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Exam Code: 600-660 Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced helper November 2023 by team

600-660 Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced

Exam Detail:
The 600-660 Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced (DCACIA) test is part of the Cisco Certified Specialist - Data Center ACI Implementation certification track. This test focuses on validating the knowledge and skills of candidates in implementing advanced features and functionalities of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Here are the test details for the DCACIA certification:

- Number of Questions: The exact number of questions may vary, but the test typically consists of multiple-choice and simulation-based questions.

- Time Limit: The time allotted to complete the test is 90 minutes.

Course Outline:
The course outline for the Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced (DCACIA) certification covers various advanced syllabus related to Cisco ACI implementation. The syllabus typically included in the course outline are as follows:

1. Cisco ACI Concepts and Architecture:
- Understanding the fundamental concepts of Cisco ACI.
- Exploring the ACI fabric architecture and components.
- ACI packet forwarding and policy enforcement.

2. ACI Policy Model:
- Advanced policy constructs and contracts in ACI.
- Implementing policy enforcement using filters and contracts.
- Quality of Service (QoS) in ACI.

3. ACI Fabric Operations and Troubleshooting:
- Fabric discovery and inventory management.
- Monitoring and troubleshooting ACI fabric components.
- Diagnosing and resolving common ACI fabric issues.

4. ACI Programmability and Automation:
- ACI REST API fundamentals and programmability.
- Leveraging Python and Ansible for ACI automation.
- Integrating ACI with orchestration platforms.

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced (DCACIA) test are as follows:

- Assessing candidates' understanding of Cisco ACI concepts, architecture, and packet forwarding.
- Evaluating candidates' proficiency in implementing advanced policy constructs and contracts in ACI.
- Testing candidates' knowledge of fabric operations, troubleshooting, and resolution of ACI fabric issues.
- Assessing candidates' ability to leverage programmability and automation for ACI using REST API, Python, and Ansible.

Exam Syllabus:
The specific test syllabus for the Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced (DCACIA) certification may cover the following topics:

1. Cisco ACI Concepts and Architecture:
- ACI fundamentals and fabric architecture.
- ACI packet forwarding and policy enforcement.

2. ACI Policy Model:
- Advanced policy constructs and contracts.
- Implementation of filters and contracts.
- Quality of Service (QoS) in ACI.

3. ACI Fabric Operations and Troubleshooting:
- Fabric discovery and inventory management.
- Monitoring and troubleshooting ACI fabric components.
- Diagnosing and resolving common ACI fabric issues.

4. ACI Programmability and Automation:
- ACI REST API fundamentals and programmability.
- Automation using Python and Ansible.
- Integration of ACI with orchestration platforms.

Please note that the specific test content and syllabus may be updated over time. It's recommended to refer to the official Cisco Certification website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced (DCACIA) exam, including the number of questions, time limit, and detailed test objectives and syllabus.
Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure - Advanced
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Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure
QUESTION 53 What are two characteristics of Cisco ACI and Spanning Tree Protocol interaction?
(Choose two.)
A. When a TCN BPDU is received in a VLAN, Cisco ACI flushes the endpoints for the associated encapsulation.
B. STP BPDUs are dropped due to MCP.
C. MST BPDUs are flooded correctly in Cisco ACI fabric without additional configuration.
D. BPDU filter and BPDU guard can be configured on Cisco ACI leaf edge ports.
E. Cisco ACI must be configured as the STP root for all VLANs.
Correct Answer: DE
Section: Traditional network with ACI
QUESTION 54 Where are STP BPDUs flooded in
Cisco ACI fabric?
A. in the bridge domain VLAN
B. in the native VLAN ID
C. in the access encapsulation VLAN part of different VLAN pools
D. in the VNID that is assigned to the FD VLAN
Correct Answer: A
Section: Traditional network with ACI
Refer to the exhibit. How are the STP BPDUs forwarded over Cisco ACI fabric?
A. STP BPDUs that are generated by Switch2 are received by Switch1 and Switch3.
B. Cisco ACI fabric drops all STP BPDUs that are generated by the external switches.
C. Cisco ACI acts as the STP root for all three external switches.
D. STP BPDUs that are generated by Switch1 are received only by Switch3.
Correct Answer: A
Section: Traditional network with ACI
QUESTION 56 What are two characteristics of Cisco ACI interaction with MSTP?
(Choose two.)
A. A Cisco ACI leaf flushes all local endpoints in the received EPG when an MSTP TCN frame is received.
B. A static path binding is required for native VLAN to carry the MST BPDUs in existing EPGs.
C. Mis-cabling protocol is used to snoop the MSTP TCN packets.
D. A dedicated EPG must be created for the native VLAN ID with static bindings toward the MSTP-enabled switches.
E. The PVST simulation must be configured on external network switches to support MSTP.
Correct Answer: CD
Section: Traditional network with ACI
Cisco ACI fabric is migrated from network-centric mode to application-centric mode. What is possible in an application-centric design?
A. remapping of VLAN pools
B. migration of bare metal servers to virtual machines
C. creation of additional EPGs under one bridge domain
D. Cisco ACI VMM integration with hypervisors
Correct Answer: C
Section: Traditional network with ACI
/Refer ence:
QUESTION 58 What is a design implication for Cisco ACI using an application-
centric approach?
A. Multiple VLANs and/or multiple EPGs are under one bridge domain
B. VLAN numbers are in the names of the bridge domain and EPG objects
C. One EPG is mapped to multiple bridge domains
D. One VLAN equals one EPG equals one bridge domain
Correct Answer: C
Section: Traditional network with ACI
QUESTION 59 What are two characteristics of network-centric design in Cisco ACI?
(Choose two.)
A. There is open communication between EPGs
B. EPGs are used for microsegmentation
C. EPGs are different security zones
D. Applications define the network requirements
E. A bridge domain has one subnet and one EPG
Correct Answer: BE
Section: Traditional network with ACI
An engineer must migrate servers from a legacy data center infrastructure to a Cisco ACI fabric. Drag and drop the steps from the left into the order that they must be completed on the right to ensure the least amount of downtime.
Select and Place:
Correct Answer:
Section: Traditional network with ACI
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Cisco Infrastructure helper - BingNews Search results Cisco Infrastructure helper - BingNews Cisco: Generative AI expectations outstrip enterprise readiness

