Cisco: Supercharge Indoor IoT Management – Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Services Policy Engine


Large-scale IoT management

Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Services provide tools to easily manage a myriad of IoT devices. However, managing these IoT devices was still a manual operation. Each IoT device had to be integrated and configured individually. If there was an error, it had to be reconfigured manually. This becomes cumbersome as the number of managed devices increases. Additionally, manually maintaining a large number of managed devices is equally taxing. How do we know when a device is about to run out of battery? How do you ensure that the customer experience is not impacted if someone moves a beacon from one area to another? How do I deploy firmware updates without affecting operation? Even with IoT management, these problems have remained unsolvable at scale.

IoT Services Policy Engine

Enter the Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Services Policy Engine. IoT service policies are use-case based and address the unique issues that the scale and complexity of a large-scale IoT deployment entails. Devices no longer need to be onboarded individually to deploy a use case. Custom policies can be created in advance and associated with a device class at a specific location. Each time a new device is turned on, it inherits the policy associated with that location and is configured automatically. IoT Services even provides policy templates to support one-click deployment of use cases.

More details on the architecture and data flow can be found in my previous post, Monitoring Your Indoor IoT Environment – Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Services


Policies are configured to act on device groups. Device classes can be logically organized into groups. Groups can be created manually or based on some logical criteria such as tag location, manufacturer, or mac address prefixes. Suppose a customer wants to enable asset tracking on all beacons in a certain area of ​​a building. In this case, the client first creates a dynamic group targeting the area. Whenever DNA Spaces locates a beacon in this area, it automatically assigns it to the group. The group assignment for a tag is also propagated via Firehose notifications.


Policies help deploy use cases to groups of devices. Each policy addresses a specific customer use case and comes with a suggested policy template that makes it easy to deploy a policy to a group. Customers can deploy a policy once, then DNA Spaces IoT Services ensures that the use case is always applied on all targeted tags. This completely eliminates the need for manual integration or maintenance of IoT devices.

Once a policy is deployed, IoT Services also displays the number and list of devices to which the policy has been applied.


When a policy is applied or fails to be applied, an alert is generated. Alerts can be system alerts that can be displayed in the DNA Spaces dashboard or notification alerts like emails. Notification alerts are grouped together and sent every 15 minutes.

Alerts are especially important for monitoring and security-based policies such as battery monitoring or beacon spoofing.

A new era

The Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Services Policy ushers in a new era of hands-free enterprise IoT management. It combines unparalleled processing and machine intelligence to deliver a seamless management experience never before seen in enterprise IoT. With the addition of new policies over time, it is destined to become the foundation of IoT management.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the partner ecosystem, visit Cisco DNA Spaces IoT Device Market

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