SAN DIEGO\u2014Cisco injected a number of new technologies into its key networking control-point software that makes it easier to stretch networking from the data center to the cloud while making the whole environment smarter and easier to manage.\nAt the company\u2019s annual Cisco Live customer event here it rolled out software that lets customers more easily meld typically siloed domains across the enterprise and cloud to the wide area network. The software enables what Cisco calls multidomain integration that lets customers set policies to apply uniform access controls to users, devices and applications regardless of where they connect to the network, the company said.\n\nThe company also unveiled Cisco AI Network Analytics, a software package that uses AI and machine learning techniques to learn network traffic and security patterns that can help customers spot and fix problems proactively across the enterprise. \u00a0\nAll of the new software runs on Cisco\u2019s DNA Center platform which is rapidly becoming an ever-more crucial component to the company\u2019s intent-based networking plans.\u00a0 DNA Center has always been important since its introduction two years ago as it features automation capabilities, assurance setting, fabric provisioning and policy-based segmentation for enterprise networks.\u00a0\nBeyond device management and configuration, Cisco DNA Center gives IT teams the ability to control access through policies using Software-Defined Access (SD-Access), automatically provision through Cisco DNA Automation, virtualize devices through Cisco Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and lower security risks through segmentation and Encrypted Traffic Analysis.\u00a0 But experts say these software enhancements take it to a new level.\n\u201cYou can call it the rise of DNA Center and it\u2019s important because it lets customers manage and control their entire network from one place \u2013 similar to what VMware does with its vCenter,\u201d said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.\u00a0 vCenter is VMware\u2019s centralized platform for controlling its vSphere virtualized environments.\n\u201cCisco will likely roll more and more functionality into DNA Center in the future making it stronger,\u201d Kerravala said.\nTogether the new software and DNA Center will help customers set consistent policies across their domains and collaborate with others for the benefit of the entire network. Customers can define a policy once, apply it everywhere, and monitor it systematically to ensure it is realizing its business intent, said Prashanth Shenoy, Cisco vice president of marketing for Enterprise Network and Mobility. It will help customers segment their networks to reduce congestion, improve security and compliance and contain network problems, he said.\n\u201cIn the campus, Cisco\u2019s SD-Access solution uses this technology to group users and devices within the segments it creates according to their access privileges. Similarly, Cisco ACI creates groups of similar applications in the data center,\u201d Shenoy said. \u201cWhen integrated, SD-Access and ACI exchange their groupings and provide each other an awareness into their access policies. With this knowledge, each of the domains can map user groups with applications, jointly enforce policies, and block unauthorized access to applications.\u201d\nIn the Cisco world it basically means there now can be a unification of its central domain network controllers and they can work together and let customers drive policies across domains. \u00a0\nCisco also said that security capabilities can be spread across domains.\u00a0\nCisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) prevents breaches, monitors malicious behavior and detects and removes malware. Security constructs built into Cisco SD-WAN, and the recently announced SD-WAN onRamp for CoLocation, provide a full security stack that applies protection consistently from user to branch to clouds. Cisco Stealthwatch and Stealthwatch Cloud detect threats across the private network, public clouds, and in encrypted traffic.\nAnalysts said Cisco\u2019s latest efforts are an attempt to simplify what are fast becoming complex networks with tons of new devices and applications to support.\nCisco\u2019s initial efforts were product specific, but its latest announcements cross products and domains, said \u00a0Lee Doyle principal analyst with Doyle Research. \u201cCisco is making a strong push to make its networks easier to use, manage and program.\u201d\nThat same strategy is behind the new AI Analytics program.\n\u201cTrying to manually analyze and troubleshoot the traffic flowing through thousands of APs, switches and routers is a near impossible task, even for the most sophisticated NetOps team. In a wireless environment, onboarding and interference errors can crop up randomly and intermittently, making it even more difficult to determine probable causes,\u201d\u00a0 said Anand Oswal, senior vice president, engineering for Cisco\u2019s Enterprise Networking Business.\nCisco has been integrating AI\/ML into many operational and security components, with Cisco DNA Center the focal point for insights and actions, Oswal wrote in a blog about the AI announcement. AI Network Analytics collects massive amounts of network data from Cisco DNA Centers at participating customer sites, encrypts and anonymizes the data to ensure privacy, and collates all of it into the Cisco Worldwide Data Platform. In this cloud, the aggregated data is analyzed with deep machine learning to reveal patterns and anomalies such as:\n\nHighly personalized network baselines with multiple levels of granularity that define \u201cnormal\u201d for a given network, site, building and SSID.\nSudden changes in onboarding times for Wi-Fi devices, by individual APs, floor, building, campus\n\nand branch.\nSimultaneous connectivity failures with numerous clients at a specific location\nChanges in SaaS and Cloud application performance via SD-WAN direct internet connections or Cloud OnRamps.\nPattern-matching capabilities of ML will be used to spot anomalies in network behavior that might otherwise be missed.\n\n\u201cThe intelligence of its large base of customers can help Cisco to derive important insights about how users can better manage their networks and solve problems and the power of MI\/AI technology will continue to improve over time,\u201d Doyle said.