Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins gives his keynote speech at the Cisco Live 2017 event in Las Vegas late last month.
Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins gives his keynote speech at the Cisco Live 2017 event in Las Vegas late last month.

NETWORK of the future?

Tech July 09, 2017 14:40


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AMERICAN tech giant Cisco Systems is heavily hyping its newly launched "The Network Intuitive", promoting it as a smart investment for the future of corporate networking in this Internet of Things (IoT) age that is strewn with security threats from all around. 

The company's chief executive officer, Chuck Robbins, has described it as "a new network for a new era" and "a new network of the future". In his keynote speech at Cisco Live 2017, Robbins expressed confidence that The Network Intuitive - which he simply refers to as "the network" - would not only change the corporate networking landscape of today, but also "solves some of the world's greatest problems at scale".

Cisco seems to be convinced that The Network Intuitive is the next big thing. The company claims that its new network can recognise intent and learn over time.

"Today companies are managing their networks through traditional IT processes that are not sustainable in this new age. Cisco's approach creates an intuitive system that constantly learns, adapts, automates and protects, to optimise network operations and defend against today's evolving threat landscape," the tech giant trumpeted in its press release.

"By building a more intuitive network, we are creating an intelligent platform with unmatched security for today and for the future that propels businesses forward and creates new opportunities for people and organisations everywhere," said CEO Robbins.

This year, Cisco organised its annual users' conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in downtown Las Vegas from June 25 to 29. About 28,000 people participated, including the company's executives and employees, customers, business partners, analysts and media representatives from around the world.

It was 28th instalment of Cisco Live, first held in 1990 - that was the early age of the Internet and long before social media. But Cisco's history goes even further back. Cisco prides itself as a "worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984".

Cisco's partnership with Apple Inc, another US-based tech giant, was also highlighted at this year's event. Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise appearance on stage during Robbins's keynote speech. Cook emphasised how hackers were no longer basement dwellers and could now operate like sophisticated organisations. 

Robbins hailed the "phenomenal partnership" between Cisco and Apple. "We innovate together to bring innovations to you. Together we are creating solutions that make a difference," he concluded.

Cisco and Apple are jointly developing a Security Connector app for iPhone and iPad. The app promises to protect users of iOS devices from connecting to malicious sites on the Internet, whether on the corporate network, public Wi-Fi, or cellular networks. This year's focus was on security. Cisco, a leading enterprise security vendor in terms of revenue, pointed to new types of security threats in which the attackers exploit unsecured networks and IoT devices. It offered encrypted traffic analytics (ETA) solutions that allow users to scan and detect threats hidden inside encrypted traffic without having to decrypt and compromise privacy.

Cisco also launched a number of new solutions at this year's event. These included the Kinetic IoT operations platform, the multiple-tier Control Center 7.0 IoT connectivity management platform, the highly programmable Catalyst 9000 enterprise switch, and the Threat Protection & Smart Security service solution.

A large hall inside the convention hall was set aside for the World of Solutions, showcasing products and solutions by a variety of tech firms - local and overseas. 

Dozens of tech and IT companies set up their booths - huge and tiny - inside the hall. They ranged from industry giants including Cisco, IBM, Dell EMC, Intel and VMware to names little known to IT consumers in general.

Visitors came to see presentations by experts and demonstrations of products and innovations. Others played games for gifts offered at different booths and also for small souvenirs like pens, T-shirts, caps, bottle openers, and glowing plastic swords. Many visitors were seen walking around with large tote bags full of free bling.