The new AI Readiness Index from Cisco points out serious challenges related to infrastructure capabilities, data governance and talent availability.

While 95% of businesses are aware that AI will increase infrastructure workloads, only 17% have networks that are flexible enough to handle the complex requirements of AI. Given that disconnect, it's too early to see widespread deployment of AI at scale, despite the hype.

That’s one of the key takeaways from Cisco's inaugural AI Readiness Index, a survey of 8,000 global companies aimed at measuring corporate interest in and ability to utilize AI technologies.

"Just like cloud kind of changed every industry that it touched, I think that AI is going to change every industry that it touches," said Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking business.

Interest in AI over the past 12 months has increased with the availability of large language models from OpenAI and others; LLMs have grown from millions of data points to billions, and lots more can be done with that data than ever before as models continue to grow, Davidson said.

Industry watchers see huge potential for AI technologies - IDC, for example, says enterprise spending on generative AI services, software and infrastructure will skyrocket over the next four years, jumping from $16 billion this year to $143 billion in 2027. However, the vast majority of companies aren't ready for it. Just 14% of organizations surveyed in Cisco's readiness index said they are fully prepared to deploy and leverage AI-powered technologies

Network readiness for AI

On the networking front, Cisco found that most current enterprise networks are not equipped to meet AI workloads. Businesses understand that AI will increase infrastructure workloads, but only 17% have networks that are fully flexible to handle the complexity.

"23% of companies have limited or no scalability at all when it comes to meeting new AI challenges within their current IT infrastructures," Cisco stated. "To accommodate AI’s increased power and computing demands, more than three-quarters of companies will require further data center graphics processing units (GPUs) to support current and future AI workloads. In addition, 30% say the latency and throughput of their network is not optimal or sub-optimal, and 48% agree that they need further improvements on this front to cater to future needs."

At the heart of most AI networks will be Ethernet, since high-bandwidth Ethernet infrastructure is essential to facilitate quick data transfer between AI workloads, Cisco stated. "Implementing software controls like Priority Flow Control (PFC) and Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) in the Ethernet network guarantees uninterrupted data delivery, especially for latency-sensitive AI workloads."

For AI readiness, the Cisco research recommends that enterprises build in automation tools for network configuration in order to optimize data transfer between AI workloads.

"Automation reduces manual intervention, improves efficiency, and allows the infrastructure to dynamically adapt to the demands of AI workloads," the researchers said. "The combination of these will determine whether a company is I/O rich or I/O poor, and that in turn will be the differentiator between those who succeed in fully leveraging AI, and those who don't."

Cisco's AI moves

Cisco has a variety of efforts underway to help with the networking and security challenges, Davidson noted. 

For example, Cisco recently unveiled its Data Center Networking Blueprint for AI/ML Applications, which defines how organizations can use existing data center Ethernet networks to support AI workloads.

A core component of the data center AI blueprint is Cisco's Nexus 9000 data center switches, which support up to 25.6Tbps of bandwidth per ASIC and "have the hardware and software capabilities available today to provide the right latency, congestion management mechanisms, and telemetry to meet the requirements of AI/ML applications," Cisco stated.

In addition, the vendor recently announced four new Cisco Validated Designs for AI blueprints from Red Hat, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Cloudera to focus on virtualized and containerized environments as well as converged and hyperconverged infrastructure options. Cisco already had validated AI models on its menu from AMD, Intel, Nutanix, Flashstack and Flexpod.

Cisco is building Ansible-based automation playbooks on top of these models that customers can use with Cisco's Intersight cloud-based management and orchestration system to automatically inject their own data into the models and build out repositories that can be used in their infrastructure, including at the edge of the network and in the data center, Cisco stated.

To its Webex collaboration platform, Cisco has added an AI-based Codec, which includes generative AI capabilities which Cisco says will redefine real-time communication and solve the challenge of spotty audio quality. The idea is that the audio Codec promises to deliver crystal-clear audio regardless of network conditions, even in areas with bad connections.

AI adds security challenges

On the security side, Cisco found that 97% of companies have some protection for data used in AI models, and 68% have the ability to detect attacks on those AI models.

"Organizations are also not fully prepared to guard against the cybersecurity threats that come with AI adoption," Cisco stated. "As higher volumes of data, including confidential and sensitive data, is processed by AI, the incentive for malicious actors to launch attacks against these systems becomes greater while the stakes for organizations get higher."

Further, with one quarter of leaders saying their organizations have limited awareness or are unaware of security threats specific to AI workloads, more education is needed for organizations and their employees to work with AI securely, Cisco stated.

The encouraging part is that 77% of organizations are at least implementing advanced encryption or end-to-end encryption to protect the data utilized in AI models, Cisco found.

