The future of Cisco networking holds many advancements and new technologies that will provide us all with an intelligent, flexible, and secure way to connect our devices. The future of technology is changing dramatically, as new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and augmented reality are introduced. Today, practically anything can be connected to the Internet, offering us a wide range of added functions and communication. As more devices are connected to the Internet every day, we see the growing necessity to be able to connect them all seamlessly. Cisco is releasing a new network which offers unparalleled security and scalability, as well as software that evolves on its own. Cisco is also releasing a new series of switches that will handle this growing number of Internet-connected devices as well as safeguard them against malicious attacks. With all of Cisco’s new devices and future plans, it is safe to say that as technology advances in the coming years, Cisco will be there, ready to help connect us all.
The future of Cisco networking is quite exciting as new technologies are introduced that will require more advanced network capabilities. This paper will cover some of the standard predictions of Cisco networking in the future supported with real-world examples. As technology and the number of Internet-connected devices increases, the intelligence in these future networks will need to become highly comprehensive and advanced. These future technologies and new devices must have both a smart and flexible network adapted to them. As the Internet of things (IoT) continues to grow, network technology will need to do the same to keep up. The GenNext network (Next-Generation Network), which is a strategically created network that is optimized to accommodate current and future technologies, will be a significant influence and have a wide range of possible uses. In the future, networks must be very secure as well as the fight against cybercriminals will never end. As Cisco networks continue to grow and become more advanced, so will the abilities of those who wish to gain unauthorized access to these servers and networks. Artificial intelligence, network virtualization, automation, and cloud computing will become a significant part in our daily lives as the capabilities of a human-maintained network will not be sufficient to properly oversee the broad spectrum of network and server responsibilities that will likely be created. Borderless networks will be a common occurrence in the future as technologies such as satellite-enabled global Internet becomes a reality. It is safe to say we have much in store for us in the coming years, and Cisco is fully prepared for this.
The Internet of the future holds many surprises and advances for us all to enjoy, and it is important to research them all to obtain a better understanding of how Cisco networking will evolve to meet these demands and requirements. The Internet itself will need to be upgraded as more devices are connected, all of which will require faster speeds and greater flexibility. Technologies such as new routers/modems, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi changes, and even the likelihood of a global Internet network via satellites will be introduced. These changes will be desired due to the ever-increasing demand for a quicker and more innovative Internet and other related technologies. While existing Internet speeds appear to be fast enough already, companies such as AT&T are working on G.Fast, which claims upload and download speeds of 750 megabits per second. This is around 50 times faster than the broadband most are using presently. While that kind of speed seems unreachable, there are reports that within another year, those numbers could be doubled, which is around 1.5 Gbps. G.Fast would also work appropriately with satellite television users as well as being able to operate over coaxial cables. These changes would spare both time and money as there would be no requirement to install a large number of fiber-optic cables.
These high Internet speeds will be essential as technology such as virtual and augmented reality becomes more widely used in our everyday lives. While it might be another decade before this technology becomes inexpensive enough for the ordinary user, we are already viewing a massive increase in the possible benefits and uses that this technology offers. One day, VR and augmented reality headsets might even substitute smartphones. Palmer Luckey, who created Oculus in his parents’ garage in 2012, states that “virtual reality is the only technology that’s able to make you feel like you’re with another person in a virtual space, even if you’re thousands of miles apart” (Luckey, 2015). VR permits its users to experience the digital world first-hand. Doctors could hypothetically operate on a patient from the luxury of his or her bedroom using a VR simulation which controls a robot which resides in the operating room. This technology could also aid children to learn more competently in school. Envision sitting in a class where everyone is wearing a VR headset, and the teacher can literally show you what he or she is talking about, such as the size of dinosaurs compared to humans. While this technology is extraordinary, it involves requiring an immense amount of network speeds, reliability, and a flexible network to be able to function correctly.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also be a significant influence in the future and will need breakneck Internet speeds as well. AI can improve our efficiency by completing tasks that entail a significant amount of time in a matter of seconds. Google’s self-driving car is a significant example of how this technology can make enormous changes. AI technology can substitute many jobs that humans presently have, as well as accomplish them at a much quicker rate and do so free of errors. Some other uses for this technology are in healthcare, where AI could discover and calculate real-world risk factors of disease and more importantly, figure out how to thwart them. While companies are already producing devices that have AI technology which gathers information about the user such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, we still have a long way to go before the technology and what it needs to support it are met, specifically Internet speeds.
