundation, where they are also big code contributors. But Gillis says it’s in the best interest of everyone that the open source pieces thrive as a standard going forward.
“In order for that to happen Cilium and eBPF need to thrive, and so the community needs to continue to embrace them because the ubiquity of the standard is what makes it so powerful,” he said. Gillis sees it a lot like Kubernetes, which Google created and then open sourced. “I oftentimes say it’s the Kubernetes of the data path. It allows it’s an open standard that all can participate in, allows everyone to innovate on top of this platform, and build amazing products,” he said.
Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco, said that it is essential for companies to work together where security is concerned. “One of the challenges that we’ve said is the true enemy [in security] is not your competitor, it’s the [common] adversary. And we need to make sure that we stay open in this market and co-innovate, and I think open source is probably one of the best models to co-innovate with,” Patel said.
Cisco was familiar with the company, even before today’s announcement, having participated in the company’s $29 million Series A at the end of 2020. The startup added a $40 million Series B in 2022 with Cisco also participating along with other strategic investors including Microsoft, Google and Grafana Labs.
Cisco has been extremely acquisitive this year, with this representing the eleventh acquisition by the company, the fifth related to security. The biggest of the bunch by far was the $28 billion Splunk deal announced in September.
This deal is expected to close some time in the second quarter next year (the company’s third quarter of its fiscal year).
Cisco Systems Inc. is acquiring Isovalent Inc., a startup that develops networking software based on the open-source eBPF tool.
Ciscoannouncedthe deal today without disclosing the financial terms. The acquisition comes about two years after the networking giantbackeda $29 million funding round for Isovalent alongside Google LLC and Andreessen Horowitz.
A server’s operating system is involved in practically all the actions that the applications running on top perform. As a result, it has extensive visibility into those workloads’ activity, which is useful for monitoring purposes. Developers can harness an operating system such as Linux to detect application performance issues, cybersecurity risks and other technical problems.
Using Linux for workload monitoring was historically a highly complicated and error-prone process. To address the challenge, a group of developers released an open-source tool called eBPF in 2014. The tool significantly reduced the amount of effort required to turn Linux into a monitoring tool, which helped make the practice fairly widespread in public cloud environments.
Isovalent is a major contributor to eBPF. It’s also the developer of two other open-source projects, Cilium and Tetragon, that extend the tool’s feature set with additional capabilities.
Cilium helps organizations manage the flow of network traffic among their software containers. It includes an automated latency reduction mechanism, tools for tracking connection speeds and a load balancer that ensures traffic is evenly spread out among containers. There are also cybersecurity features that ease tasks such as encrypting network traffic.
Tetragon, Isovalent’s other open-source project, complements Cilium by providing additional cybersecurity capabilities. It can monitor a container environment for malicious activity such as attempts to weaken a server’s cybersecurity settings. Additionally, Tetragon blocks unnecessary connections between containers that could be used by hackers to steal data or spread malware.
Cisco will use Isovalent’s open-source technology to extend its cybersecurity portfolio. Another focus of the acquisition is Cilium Mesh, a commercial tool built by Isovalent to help enterprises connect applications running in cloud, on-premises and at the edge with one another. Cisco hinted that it plans to combine Cilium Mesh with its software-defined networking products.
“Imagine in today’s distributed environment – of applications, virtual machines, containers and cloud assets – having security controls with total visibility, without hindering networking and application performance,” said Jeetu Patel, the executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s security and collaboration group. “The combination of Cisco and Isovalent will make this a reality.”
The networking giant has committed to “nurturing, investing in, and contributing to” eBPF, Cilium and Tetragon. Cisco will establish an independent advisory board to oversee its contributions to the projects.
Other major players in the enterprise technology market have also made eBPF-focused deals over the past few years. In 2020, New Relic and Splunk Inc., which is currentlybeing acquiredby Cisco, bothboughtstartups that hadbuiltproducts based on the Linux monitoring technology. Elastic NV made asimilar acquisitionthe following year.