Some other interesting tidbits from Cisco’s AI readiness index include:

Machine learning has the highest rate of deployment at 35%.

However, predictive and generative AI have the highest rates of in-progress deployment at 41% and 40% respectively, Cisco found.

AI deployment in an organization increases power consumption.

Complex computations and data processing tasks inherent to AI models demand more energy from the underlying hardware, especially GPUs and data centers. Companies should think about deploying tools and technologies that can provide higher network bandwidth, better performance and scale, and consume less power, Cisco warned.

However, less than half (44%) of respondents say they are highly prepared with infrastructure dedicated to optimizing power for AI deployments. Another 55% of respondents say they are not prepared or 'somewhat' prepared. The adoption of technologies that help deliver more output while consuming lesser power will become a competitive differentiator as adoption of AI increases, Cisco stated.

Skills gaps and a lack of resources remain challenging.

Close to half of respondents said their organizations are moderately well resourced (47%), with an almost even split between those feeling very well resourced (29%) and those who are under resourced or unsure (24%). Those at companies with more than 1,500 employees are slightly more likely to feel under resourced, and media and communications, education and natural resources are the industries with the largest issues in this area. In addition, 37% of respondents ranked comprehension and proficiency of AI tools and technologies as their primary skill gap.

Effective data analytics tools go hand in hand with AI applications and overall data strategy.

More than two-thirds of global respondents (67%) positively rated the ability of their analytics tools to handle complex AI-related data sets. However, 74% of respondents said their analytics tools are not fully integrated with data sources and AI platforms being used, Cisco stated. In fact, 31% of respondents said their tools were not integrated (4%) or somewhat integrated (27%) at best.

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 03:51:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Cisco leans on partners, blueprints for AI infrastructure growth

Cisco has a variety of new partnerships and programs aimed at helping enterprises build AI-ready infrastructure.

Cisco is taking a collaborative approach to helping enterprise customers build AI infrastructures.

At its latest partner summit, Cisco talked up a variety of new programs and partnerships aimed at helping enterprises get their core infrastructure ready for AI workloads and applications.

"While AI is driving a lot of changes in technology, we believe that it should not require a wholesale rethink of customer data center operations," said Todd Brannon, senior director, cloud infrastructure marketing, with Cisco's cloud infrastructure and software group.

As AI projects move from science projects in an organization's backroom to mission-critical applications, enterprise infrastructure and operations teams are being challenged because they are dealing with new workloads running on familiar infrastructure but with new requirements, Brannon said.

"The idea is that we want to help our customers deploy and manage AI workloads efficiently, find that right mix of acceleration, and not over provision or leave stranded resources or create new islands of operations," added Sean McGee, cloud & data center technology strategist with Cisco.

One of the ways Cisco intends to help customers is by offering a suite of validated designs that can easily be deployed as enterprise AI needs evolve. 

The company recently announced four new Cisco Validated Designs for AI blueprints from Red Hat, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Cloudera to focus on virtualized and containerized environments as well as converged and hyperconverged infrastructure options. Cisco already had validated AI models on its menu from AMD, Intel, Nutanix, Flashstack and Flexpod.

The validated designs allow customers to use these models and fine tune what they want to do for their business, McGee said.

Cisco is building Ansible-based automation playbooks on top of these models that customers can use with Cisco's Intersight cloud-based management and orchestration system to automatically inject their own data into the models and build out repositories that can be used in their infrastructure, including at the edge of the network and in the data center, McGee said.

Cisco's Intersight package manages a variety of systems from Kubernetes containers to applications, servers, and hyperconverged environments from a single location.

"Utilizing Intersight and our systems stack, customers can deploy and manage AI-validated workloads," Brannon said. "The message is that we don’t want our customers and partners having to completely rethink the operation side, even though they’re having to rethink some things on the GPU provisioning side for AI, for example," Brannon said.

In addition, as Cisco gets feedback from its customers on AI-specific features or additional validated designs, it will augment Intersight with new features, Brannon said.

Also, over time these models will evolve as more data is used to tune them, and customers can easily adjust them to fit the needs of their enterprise infrastructure, McGee said. "Our partners, too, can utilize these models to significantly expand their services. [They can] really deliver them a head start and relieve a lot of the engineering expense and time that they need to put these services together for customers."

Cisco recently unveiled Data Center Networking Blueprint for AI/ML Applications that defines how organizations can use existing data center Ethernet networks to support AI workloads now.

A core component of the data center AI blueprint is Cisco's Nexus 9000 data center switches, which support up to 25.6Tbps of bandwidth per ASIC and "have the hardware and software capabilities available today to provide the right latency, congestion management mechanisms, and telemetry to meet the requirements of AI/ML applications," Cisco stated. "Coupled with tools such as Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights for visibility and Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller for automation, Cisco Nexus 9000 switches become ideal platforms to build a high-performance AI/ML network fabric."

Cisco has also published scripts so customers can automate specific settings across the network to set up this network fabric and simplify configurations, Cisco stated.

