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Cisco Network Assurance Engine eBook

Transforming the Way You Build and Manage Networks
Transforming the Way You Build and Manage Data Center Networks
Introducing Cisco Network Assurance Engine
How do you keep pace with the business demands placed on modern data centers?
By bringing together unique capabilities that address the unprecedented growth of scale, complexity and rate of change in your data center

The data center is the heart of your IT infrastructure, and automation, agility, and virtualization are vital.
But many data center operation models are reactive, and our intent frequently fails:

  • Operational failures occur. You troubleshoot.

  • Security breaches occur. You scramble.

The common theme across these issues? An inability to assure network intent proactively.

With the rampant adoption of distributed systems and hybrid cloud architectures, and a drive toward greater levels of automation, network IT teams are pressured to deliver on the conflicting challenges of:

  • … becoming more agile
  • … while delivering a secure and resilient network
  • … and managing costs
Power to predict
Go from reactive to proactive

What if you could…

  • Have the confidence that your changes won’t break the application?

  • Surface latent risks in your network before they cause outages?

  • Ensure that your network security policies are always compliant?

You would then:

  • Fundamentally transform operations from reactive to proactive

  • Know that your network is working exactly as you intended

  • Take the guesswork out of operations

What is intent-based networking?
Translate. Activate. Assure.


Capture business intent, translate to policies, and check integrity

In a world of rapid innovation, change, and digital transformation, a tight connection between what business teams need and what the infrastructure and platform provides is critical.

  • Capture intent: Take business requirements as input from a user or artificial intelligence–based systems.
  • Translate to policy: Translate expressed intent to network and security policies.
  • Check integrity: Validate integrity of policies against existing or conflicting policies.


Orchestrate policies and configure systems

Automation is critical in helping IT operate at digital speed, giving you back time to play a more strategic role in your organization. Activation means your intended policies are automatically active across the entire network, and we make sure they stay in place until further change is required.

  • Orchestrate policies: Orchestrate the appropriate policies across domains, for virtual and physical infrastructure.
  • Configure systems: Translate policies to configurations and apply them to appropriate systems.


Continuous verification, insights and visibility, and corrective actions

Assurance gives you the confidence that the network is always operating exactly as you intend it to. It enables you to identify issues proactively, easily find the root-cause, and resolve them quickly.

  • Continuous verification: Verify that system behavior is continuously aligning to the expressed intent.
  • Insights and visibility: Capture and analyze data to identify anomalies, understand trends, and predict issues.
  • Corrective actions: Identify gaps between intent and system behaviors and recommend optimizations.
Cisco Network Assurance Engine Always-on network assurance for data centers

Cisco® Network Assurance Engine (NAE) delivers the third pillar of intent-based networking: intent assurance, or the confidence that the network is always operating consistently with the operator’s intent, even as it changes dynamically. By providing continuous verification and validation of the complete network state, policy, and intent, Cisco NAE fundamentally transforms the operations paradigm from reactive to proactive, allowing the ability to adapt the network before issues occur. It empowers operators to increase change agility while reducing risk, predict network outages and vulnerabilities, reduce security risk, and assure provable compliance by policy and state.

With Cisco NAE, you can:

  • Predict change impact

    Proactively verify changes for correctness to drive increased change agility while significantly reducing risk of human error–induced network failures.

  • Verify networkwide behavior

    Continuously analyze and verify the dynamic state of the network against intent and policy to ensure connectivity. Eliminate potential network outages and vulnerabilities before any business impact occurs.

  • Assure network security policies and compliance

    Assure network security policies and check for compliance against business rules to reduce security risk. Achieve provable continuous compliance by policy and state.

Through continuous networkwide verification and validation, Cisco NAE transforms a data center’s operations paradigm.

Cisco Network Assurance Engine: How it works

  • Data collection

    Captures all nonpacket data intent, policy, state across data center network

  • Comprehensive network modeling

    Mathematically accurate models spanning underlay, overlay, and virtualization layers

  • Intelligent analysis

    Domain knowledge-based error scenarios built in, codified remediation steps

Together, our suite of products: Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™), Cisco Tetration™, and Cisco NAE solutions, work together to help operators infer application intent, obtain network policies, and enforce those policies throughout the network and at endpoints.

Cisco ACI

Helps operators express intent in the form of policies to automate connectivity and network-level security:

  • network optimization and automation
  • network security, availability
  • multicloud networking

Cisco Tetration

Cisco Network Assurance Engine

Expert guidance and deployment Analysis. Recommendations. Seamless installation.

Cisco’s implementation services and support teams can help you get more from your investment when you’re ready to move to an intent-based data center. Our unique insights and expertise—gained from multiple successful deployments—will help you:

  • Identify and analyze the impact of reported issues and security vulnerabilities within your data center.

  • Accelerate intent-based data center adoption, speed remediation, and limit your future risk.

  • Access knowledge-share and receive guidance from Cisco Services experts who excel at vulnerability analysis, network and configuration smart event discovery, and quick and seamless installation.

Cisco NAE uses real-time models, based on collective knowledge from Cisco implementation and support experts, that compare “what is” against “what should be scenarios”— to offer you the most strategic recommendations.

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