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Cisco today announced it has created a “network of the future,” comprised of an assortment of hardware and software technologies that the vendor said will revolutionize enterprise networking through unprecedented efficiency and security.

The new “intent-based networking” system is designed to evaluate intent, mitigate threats and apply artificial intelligence to learn and improve over time.

In addition to exclusive technologies – like Encrypted Traffic Analytics, which allows for detection of malware in encrypted traffic – the new products represent a clear doubling down on Cisco’s plans to rely less on income from hardware sales, in favor of software delivery.

“With our investors we've been talking about this continued shift to higher software content in our business," CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC’s David Faber today. “We believe that this launch today is the beginning of a journey to help us launch that software and subscription model in our core which is what our investors have been asking us about.”

The new networking technology is out for field testing by 75 leading enterprises and organizations, including Accenture, NASA and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Various parts of the system will be rolled out for general availability on a staggered schedule, through November.

A newly designed family of compatible switches – Catalyst 9300, 9400 and 9500 series – will be released this month and next. 

Other components, like a centralized management dashboard dubbed DNA Center, and SD-Access, a software-defined networking solution, will be rolled out later in the year.

“SD-Access uses automated policy enforcement and network segmentation over a single network fabric to dramatically simplify network access for users, devices and things,” Cisco said in a statement. “By automating day-to-day tasks such as configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting, SD-Access slashes the time it takes to adapt the network, improves issue resolution from weeks and months to hours, and dramatically reduces security breach impact.”

Testing and field trials have shown a 67 percent reduction in provisioning time, operational expense savings of 61 percent and 99 percent accuracy in detecting threats in encrypted traffic.

“With the vast majority of the world's internet traffic running on Cisco networks, the company has used its unique position to capture and analyze this immensely valuable data by providing IT with insights to spot anomalies and anticipate issues in real time, without compromising privacy,” Cisco said in a statement. “By automating the edge of the network and embedding machine learning and analytics at a foundational level, Cisco is making the unmanageable manageable and allowing IT to focus on strategic business needs.”