Tue, 14 Nov 2023 00:07:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Cisco has a new problem: You take too long to implement its products and stop buying more kit No result found, try new keyword!COVID normal, just in time for big clouds to spend $1 billion on networks for AI Would you please hurry up and build your network?… The Register is of course not making that request, but merely ... Wed, 15 Nov 2023 16:25:13 -0600 en-us text/html Cisco Tumbles Most in 18 Months on Weaker Sales Forecast No result found, try new keyword!Cisco Systems Inc., the largest maker of computer networking equipment, tumbled the most in 1 1/2 years on Thursday after its revenue forecast raised concerns that corporations are reining in their ... Thu, 16 Nov 2023 03:56:46 -0600 en-us text/html Cisco Partner Summit 2023 Highlights Observability, Security And Sustainability

I have attended the Cisco Partner Summit for the past several years. Cisco, like many of its larger competitors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo and Dell Technologies, leverages the IT distribution channel for scale and efficiency in sales operations. However, Cisco is one of the few companies to hold an event exclusively focusing on its channel partner community. I can appreciate this effort because I spent many years as a channel sales and marketing professional.

When you’re in channel roles like that, one of the biggest challenges is vying for partner attention and convincing these organizations to lead with your company’s products and services as they talk with their customers. From my perspective, the Cisco Partner Summit 2023 performed well to that end. This year, the event was held in Miami Beach, Florida—a picturesque area in Miami dotted with Art Deco architecture and beautiful white sand beaches. Thanks to my advisory relationship with Cisco, I was allowed to spend time with Cisco executives and many of the company’s partners; in this post, I want to share my insights on what I found most compelling at the event. Note that although Cisco is my client at Moor Insights & Strategy, no one at Cisco had input into the analysis in this article.

Channel Leadership Transition And Partner Compensation Consolidation

Until recently, Oliver Tuszik had led Cisco's global partner sales organization for five years. Tuszik has an infectious personality and brings tremendous energy to the company's leadership ranks. I have had the pleasure of getting to know him personally, and it was no surprise that after another executive left the company, Tuszik was asked to lead Cisco’s EMEA business unit, especially given that he grew up in Germany and has spent a significant portion of his career in Europe.

Tuszik left big shoes to fill, and Cisco used its partner summit to announce the appointment of channel veteran Rodney Clark as his successor in the partner leadership role. Most recently, Clark served as chief commercial officer at Johnson Controls, but before that stint he spent 24 years at Microsoft, where he was responsible for channel sales and operations. Clark seems like a good fit at Cisco, especially as it continues to transform into a software company and offer more of its networking and security infrastructure solutions on a subscription basis. During his tenure at Microsoft, Cark oversaw a critical transition to perpetual licensing, an experience that should provide a strong foundation for helping Cisco move toward realizing recurring revenue and renewal.

In addition to Cisco's channel leadership transition, the company announced a future consolidation of its partner compensation programs. Historically, Cisco has rewarded its partners through a three-tiered program. Although well-intended, this has created complexity from the perspective of tracking, proof of performance and redemption. By merging three programs into one over the next several quarters—especially with partner input—Cisco could simplify things significantly and eliminate any remaining channel sales friction.

New Security Solutions

Any event like this would be incomplete without product and solution announcements, and Cisco delivered on this front, too. First, Jeetu Patel, who leads the company's collaboration and security business, spoke about increasing the company’s investment in security. Unsurprisingly, given the current threat landscape, Cisco wants to vie for more enterprise security share-of-wallet. The company has formidable competitors in Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft, and one could argue that Cisco is behind both of those companies in the marketplace. However, with the rise of generative AI and an opportunity to consolidate security point solutions to counteract tool sprawl, Cisco is on the right track, given its latest focus on the subject.

At the partner summit, the company announced new security suites that address three critical use cases—user, cloud and breach protection. If Cisco can execute on this plan, it should provide the proper levels of efficacy, user experience and ROI across multi-cloud, private infrastructure and security point solutions for security operations stakeholders.

Expanding Observability and Sustainability

Cisco also continues to lean into observability; at the event, it announced seven new partner modules that aim to help its channel sellers build business practices that leverage observable telemetry for customers. The new modules focus on five areas—business insights, SAP visibility, networking, machine learning operations and service level objectives and sustainability. From my perspective, observability will unlock a host of new use cases; this was the subject of an article I wrote in September about Cisco’s intent to acquire Splunk.

While the benefits of observability for improving security and network resiliency are apparent, the benefits for raising sustainability might not be. Sustainability KPIs in general could stand improvement, given they are often difficult to quantify and measure. Cisco is addressing this challenge through two new capabilities: Climatiq, which facilitates carbon emission tracking, and Cisco CX Sustainability Insights, which provides a consolidated view that enables near real-time visualization, measurement, estimation and reporting of sustainability indicators. Both of these can be powerful, given that they equip organizations to optimize workload operations while doing the same for datacenter energy consumption.

To enable deeper partner participation with Cisco customers who are embarking on a sustainability journey, the company is also launching a Sustainability Estimator in late November. The tool promises to provide Cisco sellers with insights into energy savings, emissions and cost reductions and environmental impact that can be realized through modernizing IT infrastructure. This capability is a win-win, given that it provides a tool to unlock incremental sales opportunities for Cisco and its channel partners while providing Cisco customers with several options that measurably reduce their carbon footprints.

Cisco Partner Highlights

During the event, I spent time with Logicalis, a Cisco partner focused on building a strong IT practice that leverages Cisco’s sustainability offerings mentioned above. Based on its efforts, Logicalis received the inaugural Sustainability Partner of the Year award at this year’s event. From what I’ve seen, Logicalis is differentiating itself by creating incremental selling opportunities for Cisco solutions, but more than that, it is taking "tech for good" to new levels by genuinely helping its customers reduce carbon emissions globally.

