ORLANDO \u2013 Cisco made a bold move this week to broaden the use of its DNA Center by opening up the network controller, assurance, automation and analytics system to the community of developers looking to take the next step in network programming.\nIntroduced last summer as the heart of its Intent Based Networking initiative, Cisco DNA Center features automation capabilities, assurance setting, fabric provisioning and policy-based segmentation for enterprise networks.\n\nDavid Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of networking and security at Cisco told the Cisco Live customer audience here that DNA Center\u2019s new open platform capabilities mean all its powerful, networkwide automation and assurance tools are available to partners and customers. New applications can use the programmable network for better performance, security and business insights, he said.\nUnder the program DNA Center now opens:\n\nOver 100 APIs that let IT and business applications constantly communicate their performance, policy and compliance needs to the network.\nAdapters and connectors for integrating with other IT and network systems (e.g. ITSM and IPAM) so teams can streamline IT workflows.\nAdapters and connectors for integrating with other infrastructure domains (e.g. datacenter, cloud and security) so that admins can apply and assure intent from anywhere to anywhere.\nAn SDK for allowing the support of third-party network vendors\u2019 devices, so customers\/developers can bring intent-based networking to multivendor environments.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSuch a community endeavor requires tons of partnerships, developers and other third-party integrators to be successful.\u00a0 On that score Cisco said it had 15 partnerships including Accenture, Dimension Data, IBM, Microfocus, ServiceNow and World Wide Technology working on applications.\nAt Cisco Live, IT service management system ServiceNow talked about its DNA Center application built to create trouble tickets automatically. ServiceNow can then generate approvals to DNA Center to execute remediation steps and close out the ticket faster and more accurately than either system could independently, the company said.\nDevOps community growth\nOn the DevOps side, Cisco this week said its own DevNet community now has 500,000\u00a0registered\u00a0members, many looking to target network programming. \u00a0\n\u201cOur 500,000 strong community is writing code that can be leveraged\u00a0and shared\u00a0by others. DevNet\u00a0is creating a network innovation ecosystem that will be the hub of the next generation of applications\u00a0and the next generation of business,\u201d Cisco DevNet CTO Susie Wee said.\nSoftware is key to networking\nMontana State University CIO Jerry Sheehan, speaking at a user panel at the show outlined why software is now a key driver of network technologies, said when the university needed a network upgrade they knew a hardware-only decision wasn\u2019t going to be flexible enough.\u00a0\nThe university became one of the early adopters of Cisco DNA Center and deployed a software-based architecture with Cisco hardware underneath. So far, the system has helped reduce complexity and provided for more flexibility for researchers at the school, Sheehan said.\nAnalysts said opening DNA Center to the world is potentially a good move and could help customers more easily build strategic applications, but it will take a big effort make it a successful venture.\n\u201cDNA Center is Cisco's strategic management platform going forward, and we believe it will consume functionality that is currently distributed across several products. This should help as Cisco customers have cited multiple management tools as an ongoing challenge,\u201d said Andrew Lerner, research vice president with Gartner.\u00a0\n\u201cSo, this is a move in the right direction, but much work remains. For example, much of the data-center-networking portfolio including ACI and Nexus 9000 switches are not well integrated into DNA Center at this point,\u201d Lerner said.\u00a0\n\u201cThis announcement is about opening up DNA Center\u2019s capabilities via API to do things such as orchestrating with other vendors and platforms \u2013 like Infoblox or ServiceNow.\u00a0 This can add to the value of the DNA Center, platform if third parties and customers use the APIs and\/or SDK to develop integrations.\u00a0 However, that potential is largely aspirational at this point, as the depth and breadth of integrations that will be created are undetermined,\u201d Lerner said.