Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Why Cisco DNA is a teeny bit like the washing machine revolution (yes really!)

August 18, 2016

Let’s be honest, I’m just a little bit geeky. I guess that’s why I work in tech. And I’m just a little bit excited about Cisco DNA. Our Digital Network Architecture.

It’s not really big and dramatic. But we’re shouting loudly about it because it is truly exciting. OK so we haven’t launched some amazing new bit of kit. But it’s just as exciting in terms of the difference it will make in the world of IT.

The washing machine revolution

I was thinking about what to compare it to. And then it struck me. It’s a bit like the housework revolution of the middle of the 20th Century. If you’ve seen ’50s TV programmes or listened to your Nan (or great-Nan) talking about it, then you’ll know that back then very few women worked, in a job. And neither did they ‘do lunch’.

Why? Because they didn’t have time. Running the house was a full time job. We all joke about those corny ‘50s adverts where the wife waves the husband off to work with her duster in hand. But once she’d done that, there really was a whole day of manual work ahead of her to keep the house up.

Let’s take the important task of the laundry. Granted it had been made slightly easier by the twin-tub (gone was the hand-beating and the mangle). But it was still time-consuming because each step of operating the twin-tub required manual intervention and oversight.

I was just looking at an instruction video on YouTube. For those retrogrades who like to use old-style household equipment, it’s still possible to buy this stuff (I guess this is the housewife equivalent of a retro-tech nerd):

“The first part of the demonstration shows how to fill the wash tub with water, adding the detergent and then agitating the detergent into the water before adding the clothes.”

That’s the ‘first part’! No slinging it all in, selecting a program and going out for the day. And it was the same with floor cleaning (all hail the electronic vacuum cleaner), yada, yada.

Those changes in the way the household tools worked revolutionised the speed at which you could complete the chores. They took away the manual and time-consuming elements. And, you guessed it – freed up housewives for downtime (aka the ‘ladies who lunch’), or to contribute to the economy. Because now one of us didn’t need to stay home to grapple with all this stuff.  The benefit extended beyond the housework.

You too can work smarter

That’s where we come back to DNA. With Cisco Digital Network Architecture one of the great things it offers you is the ability to work smarter, get rid of the drudgery and free yourself up for something frankly more interesting.

Here are a couple of ‘for examples’:

Network Automation

Using network automation through Cisco APIC-EM eliminates many manual and repetitive activities. From a central management dashboard, you can see and manage all of your devices. One click and a new policy update can be applied everywhere. You can free up time to focus on innovation (or perhaps just relaxing with a well earned tea-break).

Network Virtualisation

With network function virtualization (NFV) you can deploy a switch or router virtually, as software on your server. Ideal for many situations: whether you simply want to free up space, or you want to make it easier to manage remote locations. Just think, you won’t need to send someone out to install, maintain or update the network in your branch as it will be virtual and managed remotely.

It’s the network equivalent of switching from the manually operated twin-tub to the automatic washing machine.

And there’s more

It may not be a shiny new bit of kit. But it is an important and exciting revolution in networking. Just think: once you’ve transitioned your network to DNA, who knows what exciting new things you will be able to do with the extra time you’ll have for innovation.

Oh, and once you have a Digital Network Architecture, go and enjoy a well-earned tea break. You’ll have time.

Close-up of male hand holding mug

Do check out the Cisco DNA webpage.

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