I also spent time with NTT at the Cisco Partner Summit. Cisco and NTT can trace their relationship back 30 years, which is astounding in the tech world. In speaking with NTT leadership, I learned that the company was instrumental in codeveloping Cisco’s CX programmatic approach to partner sales enablement. This alliance represents a significant proof point for the effectiveness of partnerships in tech sales. Customers benefit by getting the right solutions; the two companies point to the iconic brands—including Heineken, Royal Caribbean and many others—that they have helped accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

Wrapping Up

The Cisco Partner Summit is one of the events that I look forward to attending every year. It celebrates the innovation and customer success that can be created when top-class IT infrastructure from a company of Cisco’s stature is married with the expert solution integration and deployment of diligent channel partners. I left this year’s event struck by how profound many of the new solutions could be for leveling the cybersecurity playing field while also reducing global carbon emissions.

I've written before about Cisco's place in the observability market and what it means. And I really like what the company is doing with sustainability, which seems to go beyond environmental hype to deliver real improvements. At the end of the day, tech can be used for good, and what Cisco is doing in collaboration with its international partner community is a model that could and should be replicated industrywide.

Mon, 13 Nov 2023 22:35:00 -0600 Will Townsend en text/html
Cisco expands full-stack observability ecosystem

Networking giant Cisco has announced seven new modules on its Observability Platform, looking to help customers fulfil their specific observability needs and utilise additional value from observable telemetry.

First announced in February 2023 and launched for general availability in June 2023, Cisco Full-Stack Observability is designed to allow teams to bring together telemetry data from their own context and drive correlated insights across the entire IT estate, whether they are DevOps engineers, site reliability engineers, cloud ops, ITOps, line of business or members of C-suite management.

As IT and application environments become ever more complex, observability – the ability to see and get ahead of network-based issues and everything in the tech stack that could affect customer experience – has become a board-level imperative.

Cisco said the background to the launch in February was the battle among consumer brands to gain market share by focusing on the experience customers have in accessing their products and services. This is quickly reaching into the enterprise arena, whereby hybrid workers expect the capability of their IT services to be identical wherever they are. As these expectations increase, Cisco said it was aiming to allow firms to deliver the required digital experiences by staff, customers and partners alike.

The company now says that modern businesses are digitally led, with customer and user experiences achieved with and through applications. It believes the speed and complexity of how these applications are built demands that IT teams, security teams and business leaders observe all aspects of application performance and experience in real time. Yet the company cited a latest IDC report showing 60% of IT professionals are worried that most observability tools serve narrow requirements, failing to deliver IT teams a complete view into current and trending operating conditions. Further, 65% stated the need for a programmable and extensible observability solution that could be used for use cases specific to their own business.

As a solution, the new open, extensible and API-driven stack was built by Cisco’s development partners and created to expand its full-stack observability ecosystem. The new modules are focused on five critical areas: business insights, SAP visibility, networking, MLOps and service-level objectives (SLO), and sustainability.

Business insights functions aim to correlate telemetry data with business performance across multiple domains, providing customers with full visibility and insights on how business interacts with IT. The new platform can now help customers achieve holistic observability across often changeable, expanding and complex SAP landscapes and ecosystems and use Cisco’s networking expertise to correlate key network telemetry with business metrics and application stacks.

With the growing use of generative AI and the mainstreaming of modern applications, the Cisco Observability Platform is also designed to allow customers to monitor these applications, their SLO and bring the monitoring of large language models (LLMs), and MLOps models together with application observability. Cisco also sees the upgrade as being able to help assist customers achieve their sustainability goals by providing data around the carbon footprint across multiple IT domains and help optimise around energy consumption.

Commenting on the launch of the new modules and what they could deliver, Will Townsend, vice president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy said: “Full-stack observability is unlocking a host of use cases that are providing enterprises with deeper levels of cross-domain visibility for improved application performance, network insights, security postures and assurance. The resulting benefits of reducing risk and improving the resilience of IT infrastructure are immeasurable. [The Cisco Observability Platform] ecosystem has the potential to provide a diverse set of solutions that can help customers reduce tool sprawl and more proactively manage business operations through partner-led observability practices.”

New modules available immediately covering these capabilities are: CloudFabrix - SAP Observability; CloudFabrix - Campus Analytics; Evolutio – Claims; Evolutio – eCommerce; DataRobot – MLOps by Evolutio; Climatiq - Cloud Carbon Insights; Nobl9 – Service Level Objectives (SLO).

Wed, 08 Nov 2023 19:16:00 -0600 en text/html
Cisco Showcases New Product Innovations Centered Around AI, Security and Observability at the 28th Annual Cisco Partner Summit

News Summary:

  • The annual Partner Summit gathers thousands from Cisco's global partner community to hear from Cisco leaders about partner program updates, new technology solutions and opportunities to be greater together.
  • Cisco introduces Cisco Validated Designs for AI — simplifying IT for organizations by helping them quickly integrate AI workloads into mainstream production environments.
  • New Cisco Security Suites — User, Cloud, and Breach Protection Suites — offer a simplified, integrated, and economical way to buy and consume Cisco's security solutions.
  • Cisco launches observability ecosystem — enabling organizations to create new modules on the Cisco Observability Platform.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Nov. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- CISCO PARTNER SUMMIT -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) Partner Summit 2023 begins today, bringing together thousands of Cisco partners from around the world to network, learn and celebrate their shared successes with Cisco. Around 90 percent of Cisco's revenue flows through Cisco's partners, represented by tens of thousands of organizations from more than 150 countries.

