Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard Updated, New Cisco Catalyst Gear Targeting Industrial IoT
‘This news is really around how we’re using the cloud operating model and cloud capabilities to allow our customers in the industrial IoT space to gain the same benefits from the same technology as we add to our industrial networking portfolio,’ Vikas Butaney, SVP and GM of Cisco industrial IoT networking, told CRN ahead of Cisco Live 2023 EMEA.
Cisco Systems is introducing new hardware and a simplified, cloud-based approach to IoT management as IT and operational technology (OT) become even more tightly connected, the company announced at Cisco Live 2023 EMEA on Tuesday.
Cisco has been enhancing its cloud-based IoT Operations Dashboard to help operations teams more efficiently remotely operate and manage industrial IoT environments. The company revealed two updates to the dashboard: integration with Cisco Cyber Vision and making Secure Equipment Access Plus available via the platform.
“This news is really around how we’re using the cloud operating model and cloud capabilities to allow our customers in the industrial IOT space to gain the same benefits from the same technology as we add to our Industrial networking portfolio,” said Vikas Butaney, senior vice president and general manager of SD-WAN, cloud connectivity and industrial IoT networking.
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The Cisco Cyber Vision feature combines edge monitoring with some of Cisco’s security offerings to give users — namely, IT and OT teams — full visibility into their industrial assets. The company said that Cyber Vision automatically builds a detailed asset inventory and identifies any vulnerabilities. It can also pull in risk scores from Cisco’s Kenna vulnerability management product to prioritize vulnerabilities for the appropriate team or MSP. It can also share a customers’ OT asset inventory with SecureX, Cisco’s XDR platform.
“Not only are we going to tell you about your network, but we can also tell you about the devices that are connected in one place [and] where you should spend your time and focus on securing,” Butaney said.
The addition of Secure Equipment Access Plus within Cisco’s IoT Operations Dashboard will give partners and end user operations teams the ability to remotely deploy, maintain, and troubleshoot assets connected to Cisco industrial routers. This includes ruggedized equipment in roadside cabinets and controllers in hard-to-reach and deploy objects, such as wind turbines.
This will help customers increase their asset uptime and reduce the need for physical visits to the field for configuration changes or expensive truck rolls, Butaney said.
The updates to the IoT operations dashboard are especially important for partners who have been helping their customers with OT environments that haven’t historically been well-documented in terms of connected devices and endpoints. These partners have had to do their own time-consuming assessment services in the past for these customers. With the inclusion of Cyber Vision and Secure Equipment Access Plus, the Operations dashboard can give partners a report on the customers’ network, assets and software versions, Butaney said.
“It gives our partners an ability now to go back out there and say: ‘Did you know this product is out of support or has a vulnerability?’ It gives partners a very easy way to engage and maybe create a managed service opportunity over time,” he said.
The Hardware Side Of Industrial Networking
Alongside the innovations for Cisco’s IoT Operations Dashboard, the networking vendor’s bread and butter networking portfolio is also getting a refresh with a new switch series, wireless client and access point for industrial IoT use cases that are joining the popular Cisco Catalyst portfolio.
For faster connectivity in smaller, or tight spaces, the new Cisco Catalyst IE3100 Rugged Series are small, DIN-rail mounted, gigabit ethernet switches that can connect to controllers in harsh industrial, outdoor, and small spaces. These switches run the IOS-XE operating software and are managed by Cisco DNA Center.
The Cisco Catalyst IE3100 Rugged Series serves as a replacement or upgrade from the Catalyst IE2000 Rugged Series, Butaney said.
The new Catalyst IW9165E Rugged Wireless Client can connect mobile industrial assets, such as autonomous robots or automated guided vehicles. The client lets users operate with standard Wi-Fi deployments or using Cisco’s Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul (Cisco URWB) for low latency connectivity.
Lastly, the new Catalyst IW9165D Heavy Duty Access Point offers fiberless wireless backhaul with built-in antennas for easy deployment when fiber or cellular is not an option. External antennas can be added to support fixed and mobile use cases simultaneously, Cisco said.