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Cisco fast-tracks Intent

Cisco is fast-tracking its vision to make machine learning in the networking realm a reality sooner than we imagined possible.

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Cisco has announced that it has released new developer capabilities across its intent-based networking platform. These advancements underscore Cisco’s continued progress in delivering an open, programmable platform that spans the entire network, from campus to data center, branch to edge. By providing an open network, Cisco is empowering 500,000 developers, 60,000 partners and three million network engineers to innovate upon the platform.

Intent-based networking represents a fundamental shift in the way networks are built and managed. Moving away from the manual, time-intensive methods by which networks are traditionally managed, these modern networks capture business intent and translate it into network policies. These policies are then automatically activated across the entire infrastructure, with the assurance that the business intent was delivered as planned.

“Intent-based networking represents the next generation of open, IP-based systems that we’ve seen can change the actual fabric of society,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business. “Cisco is building an open architecture that will power an ecosystem to accelerate intent-based networking innovation. Already, our customers and partners are creating value from their networks in ways they thought weren’t possible as recently as one year ago.”

Announcing the DNA Center platform

Cisco also released new developer tools and open APIs into Cisco DNA Center — the command and control center for campus, branch and edge intent-based networks. DNA Center turns the network from a combination of hardware devices into a single system. With the availability of network-wide APIs, Cisco now allows developers to easily program this system, tapping into all of the analytics and insight the network can provide.

With a rich API catalog, DNA Center allows customers to protect and inform their business like never before.

  • Elevating network intelligence into business operations: DNA Center helps enable developers to program the network as a single system through intent-based APIs. Now, developers can more easily create a new generation of network-aware applications, and partners can integrate the network into business processes.
  • Streamline IT processes across functions: DNA Center helps enable network IT administrators to exchange information to automate processes across IT systems through software adapters. Now, IT can move resources from operation to innovation.
  • Managing multi-vendor networks: DNA Center gives developers and partners the flexibility to support multi-vendor networks via a software developer kit (SDK). This allows customers to simplify the complexity of heterogeneous networks and manage them consistently, as a single system.

Already, 15 Cisco partners have built innovative solutions on the DNA Center platform and are demonstrating them at Cisco Live.

Announcing the largest developer community for intent-based networking

Cisco is also announcing that its developer community, DevNet, has surpassed 500,000 members. In building this large and active community, Cisco has introduced a new source of innovation as the network becomes increasingly programmable.

Today, Cisco is announcing three new developer initiatives to fuel its innovation ecosystem:

  • DevNet Ecosystem Exchange makes it easy to find and share an application or solution built for Cisco platforms. Business leaders and developers alike can use this online portal to discover partner solutions that span all Cisco platforms and products. It contains over 1,300 solutions.
  • DevNet Code Exchange gives developers a place to access and share software to quickly build next-generation applications and workflow integrations. A curated list of sample code, adaptors, tools, and SDKs is available on GitHub and written by Cisco and the DevNet community. Code Exchange spans Cisco’s entire portfolio and is organized according to Cisco platform and product areas.
  • DevNet DNA Developer Center is a one-stop-shop for developers to build applications and integrations on the DNA Center platform. It provides comprehensive resources, capabilities, use cases and learning materials for developers.

Availability, Services and Support

  • The new DNA Center capabilities are scheduled to be available during the summer of 2018. Customers can purchase these new capabilities from Cisco and its partners via existing subscription offers.
  • DevNet’s Ecosystem Exchange, Code Exchange, and DNA Developer Center are available now.
  • Cisco and its partners offer a full lifecycle of services to help customers streamline the journey to truly intent-based networks.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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