Cisco Logo (PRNewsfoto/Cisco)

Cisco Partner Summit 2023 begins today, bringing together thousands of Cisco partners.

Massive technological shifts are happening across AI, 5G, cloud, security, and applications, which are re-shaping almost every industry across the world. Now more than ever before, businesses are leveraging technology to transform their business and drive outcomes and experiences for their customers. Through the power of its platforms, Cisco is enabling greater simplicity, flexibility and choice for our customers and partners to accelerate their digital transformation.

Together with our partners, we are committed to leading in AI, security, observability and sustainability, key drivers of our innovation and joint profitability, all underpinned by our commitment to securely connect everything to make anything possible.

"We are thrilled to host Partner Summit 2023, where our global partner ecosystem will come together to discuss how Cisco and its partners can collectively help customers achieve their business goals," said Jeff Sharritts, EVP and Chief Customer and Partner Officer, Cisco. "This event serves as a platform to foster collaboration, share insights, and strengthen the bonds between Cisco and our valued partners. Through our collective expertise and resources, we can drive innovations that shape the future of digital transformation and create even greater value for organizations across industries and geographies."

Cisco Validated Designs for AI
Effective utilization of AI has emerged as a top priority for organizations around the world. At the same time, unfamiliar application stacks and infrastructure patterns create challenges for IT teams being asked to support these initiatives. To offer partners the simplest and most scalable solutions to help customers get their infrastructure AI-ready, Cisco has collaborated with leading ecosystem partners — including NVIDIA, Intel, AMD, NetApp, Nutanix, Pure Storage and Red Hat — on Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for AI use cases. These solutions build on the success of proven capabilities and existing IT processes, helping to accelerate customers' journey to AI without adding unnecessary risk or new silos of operations.

New Observability Ecosystem for Partners 
Cisco development partners are seeing significant business value in the Cisco Observability Platform and are actively building modules around five critical themes: Business Insights, SAP, Networking, MLOps and Sustainability. This new vendor-agnostic observability ecosystem helps customers fulfill their specific observability needs, facilitating an environment where they can get value from observable telemetry.

New Cisco Security Suites
Cybersecurity threats are not only becoming more prevalent, but they are also becoming increasingly complex. Partners and customers alike need simpler, outcome-driven solutions that help them strengthen their security posture against accelerating threats. To address this, Cisco is introducing new Security Suites to provide a more integrated, predictable, and economical way to buy and consume Cisco's robust portfolio of security products. Centered around three critical use cases — User, Cloud, and Breach Protection — the suites will Improve security efficacy, enhance the user experience and boost return on investment. They are designed to work across multiple clouds, private infrastructure and built to be interoperable with other tools and systems.

Partner Innovation Challenge
The Partner Innovation Challenge has awarded partners from 96 countries collectively over $3.3 million, since its debut in 2018. With a 68-percent surge in new partner submissions compared to last year, the program's tremendous growth has generated innovative solutions that solve real customer challenges — all on Cisco platforms.

The sixth annual Challenge saw the introduction of a Partnering for Purpose award category, offering partners an additional avenue to garner recognition and funding for innovations that support social causes and environmental issues. From digital inclusion, employee experience and economic empowerment, to climate change and environmental stewardship, to crisis response and critical human need, partners were challenged to deliver purpose-focused submissions that can support communities, social causes, and the environment. 

Winners of the 2023 Partner Innovation Challenge 

  • Grand Prize 1st place ($200,000): Ormit Solutions / SplashAccess' IPSK (Individual Pre-Shared Key), a Wi-Fi solution for universities and multiple dwelling units that delivers a home network experience, enabling network security and user access control, while simplifying the administrative burden.
  • 2nd place ($100,000 USD): Long View Systems' Sustainable and Intelligent Building Analytics, a commercial building management system that reduces high-energy costs, using occupant-centric control from Cisco Spaces Wi-Fi activity data and Webex cameras.
  • 3rd place ($50,000 USD): CAE Labs' Innovation Network Intelligence, a platform that delivers actionable insights, providing customers with complete visibility of their Cisco investments on a simple-to-use dashboard.

Additional Resources

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 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.  


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SOURCE Cisco Systems, Inc.

Mon, 06 Nov 2023 23:47:00 -0600 en text/html
Cisco Partner Summit 2023: CEO, Channel Chief Weigh In On Splunk Deal, AI And Channel Culture

Networking News

Gina Narcisi

CEO Chuck Robbins, alongside the tech giant’s executive leadership team and incoming Channel Chief Rodney Clark, spoke on the mainstage and with CRN about AI, the Splunk acquisition, as well as Cisco’s culture at Cisco Partner Summit 2023.


Cisco Partner Summit 2023 highlighted new product innovations, partner programming updates, and a chance for channel partners to hear all about the company’s strategy and channel opportunities heading into 2024.

The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant’s executive leadership took to the show to talk about major trends, such as AI, managed services and Cisco’s software focus. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins took the opportunity to talk to CRN about how the planned Splunk megadeal will bolster Cisco’s security prowess. Meanwhile, on the channel side, the company at Partner Summit introduced Rodney Clark, a well-known channel leader and former Microsoft channel chief as its new channel leader beginning in January. Clark, as well as former Channel Chief and current Cisco EMEA president Oliver Tuszik met up with CRN at the show to talk about Cisco’s channel-first culture and the company’s platform approach it’s adopting to networking, security, and observability.

