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Cisco SD-WAN Solution Overview

Securely connect any user to any location or cloud, across any platform, all with a consistent application experience.


Moving applications to the cloud requires faster, more reliable connectivity. IoT demands even more performance as connected consumer endpoints multiply, taxing bandwidth and exposing sensitive networks to threats and vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, your workforce is becoming more mobile, demanding optimal performance wherever it goes.

It's an arduous landscape for a business to manage, but it can be navigated with confidence when using Cisco SD-WAN. Combining software-defined efficiency with the Cisco platforms you have come to trust, Cisco SD-WAN provides unparalleled visibility across your WAN, optimal connectivity for end users, and the most comprehensive security platform to protect your network.

Overview: The Cisco SD-WAN fabric

Through the Cisco SD-WAN vManage console, you can quickly establish an SD-WAN overlay fabric to connect data centers, branches, campuses, and colocation facilities to improve network speed, security, and efficiency. After setting templates and policies, Cisco SD-WAN analytics identifies connectivity and contextual issues to determine optimal paths for users to get to their destination, regardless of their connectivity.

Whether hosted in the cloud or on premises, Cisco vBond and vSmart orchestration and controller platforms authenticate and provision network infrastructure, verifying that the devices connecting to your SD-WAN are authorized. Once connected, SD -WAN platforms find the best path to bring users closer to the applications they need, managing overlay routing efficiency, adjusting in real time to reflect policy updates, and handling key exchanges in Cisco's full-mesh, encrypted delivery.

Cisco SD-WAN supports third-party API integration, allowing for even greater simplicity, customization, and automation in day-to-day operations. In addition, Cisco SD-WAN includes the common routing protocols that are critical for all enterprise SD-WAN deployments, such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Through a single dashboard called vManage, Cisco SD-WAN provides:

  • Transport independence: Guaranteeing zero network downtime, Cisco SD-WAN automates application flexibility over multiple connections, such as the Internet, MPLS, and wireless 4G LTE.
  • Network services: Rich networking and security services are delivered with a few simple clicks. WAN optimization, cloud security, firewalling, IPS, and URL filtering can be deployed wherever needed across the SD-WAN fabric from a single location.
  • Endpoint flexibility: Cisco SD-WAN can simplify connectivity across branches, campuses, data centers, or cloud environments, extending the SD-WAN fabric wherever you need it to go. Whether physical or virtual, a variety of Cisco SD-WAN platforms gives you unparalleled choice, ensuring that your specific business needs are met.

Cisco SD-WAN benefits - Cloud-first architecture

Cisco SD-WAN gives users the ability to manage connectivity across their WAN from a single dashboard. But it also lets them connect to cloud platforms with greater speed, reliability, and efficiency.

In the Cisco SD-WAN vManage console, you can easily automate virtual private gateway deployment in IaaS and PaaS environments. Cisco SD-WAN onRamp brings your applications closer to customers securely, adjusting your IPsec route as needed to help ensure service delivery and performance while monitoring the hosting infrastructure for anomalies.

Cisco SD-WAN onRamp gives you enhanced, automated connectivity to IaaS and PaaS cloud environments without forcing you into existing multitenant gateways or a time-consuming manual process. Cisco SD-WAN offers instant visibility into cloud traffic, control over deployment, and the convenience of automated management.

In addition, Cisco SD-WAN onRamp can optimize the SaaS applications that you and your stakeholders use in day-to-day operations.

Monitoring underlay performance via the vManage dashboard, Cisco SD-WAN onRamp automatically selects the fastest, most reliable path to SaaS applications for your users, engaging in real-time steering no matter where they are located. In the event of Layer-3 service interruptions beyond your control, Cisco SD-WAN onRamp will adjust as necessary, helping to ensure continuous uptime for stakeholders.

Right security, right place--simplified

As the world’s leading networking company, Cisco defined the standard for routing. As the largest enterprise cybersecurity provider, Cisco covers thousands of customers with end-to-end protection.

By choosing Cisco SD-WAN, you gain the ability to manage certified trustworthy platforms while instantly deploying the right security in the right place, all from a single dashboard. With a few clicks in the Cisco vManage console, you can instantly protect your entire network, reducing risk while ensuring business compliance, continuity, and success.

