Cisco DNA and DNA Center as Controller

Well today I am going to talk about the new cloud based automation solution. As you knew that the most of the enterprises are moving to the Cloud or you can say moving to the Software defined services, Cisco started one of its product now called as DNA Center and earlier it was called as Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module. It is a part of Cisco DNA architecture. 

Let's talk about DNA Center first, To understand the DNA Center, you first need to understand the DNA structure which cisco launches and DNA Center (APIC-EM) is the heart of the DNA. 

Fig 1.1- Cisco DNA Center ( APIC-EM)

DNA defines digital network architecture and DNA Center is the integral part of the DNA architecture. Now there are lot of questions comes into picture like

What DNA Center is ? 
From where it comes ? 
what's the logic behind the DNA Center ? 
how it works ?

well well so many questions, i will explain all question one by one but i will let you know that it will really ease the work of the enterprise networks and will work as Software defined network.

Cisco launches DNA architecture which covers Infrastructure, Application, Automation and analytics. All these cover in one bundle and that is called as DNA.  We will discuss DNA in later post but here we will start talking about the one portion of the DNA architecture and that is DNA Center.

Few are key points of DNA Center is :

  • Automate branch router configuration and management with software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology. 
  • Deploy Cisco enterprise routers, switches, and wireless controllers without the need for human intervention
  • View paths to simplify and accelerate the task of troubleshooting connectivity problems. 
  • Use quality of service (QoS) to prioritize applications across your network in minutes.

Means with the use of DNA Center, you need to just create the templates of the different policies like QOS, SNMP or so on and all these policies will be pushed by DNA Center automatically.

Device Discovery
First of all lets talk about how it works, DNA Center will discovers the different devices in the network. Let us suppose it discover 5 devices in the network named as " Cisco 3800, Cisco 6500, Cisco 6800, Cisco Nexus 7010 and Cisco Nexus 5030 devices in the network. So now you can assign the site with the role of the device in the inventory.

Fig 1.2- DNA Center Flow Analysis

Path Trace
Below is the another application called as Path Trace which shows about the traffic flow device by device. Below is the image showing path-trace from to destination.

It will create the topology in its database but make sure it only creates the topology if all these devices have CDP enable in it. Now it will push all the policies which will be defined by the administrator to all the devices which is discovered by DNA Center. All devices will be configured automatically with the QOS and SNMP policies, you need not to configure the devices manually.

Wow !! This is amazing.. you are really going to the software defined networking where you configure the devices with the automatic tool called as DNA Center. 

Now no need to open the CLI and configure your devices with the various policies one by one. Just you have to take this DNA Center module and you are set to have the different policies enable in the DNA Center and you are good to go. With the help of DNA Center you can push policies on hundred's of the devices in your network and make your life so easier. 

Cisco Enhanced DNA Center 1.1 to DNA center. Cisco DNA center will give you the full view of the automation with DNA Center, Cisco ISE and Telemetry with Analytics. You have a full view on the DNA center and will be drive all automation, security and the analytics.

This is the automation tool for setting the policies on the network devices. Policies can be many that can be defined by the network administrator according to your network.