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Thu, 21 Dec 2023 08:31:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://siliconangle.com/2023/12/21/cisco-acquires-ebpf-networking-startup-isovalent/Cisco To Scoop Up Low-Latency Networking Specialist Exablaze
Cisco says it will acquire Australian networking specialist Exablaze and add its technology to its Cisco Nexus data center switching portfolio.
Cisco Systems plans to acquire Exablaze to reduce latency and Strengthen network performance for enterprise customers in which milliseconds matter, the company said Monday.
Exablaze is a privately held, Australian-based designer and manufacturer of advanced network gear based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) aimed at reducing latency and improving network performance. The company, which got its start in 2013, has focused its technology on financial services customers and high-frequency trading.
For these customers, "every sliver of time matters," said Cisco Vice President for Corporate Business Development Rob Salvagno in a blog post on the news.
"Integrating Exablaze’s innovative products and technology into the Cisco portfolio will deliver our customers the latest field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, providing them with the flexibility and programmability they require," Salvagno said.
The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Specifically, Exablaze's technology will be integrated into Cisco’s Nexus data center switching portfolio and will complement Cisco’s current switching technology, the companies said.
In addition to high-frequency trading use cases, Exablaze's technology can be applied to artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications, as well as high-performance computing, data center, cloud and edge computing, Cisco said.
As 2019 comes to a close, Cisco has been making big changes to better compete in the evolving networking space. The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant last week said it was entering the silicon market and revealed a major shift in its networking strategy with the introduction of a new networking silicon architecture called Cisco Silicon One. The move is laying the foundation for Cisco's long-term goal, which is to support future applications and services that will emerge onto the scene once 5G has been widely adopted, according to Cisco.
Cisco in November laid out plans to revamp several of its business units in a move that the company hopes will help it better address how customers are buying its networking and cloud products. To that end, Cisco's enterprise networking and data center networking units have been combined. Cisco also renamed its existing cloud computing business to Cloud Strategy and Compute and expanded the segment to include server products. The restructure also moved Cisco's network orchestration products, which were part of the Cloud Platforms and Solutions group, to the company's Service Provider Business.
Upon close of the deal, the Exablaze team will join Cisco, according to the two companies.
Cisco said it expects the deal to close during its third fiscal quarter of 2020.
Mon, 16 Dec 2019 03:26:00 -0600text/htmlhttps://www.crn.com/news/networking/cisco-to-scoop-up-low-latency-networking-specialist-exablazeCisco: Losing Ground On Both The Networking And Security Fronts
Cisco (CSCO) has exhibited a modest 3.1% average revenue growth and 4.8% average adjusted operating profit growth over the past five years. The company is experiencing a decline in market share within both the networking and security end markets. Consequently, I recommend initiating coverage with a 'Sell' rating and assigning a fair value of $45.
Networking is Losing to Arista
It is evident that Cisco is ceding market share to Arista, with Cisco experiencing low-single-digit growth, whereas Arista (ANET) has achieved double-digit growth over the past few years. The accompanying chart underscores this trend, revealing that Cisco added only 1 million 100/200/400G switch ports compared to Arista's notable 2 million during the same period.
The decline in Cisco's market share can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, a decade ago, as enterprises began migrating their workflows to the cloud, Cisco did not promptly adjust its product strategy to align with the demands of the cloud transition era. Instead, the company maintained its focus on traditional on-premise routers and switching technology, neglecting significant investments in software-defined networking (SDN). SDN-powered switches offer greater suitability for cloud deployment, providing enhanced flexibility and scalability capabilities.
Secondly, a decade ago, Cisco held a dominant position, with traditional networking products generating substantial cash flow and profits. The challenge arose when it became difficult for the company to disrupt its own success and reallocate resources to embrace newly developed technologies.
Lastly, in 2013, Cisco introduced ACI, its premier software-defined networking (SDN) solution for data centers, utilizing the Nexus 9000 series products as spine and leaf switches. While Cisco endeavors to catch up with rivals in providing data center solutions, the company finds itself arriving late to the game. Moreover, Cisco's historical premium pricing is losing favor among enterprises as more budget-friendly options emerge.
