Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cisco launches networking products and tools for IoT

Steve Rogerson
February 7, 2019

Cisco is introducing IoT networking products, developer tools, validated design guides and partner specialisations to deliver scale, flexibility and security for IoT environments. 
The IoT brings with it enormous potential, but only if a business can get it right. Each company has its own set of IoT requirements and needs an infrastructure that will grow and adapt with their business. Most IoT projects struggle because they cannot scale to production, while security is an afterthought.
To address these issues, Cisco is introducing:

  • IoT networking platforms: These include Catalyst industrial switches and industrial integrated services routers purpose-built for IoT environments. They are powered by IOS XE, an operating system that powers intent-based networking across the campus, branch and WAN. The platforms are managed by the Cisco DNA centre, which gives users a single view across their campus, branch and IoT environments.
  • IoT developer tools: Cisco’s developer programme, DevNet, features a set of developer tools to enable customers and partners to unleash innovation at the IoT edge. Ecosystem partners now have a consistent way to build and manage applications at the edge and enable the extra flexibility users need to enable better business outcomes. The IoT developer centre is complete with learning materials, developer tools and support resources so partners can start building applications.
  • Blueprints for utilities, manufacturing and remote and mobile assets: Working with industry partners, Cisco has created three validated designs. These are blueprints for IoT architectures that have been tried, tested and proven to deliver business results. The validated designs let users and partners quickly accelerate from proofs of concept to scaled deployments
  • IoT partner training: Cisco is building a global ecosystem of IoT partners by providing training and specialisation programmes. IoT certified partners gain higher visibility across Cisco sales teams and customers as trusted advisors across all IoT projects. The company also has a rich ecosystem of industry partners, ISVs, machine builders and service providers to deliver IoT projects for users in manufacturing, transportation, energy, retail, public sector and more.
“In IoT, the conversation is about business outcomes,” said Liz Centoni, senior vice president at Cisco. “It starts with secure connectivity as the foundation of every IoT deployment. By providing scale, flexibility and security, we’re turning the network into a secret weapon for our IoT customers. And, with a new DevNet IoT developer centre, we’re empowering thousands of partners and developers around the world to build upon our IoT platform.”
Didier Hinguant, telecoms director at Enedis, added: “We closely collaborated with Cisco on Cisco's new compact, low-power industrial router to meet the stringent environmental and safety standards used in the utilities industry. We operate and deploy our connected grid with thousands of Cisco routers via field network director zero touch provisioning, with an agile, highly secure and future proof network using IPv6 to address our scalability constraints.”
Intent-based networking represents a shift in the way networks are built and managed. Moving away from the manual, time-intensive methods by which networks are traditionally managed, these modern networks capture business intent and translate it into network policy. For the past few years, users have been embracing this way of networking across the campus and branch. Now, IT can work with operations to manage these environments.
Intent-based networking delivers three potential benefits for users:
  • Scale: IT teams can leverage their expertise with familiar tools such as Cisco’s DNA centre to scale in an automated, simplified way. Complex deployments that previously took months can now be completed in hours or even minutes.
  • Flexibility: In many cases, the cost and effort of replacing IoT infrastructure can be prohibitive. A modular design means Cisco platforms are flexible and future-proofed. So, users can upgrade to technologies such as 5G without replacing the networking infrastructure. The industrial routers are said to be the industry’s first and only 5G-ready IPv6 deployable industrial routers.
  • Security: Cisco believes in a multi-layered security approach, where security in built into every layer of the IoT stack, from the networking hardware to the operating software and the edge computing apps. With the breadth of its security portfolio, Cisco says it is positioned to provide fully integrated security without gaps in coverage.
The Catalyst IE3x00 rugged series of switches and IR1101 rugged integrated services router are available to order today.