What we do
Cisco are reinventing their strategy, with various new types of software being released to give you even more functionality on top of their renowned hardware portfolio. In this blog we are going to talk about how Cisco are changing their business model to be more software oriented, and also what Softcat are doing to help you in understanding this change.
One of the most notable releases from Cisco is a licensing program called Cisco ONE. This bundle has been released to make it easier and more affordable for organisations to buy Cisco Licensing, across most of their portfolio.
Software-defined networking (SDN) is an umbrella term to describe network technology designed to make a network agile and flexible, allowing administrators to respond to business requirements quickly and efficiently. In simple terms, it allows the controller of a network to shape traffic from a central control console without needing to interact with individual switches, regardless of where they are in the network or how they are connected. With the rise of software-defined networking and digitisation, more organisations are focusing on getting the most out of their networks by adding intelligent features such as network analytics, automation and orchestration.
Cisco’s new Catalyst 9k switching model is solely reliant on software-defined networking, so the development of Cisco ONE, together with DNA Center (Cisco’s new management and policy control console) is now integral to improving the agility and mobility of networks. All the technology within the Cisco ONE bundle has been cleverly selected to ensure that you are getting the most out of your investments. ISE (Identify Services Engine, used for network admission control) and Stealthwatch (a visibility and security analytics tool), are two fundamental pieces of software to help manage your network more effectively.
Traditionally Cisco’s licensing model meant that when you purchased licensing, the licence was tied to the hardware. Cisco are breaking away from this traditional model with Cisco ONE, meaning that licensing can be transferred from one piece of hardware to another. With Software-defined networking becoming so integral to Cisco’s vision, decoupling the hardware from the software gives you the ability to get a higher return on investment, and be more agile in the way you use the licensing.
There is a range of options for using Cisco ONE Software so there isn’t just one option for every organisation. You can make use of their licensing bundles (various iOS levels), feature sets and durations. It’s tricky to see all the details and options when you’re reading through web page after web page, and it can be difficult to understand exactly what you’re getting. To try and make this a bit more visual, so you can see the different options from Cisco you can use, we’ve built a Cisco ONE Licensing Configurator; this is a visual licensing tool that shows what’s available in each bundle, based on organisational need.
You can find the Cisco ONE Licensing Configurator on our Cisco One Software page, this is built to walk you through the choices and highlights the features available for each product. It starts with displaying the architecture options, followed by the products, and the different features within those products. We have also included full descriptions at each stage for a bit more info on what is included.
We have also recently teamed up with Cisco for a Podcast, where we talk all things software, the Softcat way! We speak about how we are investing in a customer success team, to ensure that our customers are seeing true value from their Software, and why this is important to us. Take a listen here!
We’ve got an in-house Cisco Software Team who help you further understand the features and benefits of Cisco ONE, and which package is best for you. To see how it works visit our Cisco ONE page where you can try different ways of configuring a Cisco ONE bundle. You can also contact your Softcat Account Manager who will be able to give you advice on exactly the right Cisco ONE products for you, or get in touch using the button below.
We would love to hear any comments you have about this article!