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The decision to implement Cisco DNA is often based on the efficiency, consistency and predictability afforded by its advanced machine learning capabilities. Customers utilizing DNA across their networking estate should choose to purchase DNA subscriptions through Cisco's Enterprise Agreement (EA) Enrollment, which offers similar benefits to its technical counterpart and impressive financial advantages.

A Formula ONE relationship

Organizations are looking for software technologies that allow seamless, effective deployment and management, achieved at minimal inconvenience to high-value resources. As stated by Cisco, the "Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) delivers automation, security, predictability, and a policy-driven approach to the deployment and management of network infrastructure."

Simply put, DNA allows network architects to pre-configure settings and policies, which are then monitored for conformance and automatically applied to future instances across all parts of the network and in all deployment models. This saves valuable time for technical resources and facilitates consistency and security. Even new team members are well-positioned to manage the network, minimizing performance roadblocks and unwelcome surprises.

While digital technology has certainly transformed, traditional software licensing models have fallen behind, in dire need of a tune up of their own. Time spent on researching entitlements, identifying available budget, processing POs, waiting in the approval queue and tracking down license keys can throw out a yellow flag when adopting even the most updated software. 

To address those concerns, Cisco assembled a licensing vehicle to mirror the benefits of DNA for sourcing personnel, administrators and financial stakeholders. The DNA Enterprise Agreement enrollment drives maximum advantage across all parts of the team.

The journey from Cisco ONE to DNA

Cisco ONE (C1) came and went before many understood it, but early adopters who made significant C1 investments are now beginning to renew those entitlements. C1 was Cisco's first foray into the decoupling of software and hardware, and it charted the course for future licensing models. 

At inception, C1 provided customers both perpetual and subscription options, but it became clear over time that Cisco's future was subscription-based.  Naturally, when it was time to re-brand the offer under the DNA construct, it became a subscription-only play. Some customers felt as if they were forced into an operational expense model. 

The reality is that Cisco software, which required an annual SWSS contract to access version upgrades and open support cases, has always been a recurring model at its core. But now, the license acquisition cost is bundled in and spread over the term. WWT Software Advisors are here to help customers through that journey and explain the options as it relates to their unique transition.  

A holistic approach

The DNA enrollment is part of the Cisco Enterprise Agreement program, leveraging the same terms and conditions as Cisco's Collaboration Flex, Data Center and Security Choice enrollments. This allows customers to purchase and manage their Cisco software under a single, co-termed contract.

Under the hood 

The DNA family includes license suites for wireless, switching and SD-WAN/routing. Organizations can include any combination of the three suites to start building their networking engine. 

DNA is a software subscription comprised of three tiers: DNA Essentials, DNA Advantage and DNA Premier. In order to qualify for an EA, the customer must select Advantage or Premier, but they can mix and match tiers to suit their business needs.

Here's how DNA Advantage builds upon the Essentials base package in each suite:

  • SD-WAN and Routing: Enhanced security for feature-rich and varied branch deployment models.
  • Switching: SD-Access capabilities, advanced automation and monitoring, analytics, telemetry and visibility.
  • Wireless: Policy-based automation with SD-Access capabilities, assurance with AI/ML analytics, and location engagement and insight with Cisco DNA Spaces.

DNA Premier adds advanced SD-WAN security, to mitigate the most sophisticated threats. For switching and wireless implementations, Premier brings additional security features to allow all use cases, including SD-Access and ETA. Premier provides great value, with significant savings over buying Stealthwatch and ISE a-la-carte, and it allows deployment of Network-as-a-Sensor and Network-as-an-Enforcer solutions. 

Decrease complexity, simplify growth

Cisco EA enrollments offer simplified license management. Under the subscription model, support is no longer purchased, managed and renewed separately. All contract, entitlement and consumption data is readily accessible in a consolidated portal view. Network administrators and technicians have ongoing access to the software's newest features. On-demand downloads eliminate delays; the desired software version can be accessed at any time, with no need to wait for upgrade packages or individual license keys. 

Lower TCO

Beyond visibility and simplicity, the EA brings substantial financial benefits, including:

  • Not to Exceed pricing: Products are price-locked for the term of the agreement.
  • Prior investment protection: Remaining coverage from prior purchases is credited.
  • Ramp allowances: Under both three-year and five-year agreements, an allowance for time-to-deploy is applied.
  • Multi-suite discounts: Buy more/save more discount structure.
  • Opex model: Subscription-based purchasing with annual payments allows budget predictability.
  • True forward: Cisco's unique billing model for growth versus traditional, retroactive billing.
  • Appliances: A free DNA-C or ISR appliance from Cisco significantly lowers up-front investment.
  • Solution starter: A Cisco-funded partner engagement to assist in deploying the appliance.
  • Lifecycle incentive funds: Additional Cisco funds may be available for project planning and deployment.

Assemble the crew

As organizations consider an EA enrollment, they want to ensure the right agreement is crafted, total cost of ownership is understood and existing investments are protected. After signing, it's important that all stakeholders understand the entitlements and benefits of the agreement, and that key personnel know how to fully utilize the program benefits.

A great pit crew can guide you through the curves. We've helped hundreds of clients from every industry realize the EA enrollment benefits, allowing them to prepare for, adopt and navigate an efficient, cost-effective networking model.

Let WWT help you plan for the road ahead.

Speak with an expert to see whether an EA is right for you.