Outdated Network Security
Cisco's End-to-End Security business encompasses Cloud and Application Security, Industrial Security, Network Security, and User and Device Security. A decade ago, Cisco's security business thrived as a bundled offering with their networking devices, providing a comprehensive solution for network integration. However, in the current era of cloud computing, their End-to-End Security has become outdated, lagging behind competitors such as Palo Alto (PANW).
In FY23, Cisco's End-to-End Security revenue only experienced a modest growth of 4.3%. It appears that their security products remain hardware-centric, a characteristic ill-suited to the evolving demands of cloud security and comprehensive protection. In contrast, rivals like Palo Alto employ a modular approach, offering multiple modules or subscriptions to counter various internet threats. The accompanying chart illustrates the revenue trends among major cybersecurity companies, highlighting Palo Alto and Fortinet's (FTNT) significant market share gains in recent years. Their success can be attributed to software and module-centric products that align more effectively with the requirements of cloud infrastructure.
For readers seeking a deeper understanding, I recommend referring to my introductory article on Palo Alto Networks.
Cisco is strategically leveraging M&A to transition a significant portion of their business towards software and services. Noteworthy acquisitions include Splunk, acquired for $28 billion in 2023, IMImobile for $730 million in 2021, ThousandEyes for $1 billion in 2020, and Duo Security for $2.3 billion in 2018.
While the Splunk deal has the potential to enhance Cisco's capabilities in security and observability, it appears that there are limited synergies between Splunk and Cisco. The primary driver behind Cisco's decision to acquire at such a high cost is their struggle with topline growth. Cisco is paying a premium of approximately 30% over Splunk's market price before the deal was announced, with the acquisition price implying over 7x forward revenue.
The accompanying chart illustrates Splunk's revenue growth and adjusted operating margin trend, which is currently standing at around the low-to-mid teens.
Splunk specializes in security data analytics, operating a platform that collects extensive datasets from various sources. However, according to Palo Alto's management, Splunk's solutions may present challenges in promptly investigating cybersecurity incidents. Palo Alto's Security Operations Center (SOC), on the other hand, can seamlessly integrate AI into SOC transformation and automation processes, allowing for faster and more efficient investigation of cyber threats.
It's worth noting that Splunk is actively investing in AI and automation technologies, and its vast datasets remain a key advantage in the cybersecurity space.
In addition, Splunk is endeavoring to expand its presence in the infrastructure observability market. However, as a relatively smaller player in this space, it faces competition from established companies such as Datadog (DDOG) and Dynatrace (DT). It appears that Splunk, entering the field later, may struggle to compete effectively against these specialized players.
According to Datadog's management, Splunk's platform is centralized in security management, presenting a notable difference from Datadog's infrastructure, which operates in real-time. For a more in-depth exploration of observability, I recommend referring to my introductory article on Datadog.
In summary, the potential for synergies between Cisco and Splunk is questionable. This uncertainty arises from the fundamental differences in Splunk's business model, centered around subscription-based solutions, and Cisco's traditional hardware-centric business model.
Cisco announced its acquisition of Isovalent in December. Cisco had previously participated in the startup's Series A funding at the end of 2020. Isovalent, a cloud-native security and networking startup, is expected to enhance Cisco's security capabilities for cloud infrastructure.
Isovalent leverages eBPF and Cilium to gather data sets from both Linux and Windows, integrating with various platforms and applications such as Splunk, Datadog, and Isovalent itself. I believe the acquisition of Isovalent will benefit Splunk's ecosystem. It's important to note that Isovalent, while a small company, faces competition from several alternatives in the market.
Financial Results and Outlook
During Q1 FY24, Cisco achieved a robust 7.6% revenue growth and an impressive 27.6% growth in adjusted net income, reaching the upper end of their guidance range.
Their balance sheet remains strong with $23.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Operating activities generated $2.4 billion in cash, and they returned $2.8 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
For FY24, revenue guidance is set to be between $53.8 billion and $55 billion, with Non-GAAP earnings per share ranging from $3.87 to $3.93. The guidance suggests one or two quarters of low revenue growth followed by a return to normal growth. The subdued growth in the upcoming quarters is attributed to implementation constraints, with large customers working through elevated product shipments from previous quarters. Essentially, Cisco over-earned in the prior fiscal year. The current full-year guidance implies an approximately -5% revenue growth rate, a reasonable expectation given the over-earning in the preceding fiscal year.