Here’s what Cisco’s leadership team, including Chuck Robbins and Rodney Clark, had to say at Cisco Partner Summit 2023.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On Impending Splunk Acquisition

The [extended detection and response] XDR platform is going to continue to have more and more AI and machine learning, helping to correlate threats more quickly for customers. And we’ve talked about moving from detection and response to prediction and prevention. And if you think about Splunk’s platform, it’s just massive data platform that has ingested lots of insights from different threat sources, logs [and] events. And I think when you put that together with the XDR platform, which is all utilizing AI, we should be able to deliver our customers the most rapid insights relative to what’s going on in their security and their infrastructure of anyone, and so I think that’s the big play there.

Rodney Clark, Incoming SVP, Partnerships and Small & Medium Business On Cisco’s channel culture

I’ve had fairly large channel responsibilities in my last two companies. And there’s a fairly unique difference between all of those experiences and this one at Cisco. And it’s hard to articulate in words, but I’m going to deliver it a shot. The partners are genuinely excited to grow with Cisco. The partners are genuinely excited to leverage Cisco and our capabilities to help them build new capability. In the 48 conversations that I’ve had [at Partner Summit], I haven’t had one partner corner me and deliver me the list of issues. I’ve had partners corner me and deliver me the list of opportunities to grow, and where and how we can help them. That’s a pretty significant shift and that’s my big takeaway … just how genuinely excited this ecosystem is to partner with Cisco.

Liz Centoni, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Applications & Chief Strategy Officer On AI

We have an enormous amount of telemetry across email, endpoints, and the network. To really get the biggest benefit from AI, you need massive amounts of quality data. There are very few companies in this planet that have that. Now, AI is used pervasively across our portfolio. You’ve heard us talk about automation, baselining, anomaly detection, and noise reduction. We love Gen AI, it brings us huge opportunity, and we’re rapidly using it across our portfolio. You will hear us talk about this. We are powering AI workloads for our customers.

Oliver Tuszik, President, Cisco EMEA and Former Channel Chief On Cisco’s platform approach to networking, security, and full stack observability

That is a big change. These borders, these clear lines that we had. They no longer exist. Technology-wise, they might still exist in some areas, but take networking, security, that’s where the power of both worlds come together. And customers don’t want to deal with the interface. They want us our partners in this case to deliver this and that’s the big opportunity. We see network, security [and] managed services growing very fast.

Jeff Sharritts, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Partner Officer On Cisco Being The ‘Most Relevant Partner’

We want to be your most relevant partner that you have when you’re working with your customers. And we’re committed to ensuring that our partnership is mutually beneficial … I think from just a relevance perspective … I’m having conversations with CIOs and CTOs every day and we’re talking about areas of focus [AI and security] and how those syllabus are key to their business. And it doesn’t matter if it’s governments, enterprise, commercial, it doesn’t matter the segment of the market. And I think as we continue to evolve our programs … and making sure that they’re aligned to those things, and things our customers care about, and [we] demonstrate how critical the service capabilities, whether it be what we’re doing the maintenance services, what we’re doing in the public cloud marketplace, and co-selling or what we’re doing in professional services, all kind of tied closely and thus delivering value to our customers around those key areas. That’s the relevance I’m talking about. It’s all about the customer.

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at

Tue, 14 Nov 2023 00:27:00 -0600 en text/html
Cisco’s Full-Stack Observability Vision For $34B Market Includes Partner Innovation

Networking News

Gina Narcisi

To go after the soon-to-be $34 billion observability market opportunity, Cisco has unveiled its observability ecosystem with seven new partner modules which lets developers create new modules on the Cisco Observability Platform.


Cisco’s full-stack observability (FSO) platform, which encompasses networking, infrastructure, and application observability, is getting a boost with seven new partner modules built on top of the platform for partners and developers.

The company said these new partner-powered modules, which are focused on business insights, SAP, networking, machine learning operations and sustainability, are bringing the vision of an FSO ecosystem to reality.

“FSO is a platform that partners can build on top of … it’s a business opportunity for [partners] because they have access to the massive Cisco application, computing, networking, telemetry and everything that goes into it. And it’s multi-vendor,” said Carlos Pereira, fellow and chief architect, strategy, incubation and applications for Cisco.

Liz Centoni, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of applications and chief strategy officer, called out observability as a $34 billion opportunity by 2025. It’s a space that the tech giant must tackle with partners, she said.

“We want to go out there and take more of our fair share of it,” she added.

[Related: Cisco Crowns Rodney Clark New Global Channel Chief: Exclusive ]

If Cisco’s planned $28 billion acquisition of Splunk is any indication, the networking giant is serious about its plan to serve up AI-enabled security and full-stack observability, said Lane Irvine, network business solutions director for Calgary, Alberta-based Long View Systems, a longtime Cisco Gold partner.

“This is a really big piece of where they’re going,” Irvine said. “I don’t think they found the magic bullet yet, but they’ve got the right idea and roadmap. They are really now saying: ‘If we bring this all together, all the visibility from all our products we’ve got into a single dashboard, this will bring big value to customers.”

At Cisco Live 2023 in June, the company unveiled the Cisco Observability platform, which pulls in data from multiple domains including applications, networking, infrastructure, security, cloud, sustainability, and other business sources. Now at Partner Summit 2023, there’s no better time to launch partner modules for the Cisco Observability platform, Pereira said.

Cisco on Tuesday launched seven new partner modules that have been built on top of the Cisco Observability platform that are generally available now:

* Evolutio, a module that simplifies the correlation and monitoring of orders, shipping, and payments to identify and resolve issues with applications and infrastructure with eCommerce Management module.

