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Cisco DNA: Essentials
Simplified management & security protection at a low cost

What Separates Cisco DNA Essentials

  • Networking essentials including base automation, monitoring, and easy management.
  • Simplified management & security protection for the cost-conscious customer

Cisco DNA Features:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA)?

A. Cisco ® Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is an open, programmable architecture that turns business intent into business results. It provides virtualization, automation, analytics, and cloud, integrated in one architecture. It provides the roadmap to a digital-ready network, which is the foundation of your business’s digital future. With Cisco DNA you can innovate more quickly, reduce costs, and lower risk with services that are easy to consume.

Q. What are some of the components and innovations of Cisco DNA?

A. The Cisco Digital Network Architecture includes:

  • Built-in automation to reduce the complexity, cost, time, and effort required to deploy, manage, and maintain networks and services.
  • Pervasive analytics to provide insights into network operations, IT infrastructure, and the business.
  • Virtualization to run services anywhere, independent of the underlying platform: physical, virtual, on the premises, or in the cloud.
  • Open, extensible, and programmable at every layer, integrating Cisco and third-party technology, open APIs, and a developer platform.
  • Security innovations to use your network as a powerful security sensor and enforcer.

Q. How do customers consume this architecture?

A. Cisco Digital Network Architecture services will be delivered through Cisco DNA software subscriptions, a simple, straightforward approach to consuming high-value solutions with license portability and purchase flexibility. Customers can start their Cisco Digital Network Architecture journey today on our current portfolio with the confidence of knowing that they can adopt network innovations in the future, when it suits their business needs. That’s the power of software.

Q. Why is Cisco moving more and more network features and functionality to software?

A. Organizations are digitally transforming to improve customer experience, empower workforce innovation, accelerate innovation, and sharpen creative differentiation. To succeed, organizations must become agile, able to respond quickly and flexibly to market changes and customer demands. Software-based, programmable capability enables this degree of agility. Just as Cisco’s customers are themselves becoming more software-centric, they are seeking technology partners to help them. Cisco recognizes this trend and is shifting Cisco’s portfolio toward software, offering our customers simpler ways to purchase, deploy, adopt, and upgrade technology innovations. Cisco’s software-centric innovation fuels our customers’ digital transformations.

Q. What are the details of the Cisco DNA software?

A. Cisco is delivering the new network via Cisco DNA for enterprise networking. You can consume all of these innovations, such as Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access), Encrypted Traffic Analytics, and Cisco DNA Analytics and Assurance, with the Cisco DNA software. The Cisco DNA software is available as a subscription in three tiers: Cisco DNA Essentials, Cisco DNA Advantage, and Cisco DNA Premier. These are available for wireless and switching.

Plan Comparison:

DNA Wireless/Switching Plan Comparison

Wireless Feature

Cisco DNA Essentials

Cisco DNA Advantage

Cisco DNA Premier

Networking essentials including base automation, monitoring, and easy management. Get all Cisco DNA Essentials features plus Cisco SD-Access, Encrypted Traffic Analytics, Cisco DNA Assurance, and Cisco DNA Spaces See. Get all Cisco DNA Advantage features plus enable all Cisco DNA use cases and Cisco Identity Services Engine.
Centralized Management
Automation and provisioning
Secure connectivity
Location engagement and insight
Analytics and assurance
Policy and security

DNA SD-WAN Plan Comparison

Wireless Feature

Cisco DNA Essentials

Cisco DNA Advantage

Cisco DNA Premier

Simplified management & security protection for the cost-conscious customer. Advanced SD-WAN with enhanced security for feature-rich & valued branch deployment models. Advanced SD-WAN security will mitigate the most sophisticated threats to your business.
Enterprise secure WAN edge
Centralized management console
Unlimited edge devices & segmentation
SaaS/IaaS/Colo/WAN optimizations
Analytics and assurance
Cisco SIG Essentials
Cisco Threat Grid sandbox


Download the Cisco DNA Overview Brochure (PDF).

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