The table below provides an overview of Cisco's historical financials. In summary, they have demonstrated a low growth rate in both topline and bottom-line figures, with an average of 3.1% revenue growth and 4.8% net income growth. Their balance sheet remains robust with a net positive cash position, and their dividend payout and share buyback activities are deemed decent.
The revenue growth assumption for FY24 takes into account the near-term headwinds stemming from elevated inventory shipped to their large customers, aligning with their provided guidance. When projecting normalized revenue growth, the model assumes 3% for organic revenue growth and 0.7% for acquisition growth, consistent with their historical average.
Given the sluggish top-line growth, the likelihood of generating significant operating leverage is low. The estimate suggests only a 10 basis points leverage annually.
The model employs a 10% discount rate, assumes a 3% terminal growth rate, and considers a 19% tax rate. Based on these parameters, the calculated fair value is $45 per share.
Weak Growth in Q2 and Q3 FY24: As discussed in their Q1 FY24 earnings call, the management anticipates a challenging Q2 and Q3, attributing it to the elevated inventory shipped to their large customers. I believe the subdued growth in the upcoming quarters is temporary, and their growth rate should resume once these customers have successfully digested their inventories.
Collaboration Business Decline: The collaboration business, contributing over 7% to Cisco's total revenue, faced a decline of 9.4% in FY23 and 5.4% in FY22. Cisco encompasses Meetings, Collaboration Devices, and Contact Center businesses within this segment. The significant rise of Zoom (ZM) has introduced considerable downside risk for Cisco's collaboration business, and I anticipate ongoing pressure on this business segment in the future.
In light of the challenges Cisco is facing in the cloud transition era and the perceived erosion of their competitive advantages, particularly in the realm of on-premise networking, I am initiating a 'Sell' rating. I assign a fair value of $45.
Tue, 26 Dec 2023 04:19:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://seekingalpha.com/article/4659734-cisco-stock-losing-ground-both-networking-and-security-fronts-sellCisco's cloud network push will tie licensing change to generational product refreshesNo result found, try new keyword!Deals will also be consistent across Cisco's range. The networking giant won't introduce the updated licenses all at once. Instead, they'll be tied to generational change for its major product ranges.Thu, 07 Dec 2023 15:10:00 -0600en-ustext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/Cisco to Acquire Isovalent to Define the Future of Multicloud Networking and Security
Cisco intends to acquire privately held Isovalent, Inc., a leader in open source cloud native networking and security.
Together, Cisco and Isovalent will build leading edge protection for every workload on every cloud.
Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in and contributing to eBPF, Cilium, Tetragon, and cloud native open source communities.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced the intent to acquire Isovalent, a leader in open source cloud native networking and security, to bolster its secure networking capabilities across public clouds.
The acquisition of Isovalent will build on the Cisco Security Cloud vision, an AI-driven, cloud delivered, integrated security platform for organizations of any shape and size. The Cisco Security Cloud enables customers to abstract security controls from multicloud infrastructure to provide advanced protection against emerging threats across any cloud, application or workload.
"Together with Isovalent, Cisco will build on the open source power of Cilium to create a truly unique multicloud security and networking capability to help customers simplify and accelerate their digital transformation journeys," said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. "Imagine in today's distributed environment - of applications, virtual machines, containers and cloud assets - having security controls with total visibility, without hindering networking and application performance. The combination of Cisco and Isovalent will make this a reality."
Isovalent's team is a major contributor to the open source technology eBPF, and has led the development of Cilium, the leading cloud native solution for networking and security. eBPF provides unmatched visibility into the inner workings of the operating system - an ideal interface for building security systems that can protect a workload while it runs. Cilium provides IT and platform engineering teams with powerful networking capabilities and unparalleled visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud native applications, enabling seamless policy definition of software-defined networks. Isovalent has also recently introduced:
Cilium Mesh: allows for the easy connection of Kubernetes clusters with existing infrastructure across hybrid clouds,
Tetragon: an eBPF-based open source security solution that provides visibility to and enforces runtime behavior within an application and on the network.
