Cisco Remote Workforce Network Solution Overview

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Extend secure enterprise network connectivity to your remote workers at home and at micro-offices.


Today’s workforce is no longer bound to a primary workplace. Where people work, or their workspace, has shifted from desks in office buildings to makeshift offices at home.

The idea of business has been redefined. This short-term change may, in fact, be the new normal. But what comes after that? What’s the next normal? And then what comes after that? The network plays a critical role in being prepared to embrace the ever-changing reality of the future remote workspace.

Your remote workers are entitled to the same level of security, performance, and policies and, ultimately, the same experience as they have in a corporate office. How do you balance business resiliency and your remote workers’ experience?


      Centralized orchestration Provisioning, management, and troubleshooting

      Comprehensive security Cisco Umbrella® cloud security and threat protection

      Enhanced experience Application path/ WAN optimization

      Connection high availability LTE Advanced Pro (5G-ready)

      Seamless onboarding Plug-and-Play and BYOD support

      Advanced assurance Data-driven (AI/ML) analytics

What are the challenges of a remote workforce?

Table 1.        Pitfalls of current solutions

For employees

For IT administrators

For specialists and micro-offices

Traditional access to the corporate network from remote locations can be a challenging and arduous process. Employees can only connect their enterprise devices one by one and often can’t use any personal ones, such as tablets or mobile devices.

Can remote employees gain the same level of security they get within a corporate environment?

Provisioning, managing, and monitoring of distributed locations remotely from a single pane of glass is one of the biggest challenges for IT administrators. They are also unable to deploy consistent corporate policy for remote workforces.

How much visibility do IT administrators have into inbound and outbound traffic of remote workforces?

Whether you are a teleworking financial analyst or a telemedicine doctor working from home or a micro-office, you can’t afford to lose network connectivity. You also need enterprise-grade end-to-end segmentation and protection against advanced threats.

How about ensuring an enhanced experience while getting direct access to cloud applications?

Cisco Remote Workforce Network solutions

Work from home or a micro-office with your extended secure enterprise network.

Cisco® Remote Workforce Network solutions are fundamental to the next level of workspaces and to future business resiliency. These solutions extend enterprise network connectivity to remote workforces at home and at micro-offices at scale. Going beyond traditional VPN connectivity, Remote Workforce Network solutions extend corporate policies and security to home offices, providing a seamless corporate experience to remote employees and IT administrations.

With the Remote Workforce Network solutions, remote workforces have the same level of application experience and security as they have in a corporate office. And IT administrators can provision, manage, and deploy consistent policies across all distributed home offices and micro-offices remotely and securely via a centralized orchestration tool. Advanced network assurance can proactively monitor remote network health and assure the service quality of critical business applications as well as voice and video communications. It can also provide real-time advice with a focus on maintaining availability and can suggest remediation steps.

Cisco offers two enterprise-ready Cisco Remote Workforce solutions.

Cisco Remote Workforce Wireless solution

Offer secure corporate wireless and wired connectivity at home.

With plug-and-play Cisco wireless1 access points, including the Cisco Catalyst® 9105 Series, users can connect securely to a corporate network and, with enterprise-class identity-based policies, can onboard their wired and wireless devices seamlessly, including their personal devices. They get an optimized cloud experience via direct internet access and Cisco Application Visibility and Control (AVC).

Cisco TrustSec® software-defined segmentation and Cisco Umbrella® DNS-layer security protect remote workers from advanced threats and detect compromised devices. Cisco CleanAir® and radio resource management (RRM) technologies for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are Spectrum Intelligence solutions designed to proactively manage the challenges of a shared wireless spectrum. They identify the source, location, and scope of radio frequency (RF) interference and can proactively guard against it.

Benefits of the Remote Workforce Wireless solution:

      Expansion of corporate network connectivity and identity-based policies to the home

      Zero-touch onboarding of wired and wireless devices, including BYOD

      Cisco CleanAir and advanced RRM technologies for spectrum management and RF visibility

      Seamless application experience via an optimized data path

      Centralized provisioning and management and cloud security

Related image, diagram or screenshot

Figure 1.            

