News Release

Cisco Unveils Digital Network Architecture to Accelerate Customer Digital Transformation

Delivers an Open, Extensible and Software-driven Architecture Enabling Businesses to Innovate Faster, Reduce Cost and Complexity and Lower Risk
Mar 02, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA, Cisco Partner Summit– March 2, 2016 – Digitization is transforming businesses in every industry, opening up a $2.1 trillion global market opportunity by 2019, according to IDC*.  The path to digitization requires a digital network that evolves beyond just connectivity. This new network will enable business innovation, generate insights and create customer experiences. It will reduce cost and complexity with new orchestration and automation capabilities, while helping protect the business with an architecture designed for security.

At the same time that enterprises are addressing how to move to digitization, there has been tremendous innovation in networking, including software defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), model-driven programming, overlay networks, open API’s, cloud management, orchestration, analytics and more.  These innovations have great promise to improve operational efficiency and enable digital applications, yet adoption has been slow due to the difficulty in consuming these many new technologies. The market needs a solution that integrates the critical innovations in networking software –virtualization, automation, analytics, cloud service management, and open and extensible programmability– into an architecture that can achieve these promises in an integrated and easy to consume manner.

Cisco today announces Digital Network Architecture (DNA),  an open, extensible and software driven architecture for digital business.  Cisco® DNA complements Cisco’s market leading, data center based Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technology by extending the policy driven approach and software strategy throughout the entire network: from campus to branch, wired to wireless, core to edge.   Cisco DNA is delivered within the Cisco ONE™ Software family, enabling simplified software-based licensing, and helping with investment protection and flexibility.

Cisco DNA is built on five guiding principles:  

  1. Virtualize everything to give organizations freedom of choice to run any service anywhere, independent of the underlying platform – physical or virtual, on premise or in the cloud.
  2. Designed for automation to make networks and services on those networks easy to deploy, manage and maintain – fundamentally changing the approach to network management.
  3. Pervasive analytics to provide insights on the operation of the network, IT infrastructure and the business – information that only the network can provide.
  4. Service management delivered from the cloud to unify policy and orchestration across the network - enabling the agility of cloud with the security and control of on premises solutions.
  5. Open, extensible and programmable at every layer – Integrating Cisco and 3rd party technology, open API’s and a developer platform, to support a rich ecosystem of network-enabled applications.

“The digital network is the platform for digital business,” said Rob Soderbery, SVP for Enterprise Products and Solutions, Cisco.  “Cisco DNA brings together virtualization, automation, analytics, cloud and programmability to build that platform.  The acronym for the Digital Networking Architecture – DNA – isn’t an accident. We’re fundamentally changing the DNA of networking technology.”

Cisco DNA News Highlights

Today Cisco is announcing automation, virtualization and cloud management capabilities in support of the DNA architecture:

  • DNA Automation:  APIC-Enterprise Module (APIC EM) Platform
    • APIC-EM Platform:  A new version of Cisco’s enterprise controller is now generally available. With 100+ customer deployments and running up to 4000 devices from a single instance, APIC-EM meets the enterprise scale and resiliency required for our largest customers, with the broadest set of network services and device support.   The APIC-EM platform supports a range of automation services, including new services announced today and described below.
      • Cisco Plug and Play: This automation software removes the need for any staging for pre-configuration or truck roll-outs to remote locations, which typically cost IT around $200-$2000 per device. The Plug and Play agent sits on Cisco routers and switches and talks directly to the network controller, reducing deployment time from up to 4 weeks to a few days, and providing up to 79 percent decrease in Day 0 deployment costs over traditional methods.
      • Easy Quality of Service (EasyQoS): The EasyQoS service enables the network to dynamically update network wide QoS settings based on application policy. With EasyQoS IT departments can ensure that the right application is prioritized to provide the best experience for users.
  • Cisco Intelligent WAN Automation Services:
    • This service automates IWAN deployment and management, providing greater WAN deployment flexibility and allowing IT to quickly configure and deploy a full-service branch office with just 10 clicks.  IWAN automation eliminates configuration tasks for advanced networking features, and automatically enables Cisco best practices, application prioritization, path selection and caching to improve the user experience.
  • DNA Virtualization:  Evolved IOS-XE and Enterprise NFV
    • Evolved Cisco IOS XE, is a network operating system optimized for programmability, controller-based automation, and serviceability. The new OS provides open model-driven APIs for third party application development, software-defined management, application hosting, edge computing and abstraction from the physical infrastructure to enable virtualization.   It supports the Cisco Catalyst 3850/3650, ASR 1000 and ISR 4000 today, and will continue to be expanded across the Enterprise Network portfolio.
    • Evolved Cisco IOS XE includes Enterprise Network Function Virtualization (Enterprise NFV) that decouples hardware from software and gives enterprises the freedom of choice to run any feature anywhere. This solution includes the full software stack - virtualization infrastructure software; virtualized network functions (VNFs) like routing, firewall, WAN Optimization, and WLAN Controller; and orchestration services - to enable branch office service virtualization. With this solution, IT can now simplify their day to day operations, roll out new branch services with no truck rolls, and have flexible deployment options – customized Cisco platform, a server platform, or any x86 platform
  • DNA Cloud Service Management:  CMX Cloud
    • CMX Cloud provides business insights and personalized engagement using location and presence information from Cisco wireless infrastructure.  With CMX Cloud enterprises can provide easy Wi-Fi onboarding, gain access to aggregate customer behavior data, and improve customer engagement. 

