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Cisco and Curtin University Launch Global Centre for Intent-Based Networking

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Cisco and Curtin University have announced investment in a new research centre, the Centre for Intent-Based Networking, focused on advancing networking technology.

The Centre is an element of Cisco’s recently announced Country Digital Acceleration investment in the Australian market. Researchers at Curtin will conduct blue-sky research to support industries that require a new approach to networking. The University will share its findings with Cisco and Cisco’s customers and partners globally.

The network has never been more important to businesses, and never under more pressure. Traditionally, IT teams have used manual, time-intensive methods of managing the network. With applications migrating to the cloud, millions of devices coming online and a continually expanding threat landscape, the pace of change requires a new approach. Cisco is reinventing the network by using software to simplify and automate. These new intent-based networks automate routine tasks, use analytics to help IT make informed decisions, and embed security into the network. It also turns the network into an open and programmable platform, giving customers and partners the ability to build applications that can speak directly to the network.

Curtin researchers at the new Centre for Intent-Based Networking will use the network as a platform to develop a new generation of applications. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) represents an opportunity for intent-based networking to accelerate transformation across industries like manufacturing, mining and utilities. These industries face a unique challenge in converging their IT and operational networks. Researchers will seek to understand how to address these challenges and develop applications to help organisations tackle IoT.

“With intent-based networking, we’re reinventing the network from the ground up, and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Scott Harrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Networking at Cisco. “Australia has always been an early adopter of Cisco’s new technologies. By teaming with Curtin University, we will unearth new opportunities for the network to transform industries.”

The Centre will also focus on developing intent-based network curriculum to train the workforce of the future. The curriculum will be made available in online (MOOC) and residential courses for Cisco customers and partners in the region.

Curtin has deployed an intent-based network across its entire campus providing researchers with access to a real-world environment. This will be in order to provide campus wide user and application mobility, reduced network complexity, and simplified network segmentation.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Deborah Terry, said Curtin was proud to be extending and expanding on what was already an exciting and innovative partnership with Cisco. “This new agreement continues what is an already successful alliance based on a mutual vision and impeccable track record of industry engagement and innovation. The alliance will see the adoption of innovative Cisco technologies and solutions by Curtin and will also help Curtin to develop the highly skilled and industry-ready students of the future. Curtin University is already a major player in Australia’s technology landscape and we look forward to continuing that role in partnership with Cisco.”

The announcement strengthens the existing relationship between Curtin University and Cisco as they collaborate on mutually beneficial projects and initiatives that will empower students and researchers in fields such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity.

The alliance continues the era in data-driven innovation that began with the unveiling in 2016 of Innovation Central Perth (ICP), an award-winning collaboration between Cisco, Woodside, Data61/CSIRO and Curtin University. ICP is one of Cisco’s Co-Innovation Centres bringing together public and private ecosystems to co-create digital solutions of the future for industry and society. Since launching, ICP has worked with over 300 companies on almost 80 projects trialling new technology solutions that leverage disruptive IoT technologies and the computational and data science skills of the Curtin Institute for Data Science.

The Centre for Intent-Based Networking will be co-located on the Curtin University Perth campus with Innovation Central Perth.

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