- Cisco wants other companies to provide standardization for various IT service offerings.
- The company has cut down the cost significantly by being dependent on a single vendor for the unification of the IT and security infrastructure.
Cisco announced an ambitious plan to unify the management of network security and IT infrastructure. The hardware and software will be acquired under a single subscription license dubbed Cisco Plus. In addition, Cisco will make it possible to acquire the elements of its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) portfolio. This will be available through a subscription.
Cisco also announced that the Duo authentication platform can be configured to enable the users to log into cloud applications via biometrics for security keys. This form of authentication will eliminate password generation. It will also upgrade a Cisco Secure X platform through which it unifies the management of its security portfolio.
Cisco integrates with ThousandEyes monitoring service with Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches and Cisco AppDynamics Dash Studio. It provides visibility into an observability platform that the company acquired in 2017.
The potential reason behind the unification:
The management of networking and security has become flat across the extended enterprise. As a result, it has become obvious that the company is integrating the management of network and security to eliminate the total cost. They made this move at the time when highly distributed applications that tend to be latency-sensitive are being deployed.
In some situations, networking platforms that use proprietary processes will have to maximize the throughput while the platforms based on commodity processes will suffice in others according to Todd Nightingale. Tod is senior Vice President and general manager for the Enterprise Networking and Cloud Business at Cisco.
Cisco offers a series of Management overlays and control planes. These include Cisco Intersight for the management of IT operations regardless of the underlying class of processors or platforms employed. The company extends Cisco Intersight to manage cloud infrastructure across a hybrid cloud computing environment that includes a growing number of edge computing platforms.
How is the company eliminating the cost?
Cisco has brought down the total cost of IT by being dependent on a single vendor to unify the underlying IT and security infrastructure. ThousandEyes is a critical element of the strategy since the platform enables IT, teams, to gain insights into network problems that impact the application performance. This happens even when the network infrastructure is managed by a third-party telecommunications carrier. “It provides full visibility from the user to the application,” Nightingale said.
It is not yet clear as to what degree the IT organizations have employed the complete Cisco portfolio. For instance, the companies may employ Cisco networking hardware while depending on a platform other than AppDynamics to monitor applications. The decision to acquire those platforms is often made by disparate teams that belong to the same enterprise. Cisco is trying to entice the organizations to bring about standardization on a wide range of offerings.
The subscription can reduce the total cost of IT. At the same time, it also eliminates economic incentives an organization may have to substitute in a rival platform. This is because the future Cisco upgrades are included as a part of the subscription. It will be interesting to see how many enterprises IT organizations will subscribe to the offerings from a single vendor. There is no doubt that more organizations are acquiring IT technologies through subscription services. This makes it possible to treat the acquisition as an operational rather than capital equipment expense.
As a result the same consumption-based pricing structures commonly found in the cloud, are applied to all IT infrastructure and security offerings. The problem is that those underlying platforms and systems have never been more open. The mechanism that locks an IT organization into one vendor versus another is now embedded within the subscription.