Supporting Quotes

Enterprise NFV services in DNA allow us to innovate with speed via open programmability and by hosting virtualized functions and applications wherever, whenever I need them, network-wide,” said Markus Voegele, Sr. Network Architect, IBM Aviation Industry Services

“Unlike other SDN solutions, DNA innovations like APIC EM can be deployed on our existing infrastructure so we can move quickly with minimum risk and maximum investment protection,” said CJ Singh, Chief Technology Officer,

Product Pricing, Availability and Programs

  • Cisco DNA will be sold through the Cisco ONE Software model, and will give customers the freedom to choose the platform and purchasing model. 
  • Pricing & Packaging
    • Cisco APIC-EM platform includes Cisco Plug and Play and Cisco EasyQoS, which will be available at no additional cost.
    • Cisco Intelligent WAN App is provided through Cisco ONE Foundation for WAN.
    • Cisco Enterprise NFV is expected to be provided through Cisco ONE WAN suite as an annual subscription.
    • Cisco ONE Foundation offers list pricing starting at US $1200 for WAN and US $200 for Access.
    • Cisco CMX Cloud is expected to be available as an annual subscription through Cisco ONE Wireless suite starting at US $250.


  • Cisco APIC-EM, with Cisco Plug and Play and EasyQoS beta are available now globally.
  • Cisco IWAN is available now globally. 
  • Cisco Enterprise NFV is expected to be available 1HCY16 with controlled availability.
  • Cisco CMX Cloud is available as a standalone service globally as permitted by local laws. A free 60-day trial offer is currently available in the US, and coming soon to other countries.


To support Cisco customers and partners on this network transformation journey, the Learning at Cisco and Cisco DevNet developer programs are committed to educating and enabling networking professionals transitioning to a software-driven networking model.

  • Network Programmability Specialist Certification is available built on top of Industry award winning CCIE and CCNP programs. As developers and engineers build on DNA, Cisco is making available training, hands on exercises and certifications to enable the workforce of the future. The recently announced Next Generation CCIE program is creating a foundation of expertise for the top level IT professionals to “future proof” their skills. In addition, the Cloud Certification track is helping IT professionals build skills around orchestration and automation.
  • Cisco DevNet has revamped the Networking Dev Center to make it easier for developers to integrate into Cisco DNA.  Enhancements include new self-paced learning labs with personalized learning tracks for Network Engineers and Application Developers.

Cisco Capital Easy Pay is a new global offer specifically created for Cisco DNA. It allows a three-year 0% lease for all products as part of Cisco DNA. Customers pay 90% of the cost, over the three-year term, providing predictable monthly payments and cash flow management. At the end of the three-year term and subject to payment of applicable subscription fees, the customer has three options: return and refresh, purchase the assets for 10% of the original purchase price, or extend the lease.  Restrictions apply; see your local Cisco Capital representative for full details. 

Supporting Resources

Read: DNA Vision Blog

Read: Learning at Cisco Blog

View:  Cisco DNA Infographic

Participate: Cisco Community

Participate: Cisco DevNet

Like Cisco Enterprise Networking on Facebook

Follow Cisco on Twitter@CiscoEnterprise

Blogs: Cisco Enterprise Networking Blog

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

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. 

Availability Disclaimer: Some of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. Such products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco.  Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any such products or features.

*"According to the new IDC, Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide, 2015 1H" worldwide spending on digital transformation (DX) technologies will grow to more than $2.1 trillion in 2019 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% over the 2014-2019 forecast period. Spending on DX technologies in the United States will follow a similar trajectory, reaching nearly $732 billion in 2019."


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