Isovalent Enterprise: an enterprise distribution of Cilium and Tetragon
Cisco intends to continue offering and building on Isovalent's slate of innovations for customers, including Isovalent Enterprise.
"Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in, and contributing to the eBPF and Cilium open source communities," said Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source at Cisco. "Isovalent's team will join Cisco's deep bench of open source governance and technical leadership to solve complex cloud native, security, and networking challenges. Their knowledge will accelerate innovation across the business and help further strengthen the Cisco Security Cloud platform to meet the growing demands of our customers."
Isovalent holds leadership positions in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and eBPF Foundation, in addition to upstream software contributions, and this acquisition strengthens Cisco's role in supporting the open source ecosystem. Together as leaders in networking and security, Cisco and Isovalent will build solutions powered by eBPF technology that aim to solve the challenge of protecting workloads no matter where they reside. Cisco is committed to Cilium and Tetragon as open source projects and intends to create an independent advisory board to help steer Cisco's contributions to these important efforts in a way that is aligned with the needs of the open source community.
The Isovalent team will join the Cisco Security Business Group once the acquisition closes, which is expected in the third quarter of fiscal year 2024.
About Cisco Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that securely connects everything to make anything possible. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all by helping our customers reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure, and meet their sustainability goals. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on X at @Cisco.
Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.
Wed, 20 Dec 2023 16:00:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://finance.yahoo.com/news/cisco-acquire-isovalent-define-future-140000701.htmlCisco Systems Strives To Bring Simplicity To Hybrid Multicloud Networking, Security And Observability
This week is Cisco's turn to take over Las Vegas, with Cisco Live 2023 attracting 20,000 in-person attendees and nearly a million online viewers. Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco, started the proceedings by highlighting the vision for Cisco’s portfolio to become simpler, more inclusive and sustainable.
What follows is a recap of new announcements from day one of the show covering observability, networking technologies and generative AI services (no surprise!). Moor Insights & Strategy Modern Work Principal Analyst will be covering Day 2 announcements that focused on collaboration and contact center.
Full-Stack Observability (FSO) Platform
Cisco announced the Cisco FSO Platform, an open, extensible, API-driven platform built on OpenTelemetry. This platform enables the collection and analysis of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) data generated by any source.
This is important because IT teams must ensure that problems at the network or application layer do not lead to security or performance issues, while developers must create well-behaved and secure applications. Observability reduces friction between these two groups by unifying data, analysis, actions and practices. Done right, observability increases operational efficiency and lowers business risk.
The FSO Platform is vendor-agnostic and collects data from applications, networking, infrastructure, security, cloud, sustainability and business sources. The system produces in-context, correlated and predictive insights, reducing the time required to resolve issues. The platform is extensible, allowing developers to build custom observability solutions, for instance to monitor and analyze APIs.
Cisco has already built several applications on the FSO Platform. An example is Cloud Native Application Observability, a performance monitoring solution for cloud-native applications with business context. It enables informed decisions about digital experiences, performance alignment with end-user expectations and better security.
Other modules include Cost Insights, which provides visibility into application-level costs alongside performance metrics; Application Resource Optimizer, which shows Kubernetes workload resource utilization; Security Insights, which helps DevOps and SecOps teams locate, prioritize and eliminate threats, vulnerabilities and data leaks on cloud-native infrastructures; and Cisco IT AIOps, which collects data relevant to infrastructure, network, incidents and performance of a business application all in one place.
At the event, Cisco shared several examples of partners that are already building out solutions and business use cases. These include vSphere Observability and Data Modernization from CloudFabrix, which enables users to view vSphere data through the FSO Platform and correlate it with Kubernetes and infrastructure data to generate insights and recommended actions across infrastructure and the containerized application stack. Evolutio Fintech is an observability solution to help create business insights by monitoring KPIs based on data ingested, such as payments and credit card authorizations. Kanari Capacity Planner and Forecaster provide visibility into time-series data associated with capacity planning and forecasted events with risk factors determined through predictive machine learning (ML) algorithms.
