Cisco Unified Access: From Vision to Reality

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When we look back on the last year, we found that Cisco has released a lot of innovations focused on optimizing how IT defines and enforces policy; how they gain visibility of users, applications and devices; and how they simplify the network infrastructure. Cisco Unified Access, from vision to reality, what are its highlights? Here let’s have a look.

Cisco Unified Access: Highlights Throughout 2012 to 2013:

July 2012, Cisco Live

Cisco Live! San Diego was the launching pad of Cisco Unified Access One Policy, One Management, One Network vision that was focused on changing how IT enabled intelligent network platforms designed to enable new connected experiences and deliver operational efficiencies.

As the industry looks towards connecting people, clouds and thing, or what is commonly known as the Internet of Things, it was clear that the traditional approach of having separate Wired, Wireless and VPN networks, multiple disjointed access policies and multiple management systems would not scale to meet the performance and security demands.

This is why Cisco looked to deliver a model with:

  • Centralized policy definition for consistent, network-wide security distribution and enforcement
  • A single system for comprehensive lifecycle management and visibility
  • Converged wired and wireless networks for a unified infrastructure

October 2012

At Interop New York 2012 Cisco unveiled the first two components of the Cisco Unified Access Solution, One Policy and One Management.

The Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE)simplifies the design and implementation of policy and security with One Policy across the wired, wireless and VPN infrastructure allowing for consistent enforcement of context-aware policies and control that includes user, device, location, time and application information. With ISE at the heart of security policy IT can assure compliance and improved user experience with self-service on-boarding and guest handling. Integration of ISE industry-leading MDM ecosystem partners mean IT can extend compliance and control to the end-user device.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure (PI) enables One Management with comprehensive unified access lifecycle management for easy deployment and management of Cisco devices and services, which in turn reduces operational overhead and cost. It also brings in unsurpassed visibility to users, devices and applications, which improves the end-user experience and speed problem remediation.

November 2012

Cisco introduced Cisco Connected Experience (CMX) as a way for organizations to transform location data associated with devices seen on the wireless LAN (WLAN) into valuable business knowledge. CMX uses the Cisco Unified Access infrastructure as the foundation to do more than provide Internet access to mobile users. The massive amounts of information made available to these organizations provide new insight to the people using the network. This data is an actionable resource for marketing, operations and security to help fully understand how users interact within their environment and influence change.

January 2013

Cisco Live! London allowed Cisco to complete the One Policy, One Management, One Network vision by introducing the first Cisco stackable switch to deliver both wired and wireless control in a single infrastructure device. With the Unified Access Data Place (UADP) ASIC at the heart of the Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch, organizations gain a level of consistency between for both wired and wireless access. The Cisco 5760 WLAN Controller, which shares the Same UADP ASIC, enables consistent functionality for larger network deployments. By bringing wireless control closer to the end user, organization benefit from:

  • Consistent granular QoS for both wired and wireless
  • Optimized rich media experiences
  • Deep application visibility and control

This convergence of wired and wireless delivers vast operational improvements by simplifying the network infrastructure, meaning that less time is required to manage the devices freeing IT to focus on strategic business projects.

The UADP ASIC has become the foundation for all converged wired and wireless switches in the unified access portfolio and is fundamental to delivering programmability within the Cisco ONE Networks Architecture

June 2013

Cisco expanded converged access to the Industry’s most widely deployed modular platform the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches by introducing the Supervisor 8-E. This allows a number of organizations who have deployed the 4500E switches to benefit from Cisco Unified Access with minimal cost and impact to the network infrastructure.

What innovations will Cisco launch in the coming year of 2014? We are looking forward to it.

Reference news from

More Cisco News and Reviews:

Cisco to Unveil New Catalyst Access Switch to Converge Wired&Wireless Networking

Cisco Released Wave 2-Ready 802.11ac Access Point and Catalyst 3650

Cisco Catalyst 3850: Understanding Interface Configuration on NM Modules

Cisco’s 2013: A look Back at Its Major Move

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