They were the only newly announced products launched during CEO Chuck Robbins’ keynote, and they were meant to illustrate his point that building products internally remains a focus at Cisco. The company had already hammered that home, in a way, with last month’s announcement of Tetration, an ambitious, rack-filling analytics platform.
Security, though, seems particularly prone to development-by-acquisition, partly because it’s such a fragmented market. In fact, Cisco announced three branch-office security products today that stemmed from the acquisitions of Lancope, Meraki, and OpenDNS, respectively.
The homemade products also marked what might have been the Cisco Live stage debut of David Goeckeler, the senior vice president who’s now in charge of Cisco’s networking and security businesses.
Goeckeler introduced both new products, starting with the Cloud Defense Orchestrator, a means of managing security from the cloud. It oversees an enterprise’s on-premises security infrastructure and double-checks the policy being applied, making sure it’s consistent around the network.
That might sound like a no-brainer, but in deploying the product for early customers, Cisco found that different sites can be running different policy rules inadvertently, Goeckeler said.
The primary job for Cloud Defense Orchestrator, though, is to provide an ongoing watch over policy and to initiate changes in response to new threats.
The product was an internal project aimed at simplifying security operations, but it does take advantage of technology acquired with OpenDNS.
Cloud Defense Orchestrator is available now and is being demonstrated at Cisco Live.
Playing With Machine Learning
The other new development is a piece of StealthWatch Learning Networks. That product was the result of the Lancope acquisition, but it includes a separate project that Cisco fellow JP Vasseur had initiated more than a year ago.
Having previously worked on Internet of Things research, Vasseur developed an interested in machine learning and how it could improve analytics. “He built a team that was half mathematicians, half networking guys,” Goeckeler said at Cisco Live.
About a year ago, that team was moved into the security group, which Goeckeler was running. By default, due to Goeckeler’s job, it’s now related to the networking group as well.
Goeckeler didn’t go into detail about StealthWatch Learning Networks, but it involves integrating security onto Cisco’s ISR branch routers. Vasseur’s team worked on technology that can find anomalies and “surface things that shouldn’t be there,” Goeckeler said.