Cisco Launches Work From Home Switches: Cisco rolled out networking products for businesses reopening as well as those planning a more hybrid future with a distributed workforce working at reopened and highly digitalized branch offices and from home — aka the new edge.
This includes the SM-X EtherSwitch module for Layer 2 switching pluggable switching modules. These integrate gigabit Ethernet ports in the ISR400 Series routers, which gives network administrators a single box for LAN and WAN, thus lowering network complexity and maintenance.
Additionally, the pluggable embedded services process module (ESP-X), which handles the network data plane processing tasks of the aggregation services routers (ASR) 100 Series. Cisco says these enable better cloud performance for businesses because of greater throughput capabilities and accelerate crypto performance.
The ESP-X also allows activation of concurrent network services, such as cryptography, firewall, network address translation, quality of service (QoS), NetFlow, and others while maintaining line speeds, according to the vendor.
And finally the Cisco 1100 Series Terminal Services Gateway (1100 TSG) provides a console server for secure remote access and better out-of-band management.
It offers integrated asynchronous ports, optional switching, and simplified Ethernet, and it supports secure tunnels such as IPSec, generic routing encapsulation (GRE), and Cisco Dynamic Multipoint VPN at scale.
What Is the New Edge?
Reopening branch offices and expanding a remote or digital workforce creates this “new edge” that requires connectivity, automation, and built-in security, which are all pieces of Cisco’s intent-based networking, wrote Pat Vitalone, a product marketing manager for Cisco’s Intent-Based Networking Group, in a blog post.
“The places we used to go to work, travel, watch, consume, shop, and unwind will transform with richer digital experiences, such as custom shopping offers delivered to the user device, or smart check-out and debit where all a shopper needs to do is grab the item and leave.
These are places where we carry phones, use touch screen kiosks, swipe tablets, check smart watches, and rely on anything and everything else that connects to the internet,” he wrote.
“Meanwhile, a larger, more distributed workforce operating from home and accessing sensitive data over a hybrid WAN create challenges. How IT teams equip and manage these edge locations will define their success — whether or not the experience is good or the end-user opts for a competitor as a result.”
Vitalone’s post echoes Cisco’s Chief Strategy Officer Anuj Kapur, who, at a Cisco Live panel earlier this month, said the COVID-19 pandemic gave new urgency to companies’ digital transformation. And the way businesses measure their digital transformation success is by their applications: internal, partner-, and customer-facing.
“Fundamentally, companies are starting to recognize that their primary interface with their employees, partners, and customers over the next few years will be their applications,” Kapur said. “Applications will drive 100% of their revenue. And this notion of application resiliency, application performance, and application visibility will be central.”