Cisco Battles IT Blind Spots, Takes Network Intuitive to the WAN

Cisco Meraki Insight
Also announced today is Cisco Meraki Insight, which is integrated into the Meraki dashboard to give IT more visibility to WAN and SaaS application performance with analytics, and reduce the time it takes to identify and resolve application issues hosted in a remote data center or in the cloud.

Meraki Insight aims to provide quality feedback and assurance to network performance as well as trending analysis of web-based applications, says Simon Tompson, product marketing lead for Cisco Meraki. It has addressed IT troubleshooting on the local area network side, recently enhanced capabilities on the wireless side and with Insight, "we're turning the focus to some of the more difficult to read external factors, the wide area network, and the custom cloud-hosted services we're accessing in public or private clouds, across the WAN or the Internet," he noted.

One retail customer, Tompson adds, experienced issues with its credit card system in several stores and used Meraki Insight to pinpoint the source of the problem which stemmed from its Internet service provider. The customer then contacted the ISP which resolved the issue.

The next stage for the intent-based networking initiative, after applying analytics and assurance, is to add more artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, said Gupta.

"[We're] taking all the data we're getting from the infrastructure to help customers really optimize those networks, optimize utilization and optimize the experience for the end users of those applications," he says.

All Cisco's product lines will become more automated with ML and AI capabilities and "one of the next things for Cisco is tying their intent networks together -- SD-WAN, the data center, DNA, etc.," predicts Lee Doyle, prinicipal analyst for Doyle Research.

Increased network automation echoes an industrywide trend, continues Doyle.

"Where we want to go in the future is from doing things manually to automated and we're just starting to do that. We want to easily enable critical applications to have excellent performance, understand the network problems, and remediate that, and anticipate future network demands -- in this case in the WAN," he says. "Cisco is making strides to address that, and there's more work to be done."

Both Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics, which is available under Cisco's vManage platform, and Cisco Meraki Insight are available as subscriptions this month.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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