GenNext is a next-generation network that is created for today’s and future requirements. It focuses on cloud computing, mobility, and the always increasing danger of security threats. This future network will consist of a combination of wireless, wired, and virtual private networks. The network of the future must seamlessly handle all forms of media, voice and video integration, and ultimately protect cloud storage. Another important aspect that is needed from next-generation networks is intelligence. It must be able to learn and adapt to the many changes of the future in regards to data storage, security threats, and the rise borderless networks. While this GenNext network sounds farfetched, Cisco is well on the way to meeting these many goals.
Cisco recently unveiled their network of the future on July 20, 2017, which can solve many of these needs. Their network was designed to learn, acclimate, and evolve on its own. Per Cisco’s website, this network is “designed to be intuitive, Cisco’s new network can recognize intent, mitigate threats through encryption, and learn over time, unlocking opportunities” (Cisco, 2017). This new network has been under development for many years and is an intelligent system with unique security features. This will help network engineers manage a large number of devices as the IoT grows. One of the main aspects of this network is Cisco’s Encrypted Traffic Analytics, which uses intelligence to identify known attack signatures and safeguard against them, all while maintaining a high level of privacy. Another benefit from this network is increased performance due to automated policy performance and network segmentation. This will decrease the time it takes to create a network and reduce problem resolution from months to hours.
Apart from this new network, Cisco is developing an entirely new family of switches to meet the demands of the future of the Internet and networking called the Catalyst 9000 Switching Portfolio. These switches will be focused on the requirements of cloud computing, enhanced mobility, security, and managing the IoT. Cisco will accomplish this by advanced changes in the software and hardware layers. Per Cisco, almost 50% of cyber attacks are hidden in encrypted traffic, and this number is expected to rise. With the help of Cisco’s new Encrypted Analytics Tool, its Catalyst 9000 series switches will be able to detect encrypted traffic with 99 percent accuracy. Cisco released the Catalyst 9300, 9400, and 9500 Series in the past two months. Per Eric Latta, a Solutions Architect at NASA, “The Cisco Catalyst 9000 has exceeded NASA’s mission-critical requirements for security and segmentation—and at twice the performance” (Latta, 2017). One significant change that will be featured with these new switches is the implementation of software subscriptions. All Catalyst 9000 switches will access the DNA center, which is an intelligent and centralized management dashboard, by Cisco’s ONE software. This will feature constant updates to many of the new features of Cisco’s new network as well as their new switches.
Cisco is also releasing a new DevNet DNA Developer with helpful resources that will aid IT professionals and developers in creating network-powered applications and assisting them within their networks and workflows. This DNA Developer, per Cisco, “includes new learning tracks, sandboxes, and developer support resources for using APIs and building skills” (Cisco, 2017). Cisco’s DNA Center and the accessible Software-Defined Access will be available in August of 2017. Sometime in September of 2017, Cisco’s Encrypted Traffic Analytics will also be available, with their Network Data Platform releasing in November of 2017. Cisco certainly has a lot of its plate to satisfy the enormous pressure of meeting a large organization’s network needs. However, they are confident they are more than ready to see us all into the next generation of networking.
When it comes to Cisco’s future regarding routers, they have plans to instead, focus on software that will help connect and protect the proposed 500 billion devices that are projected to be linked to the Internet by 2030. Cisco has recently introduced a system for General Motors that will enable its employees to oversee numerous robots on a factory floor as well as see their health status and performance. This system ran 1800 manufacturing robots and had saved over $38 million in downtime in 2015 alone. The IoT’s growth is suspected to be bigger than the first wave of the Internet, and Cisco is planning to be able to network them all together in a seamless, intelligent, and flexible network.
The future of Cisco networking holds many exciting new technologies and changes to their existing devices and data handling procedures. With the steady rate that technology is growing, humans are becoming less involved in many areas such as security and network management as new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence seem to be the only tool that can adequately manage such a vast amount of data. Cisco’s new family of switches, the Catalyst 9000 Switching Portfolio, offer increases in intelligence, flexibility, and scalability. As the IoT grows, soon everything that can be will be connected to the Internet, providing a large amount of connectivity. However, there are enhanced security concerns as well. Cisco’s new intelligent network and software-based programs will be able to connect a large number of devices in the future and secure them in ways never thought possible. Thanks to Cisco, the future of networking looks both exciting and promising.
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