* DataRobot for Evolutio, which extends observability with monitoring and production diagnostics to track and Improve performance of both predictive and generative AI models.

* Evolutio’s Insurance Claims Management module, which helps insurance carriers correlate and view the health of claims processes by product types, underwriters, regions, and business units.

* CloudFabrix SAP Landscape Visibility, a module that can ingest data from Cisco AppDynamics SAP Monitoring and correlate it to asset types to isolate root cause and determine the effect of impacted services on the business.

* CloudFabrix Campus Analytics, a module for aggregating Cisco DNA Controller analytics to serve up campus return-to-work insights.

* Nobl9 SLO Observability, which helps define and create Service Level Objectives (SLOs) around reliability and remaining error budget for given services and workload visualizations.  

* Climatiq, a module for carbon emissions tracking to existing cloud metrics, with Public Cloud Sustainability, including analysis, comparison, and benchmarking for data.

The new modules join Cisco’s existing modules that the FSO platform launched with less than six months ago, including Cost Insights to help businesses understand the fiscal impact of their cloud applications, while also supporting sustainability efforts; Application Resource Optimizer which offers visibility into Kubernetes workload resource utilization, Security Insights to generate an application-based business risk score; and Cisco AIOps to help IT professionals visualize contextualized data relevant to infrastructure, network, incidents, and performance of a business applications in one dashboard.

Developers can also build their own observability solutions into the extensible platform, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

More than 90 percent of Cisco’s FSO deals today involve partners, Centoni said.

Cisco AppDynamics and FSO is available now on the AWS Marketplace and will be available soon on the Microsoft Azure marketplace, she added.

Modules Coming Soon

Cisco at Partner Summit also shared three modules that are slated to go live in February on the observability platform. Those include Observability 360 SAP Business Flow by Accenture, which Cisco said brings unified SAP monitoring to the enterprise by correlating application observability and service management with business impact data. Next is MILOps Overview By Aporia, which provides a holistic view of ML model performance for faster issue resolution. Lastly is Sustainability Insights powered by Cisco CX. This module gives real-time interactive visualizations, measurement, estimation, and reporting of key infrastructure sustainability indicators, trended over time, according to the company.

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 23:30:00 -0600 en text/html
How Cisco's AI security offerings could make it stand out

Cisco (CSCO) unveiled new security suite at its annual partner summit.

Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins joined Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi to shed more light on Cisco’s big announcement and why investors should keep an eye on the roll out.

Robbins says the company's new AI-powered security offerings will center on “user, cloud, and breach, adding that the company's acquisition of Splunk (SPLK) will be “a big play” for the company in security.

A study from Cisco found that many companies are not ready for AI. Robbins sees this rollout as “an opportunity to help” to help those businesses, noting that customers are still “digesting” this move to generative AI.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Cisco this week introduced a new lineup of security suites for the modern era at its annual partner summit less than two months after announcing it would be acquiring tech firm Splunk in a major $28 billion agreement. The latest deal amplifying Cisco's investment in AI and digital security. I'm here with Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins. Chuck, always nice to get some time with you here. I know, big event down there, I believe, in Miami. What exactly did you announce, and why is it so important to investors?

CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, first of all, Brian, it's great to see you. And thanks for having me on. We had a-- we've had a great few days with our partners. You know, we have been a partner-led company for a very long time. And this week, we made-- well, last week actually, we made a lot of announcements around AI in our Webex, in our collaboration portfolio.

This week, we talked about a lot of AI announcements in our security portfolio. We announced new security suites that you just pointed out around user cloud and breach. This follows on a lot of announcements earlier this year around an extended detection and response platform that has got great momentum as we've rolled it out, as well as multi-cloud defense. And then, you reference the Splunk acquisition, which we think will be a big play for us in security. So it's been a good few months.

BRIAN SOZZI: It's been a busy few months, Chuck. That much is for sure. I think you put out a study ahead of this, or in relation to this-- these new announcements. 70% of companies aren't prepared for the AI revolution. That has to worry, you know.

CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, it's an opportunity to help, honestly. It's-- we did an AI readiness survey. We've done this with cybersecurity for years. And we replicated it around AI. And I think that-- what it just shows is what you would probably expect at this point.

Customers are digesting all the new AI capabilities and the tools. They're trying to build their strategy right now. We happen to be in the technology industry. So we've been using predictive AI for a very long time. So the move to generative AI wasn't as big a jump.

But I think that customers will be looking at how they use AI internally to make themselves more efficient. How they use AI to engage with their customers more effectively. It'll represent an infrastructure opportunity for us as well as just guiding them. And it introduces a lot of security needs and things that they'll need to be thinking about on that front as well.

BRIAN SOZZI: I know, Chuck, Cisco has been, under your leadership, really focused on driving recurring revenue. Do these AI products facilitate that? Do they Improve your margins? And are they all pretty much fee based?

CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, most-- it depends. Some of our technology are simply, like, new capabilities within the security portfolio, or new capabilities within Webex. So if you have an AI assistant in our collaboration portfolio, that is going to deliver you a natural language interface to check on what occurred in a meeting that you were 10 minutes late for.

I mean, those are just incremental features that increase the value of the platform. In other cases, we sell a lot of infrastructure that will help our customers build out their own AI capabilities. In many cases, there'll be subscriptions associated with that. So it's going to vary across the portfolio.

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 23:36:00 -0600 en-SG text/html

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