Cisco to Drive AI and Machine Learning into Core Infrastructure


At the Cisco Partner Summit 2016 conference, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins today pledged to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in the months ahead as part of an effort to drive analytics, automation and security deep into both the data center and the core networks that connect them.

“We’ll be driving AI into the core and across the security layer,” says Robbins. “The network has been watching everything that happens for the past 20 years. The time has come to unleash that power.”

While Robbins did not provide any specifics, he did say those capabilities will extend from public and private clouds out to endpoints using one common integrated architecture that provides a unified IT experience. Cisco did, however, preview a Catalyst Switch that makes use of IT automation to enable zero-touch upgrades that maintain the connections and segments associated with that switch.

In the meantime, Cisco today launched the latest extension of the Cisco UCS Series. The Cisco UCS S-Series is a converged infrastructure platform that Cisco claims not only reduces capital costs by 34 percent, but also lowers operational costs by up to 80 percent when compared to traditional legacy servers. Cisco also claims the new UCS platform reduces cabling by up to 70 percent, takes up to 60 percent less space, and consumes up to 59 percent less power.

Configurable with up to 600TB per 3u rack system, Cisco claims the first S3260 platform in the series lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) by over 50 percent compared to public cloud.

To press that point home, Cisco today also updated the One Enterprise Cloud Suite to include IT automation software that can be deployed across over 20 different data center, private and public cloud environments. In addition, Cisco is making available annual subscription licenses for One Enterprise Cloud Suite in one, three, and five-year options to enable customers to choose the right automation plan at the most cost-effective price point.

Finally, Cisco unveiled Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints, which leverages analytics delivered via the cloud to not only identify and isolate a piece of malware, but also track how that malware evolves into different variants over time.

Obviously, Cisco is not the only IT infrastructure vendor planning on employing AI and machine learning to transform IT management. But it is one of the few that might have the weight required to apply those innovations across a common pool of server, storage and networking infrastructures at the level required.