Cisco Remote Wireless solution

Cisco Remote Workforce Routing solution

Provide an advanced application experience with comprehensive security.

The Cisco Remote Workforce Routing solution extends a uniform enterprise SD-WAN experience to the home and remote workforce. Extensive cloud integration delivers a consistent and optimal application experience. A cloud-delivered secure access service edge (SASE) architecture provides unified security and compliance. Centralized management automates deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting in an agile and scalable manner.

The Remote Workforce Routing solution consists of the following flexible hardware and software options:

      Cisco 1131 Integrated Services Router (ISR): Connects users reliably and securely across multicloud, branch, data center, and hybrid workforce. The Cisco 1131 ISR is the next iteration of the Cisco ISR family and is optimized for distributed small branches and a remote workforce with built-in Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support for enhanced SD-WAN connectivity.

      Cisco SD-WAN Remote Access (SD-WAN RA): Integrates remote access functionality into the SD-WAN fabric, thereby delivering all the benefits of Cisco SD-WAN to the remote workforce. Remote workers can simply leverage existing remote access clients (including Cisco AnyConnect®, Windows, Apple OS native clients, and hardware-based routers such as the Cisco Catalyst Wireless Gateway) to access the nearest Cisco SD-WAN edge device, regardless of their location and devices.

      Cisco Catalyst Wireless Gateway: A simple-to-deploy wireless router designed to empower the remote workforce to collaborate like never before. Flexible Wi-Fi 6 and cellular failover deliver a consistent application experience with enterprise Wi-Fi connectivity and security extended to the remote workforce A centralized dashboard automates deployment and management in an agile manner. A small fanless, silent form factor accelerates the transition to a hybrid workforce where and when it is needed. The Catalyst Wireless Gateway can either be used as a standalone wireless home router or integrated with Cisco SD-WAN RA.

Benefits of the Remote Workforce Routing solution:

      Consistent and optimized application experience with seamless connectivity to cloud and SaaS applications

      Automated deployment, configuration, and management of hybrid work routing solutions with Cisco vManage

      Integrated cloud-delivered SASE architecture for unified security policy and compliance across a hybrid workforce

      Scalable hardware or software endpoint options that accelerate the transition to hybrid work where and when it is needed, in a simple and agile manner

      Can leverage existing branch infrastructure, thereby lowering overall TCO while extending enterprise-grade SD-WAN in a flexible and distributed manner

Related image, diagram or screenshot

Figure 2.            

Cisco Remote Workforce Routing solution

1Learn more in the Cisco Remote Workforce Network Ordering Guide.

Remote Workforce Network bundles and supported hardware

When ordering a Cisco Remote Workforce Network solution, your subscription is activated through a single Cisco Remote Workforce Network bundle package for simplicity. You can either use one of your existing network hardware devices or choose from a variety of discounted options for both wireless and routing.

Tables 2 and 3 outline the supported models for each solution option.

Table 2.        Table 2. Remote Workforce Wireless solution

Type of wireless device


Wi-Fi 5 access points

Aironet®: 1815t,1 1840i,1 1815w,2 1815i,2 and 2800,2 3800,2 and 48002Series

Wi-Fi 6 access points

Catalyst: 9115,1 91051 (coming soon), 9120,2 and 91302Series

Wireless controllers2

3504, 5520, 8540

9800-L, 9800-40, 9800-80, 9800-CL (private cloud)

1Discounted models within bundle.
2Bring your own hardware.

Table 3.        Remote Workforce Routing solution

Routing device or feature


Cisco ISRs

C1131-8PWx, C1131X-8PWx

Cisco SD-WAN Remote Access

Cisco SD-WAN RA enables Cisco IOS® XE SD-WAN devices to provide RA headend functionality, managed through Cisco vManage. Available in Cisco IOS XE 17.6.1 and beyond.

Cisco Catalyst Wireless Gateway

CG113-W6x, CG113-4GW6x

Cisco Remote Workforce Network solutions

Enable remote employee and IT administrators with:


Provision new remote locations, deploy enterprise class identity-based policies, and manage distributed workforces from a centralized location.


Experience a zero-touch process of launching of network devices, including BYOD.


Get seamless, corporate-level security and application experiences from a remote workplace.

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