With the fractalization of infrastructure and applications, full stack observability is mandatory for a modern enterprise. Observing across the hybrid, multicloud landscape is a requirement as well.
Cisco Networking Cloud — a commitment to simplifying IT
The promise of Cisco Networking Cloud is a unified management platform for both on-premises and cloud operating models. Cisco Networking Cloud combines Meraki, ThousandEyes and Cisco Catalyst into a single platform. Innovations include single sign-on (SSO) to simplify access across Cisco networking platforms and an API key exchange/repository that makes it easier for Cisco networking platforms to connect and exchange data through automation.
Cisco ThousandEyes has also expanded visibility, automated insights and seamless workflows to assure digital experiences across any network, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
As with observability, networking support for the hybrid, multicloud is a requirement now and in the future. I have yet to talk to any large enterprise that doesn’t use more than one IaaS provider that uses different networking for each cloud. This is unsustainable and Cisco is offering a solution, one that simplifies cross-cloud.
Generative AI-powered security
Cisco previewed generative AI capabilities in the Cisco Security Cloud. Cisco Security Cloud will leverage a generative AI-powered policy assistant that enables security and IT administrators to create security policies and best evaluate how to implement them across the security infrastructure. In the first implementation—available later this year—customers can quiz Cisco’s AI Assistant to evaluate and produce more efficient firewall policies, leveraging existing rulesets in Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center.
Cisco’s AI Assistant will support customers’ security operations centers (SOCs) so they can detect and respond to threats faster. When an incident occurs, the assistant will examine events across email, endpoints and the network to describe what happened and its impact. Analysts can then interact and reason with the assistant to determine the best remediation approach, leveraging an extensive knowledge base of potential actions while also considering the analysts’ input. The event summarization feature will be available by the end of 2023, with the remaining capabilities coming online in the first half of 2024
New security enhancements
Cisco also announced enhancements to the cloud-native application security solution Panoptica. Panoptica will provide complete cloud-native application lifecycle protection from code through development to production runtime in distributed multi-cloud environments. This tie-up is a good one and again supports the hybrid-multicloud.
Meanwhile, the new Cisco Secure Access is a security service edge (SSE) solution that offers frictionless access to information across any location, device and application through one platform.
On the hardware side, Cisco’s new Secure Firewall 4200 provides seamless connected experiences for end users at the office or on the road alongside Cisco Multicloud Defense, with the intent of improving security in any environment.
While Cisco’s core business is still networking, I like it that 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 spread across on-premises, colo and public clouds. Networking and observability likewise need to be hybrid and multi-cloud—which is why the Cisco Networking and Security Clouds makes so much sense.
I also like that simplicity will continue to be a big theme of future product value propositions because for decades that was not the case. Indeed, it is laudable that Cisco admits its role in creating sometimes excessive complexity over the years. At Live 2023, Cisco is taking another step to unify its networking portfolio toward an eventual single management platform and a consistent user experience across its networking, security and other portfolios. I look forward to that day—and know that many of you do as well.
While I knew that Cisco already embedded AI into many of it products, it was nice to see the continued call-outs as enterprises want to make sure that their technology providers can keep them more competitive with the “magic” of generative AI. Security and observability are low hanging fruit and I saw what I needed to see to convince me that Cisco would be quick enough to market.
Strategically, I think Cisco Systems is positioned well for the future.
It is focused on high-margin businesses and has created software and services it can monetize regardless of where a workload sits, be it on-prem, at the edge, in a colo facilities, or in the public cloud. Oh, and don’t forget that all those places need connectivity.
As a trusted provider to big enterprises and governments, simplicity is music to customers’ ears. Organizations have too many disconnected “best of breed” security and observability capabilities that need to be integrated. This takes enterprise time, resources and by the time “best of breed” tools are integrated and fireproofed, the holistic enterprise is insecure as its on disconnected, three gen old point products. I look forward to getting more details on the company’s quantum security efforts given the importance of this now.
Cisco CEO and Chair Chuck Robbins opened up the show reiterating the Cisco mission to “securely connecting everything to make anything happen.” From my analyst point of view, this is exactly what the company is doing.