Well…it’s finally happened, Robb Boyd has handed the controls of the TechwiseTV Workshops over to me! Don’t worry, you still get to hear his dulcet voice on this episode.
That’s not why you’re here, though, you want to know all about Software Defined Access (SD-Access) and in this workshop, you get a great intro to it…complete with live demos and all! Thanks to Shawn Wargo we got to hear all about the technology that goes into SD-Access as well as see the DNA Center GUI live and in action. This particular show is an interactive dive into a topic we covered on the TechwiseTV episode we did with Shawn and Carl Solder, which you should definitely check out.
At the top of the workshop Shawn points out, SD-Access is all about taking tried and true technology solutions like Campus Fabric and making it even more accessible and easier to use by adding on a controller, which we get with DNA Center. So what we really have is a pristine underlay that does its job, it forwards frames. Then a logical overlay that let’s us automate all sorts of hardware, software, and policy configurations.
Check out the Workshop here: https://engage2demand.cisco.com/LP=6185?dtid=odicdc000016
Check out the slides here: https://www.slideshare.net/robboyd/techwisetv-workshop-softwaredefined-access
DNA Center isn’t just one of those cobbled together GUIs that only acts as a replacement for 50% of CLI, either. It’s a simple to use, maybe even comfortable GUI, if I may be so bold. The idea is to use it to design your network, create policy, and provision configurations. Of course, it can be used for assurance and analytics as well, but this workshop concentrates more on the DESIGN, PROVISION, POLICY aspects.
- Specify geographic location for devices and policies (even down to the floor plan of a level in a particular building)
- Create IP Pools
- Specify common services like DHCP, DNS, AD
- Specify information for wireless access controllers
- Create groups of people and devices
- Create contracts that let things talk
- All drag and drop with information that can be gathered from solutions like Cisco ISE
- Send intended configurations to the proper devices
- Specify roles of devices (DNA Center: “Is it a border router? Sweet, I’ll tell it to be a border router”)
For a deeper look at SD-Access Check out our aptly named TechwiseTV show “A Deeper Look at SD-Access”
What Does All This Mean?
Now we can have intent based networks in the Enterprise and Campus. We can design and create policy for our networks, and the hardware doesn’t even need to be hooked up yet. Once the hardware is hooked up, we can use pull-down lists and topology views to provision the proper configs. The best part…no matter where my users are connecting (wired, wireless, VPN, remote, on-premises) and no matter what they’re using to connect (tablet, computer, phone, VR headset, XBOX…seriously!) they get the correct policies applied to them. Wait, the actual best part…we network folks don’t have to manage hundreds or thousands of ACLs and firewall rules to get the right security at the right time and it’s so easy to scale.
A huge thanks to Shawn Wargo for the amazing presentation and demo at this workshop, and thanks to the seriously excellent Q&A panelists that worked in overdrive to get everyone’s questions answered. Check out the workshop, the only bad part was we only had an hour. Don’t worry, we’ll do another one!
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