Cisco SD-WAN can transform your Cisco routers into advanced, multilayered security devices with an application-aware enterprise firewall, IPS, URL filter, and continuous DNS monitoring. As a result, end users--whether in the data center, branch, campus, or a remote location--can enjoy protection from a multitude of security threats. In addition, Cisco SD-WAN can segment network traffic end to end, protecting your business against data exfiltration and insider threats.

Predictable application experience

Using the advanced vAnalytics engine accessed through the Cisco vManage console, you can quickly provide stakeholders with the visibility necessary to isolate issues in the WAN. Additional components of vAnalytics include:

  • End-to-end visibility into applications and infrastructure across the entire SD-WAN fabric
  • Real-time information for failure correlation, cross-customer benchmarking, and application performance scores
  • What-if scenarios for performance forecasting
  • Assistance planning application provisioning, bandwidth increases, and branch expansions
  • Intelligent recommendations based on existing policies, templates, and preferences
  • Application quality of service (QoS) categorization and policy changes for predictable performance

In addition, with an enhanced event-correlation engine, Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics helps you cut through noisy event raw data. It uses its contextual analysis to understand when to turn service interruptions into alarms. This drastically reduces false positives and unnecessary escalations, saving your IT department time to focus on what matters.

Cisco SD-WAN provides advanced analytics, monitoring, and automation for any connection across your network, whether MPLS or beyond the cloud edge. With Cisco SD-WAN, you can help ensure users enjoy optimal speeds and the best performance from the applications they need for success. Enjoy improved productivity and an enhanced user experience with consistent, secure access to business applications on certified trustworthy hardware.

SD-WAN platforms

Whether hardware or software, Cisco strives for quality, innovative technology that will help your business reach new heights. Cisco SD-WAN is no different. With a single-WAN fabric that scales business into multicloud environments, Cisco SD-WAN can manage and provision a wide array of deployment options. Cisco SD-WAN-ready devices can be deployed in branches and campuses, headquarters, data centers, and colocation facilities.

Branches and campuses

With physical, virtual and cloud routing options, you can deploy Cisco SD-WAN on Cisco vEdge, CSR 1000v, ISR 1000, and ISR 4000 routers. And with Network Function Virtualization (NFV), you can deploy using Cisco SD-Branch solutions like the ENCS 5000 and UCS E-Series platforms.

Headquarters, data center, and colocation facilities

With physical, virtual, and cloud routing options, you can deploy Cisco SD-WAN on Cisco CSR 1000v, ASR 1000 routers, or with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) using regional hub solutions on the CSP 5000 platforms. With Cisco SD-WAN, select the best platform for your environment, no matter what your business needs.


ISR 1000

  • Up to 350 Mbps
  • Fanless
  • Integrated wired and wireless access

ISR 4000

  • Up to 3 Gbps
  • Modular
  • Collaboration
  • Compute with UCS E-Series

vEdge 100

  • 100 Mbps
  • 4G LTE and wireless

vEdge 1000

  • Up to 1 Gbps
  • Fixed


ASR 1000

  • 2.5-200 Gbps
  • High-performance service with vHardware assist
  • Hardware and software redundancy

vEdge 2000/5000

  • 10 Gbps/20 Gbps
  • Modular



  • 50 Mbps to 2.5 Gbps
  • Virtual enterprise-class networking
  • Runs on x86 compute platform
  • ENFV orchestration and management

Cisco ENCS

  • Service chaining virtual functions
  • Modular WAN connectivity
  • Open for third-party service and apps


CSR 1000V

  • 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps
  • Cisco DNA virtualization
  • Extend enterprise routing, security, and management to cloud

vEdge Cloud

  • 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps
  • Extend overlay to public cloud


Cisco DNA™ for WAN gives you the flexibility to consume SD-WAN either from the cloud or on-premise without having to manage disparate licenses and terms. Available as either 3 or 5-year subscriptions, customers can choose from a variety of Cisco DNA™ license packages that include:

  • Cisco DNA™ Essentials, enabling basic connectivity, SD-WAN, security and application visibility.
  • Cisco DNA™ Advantage enables flexible connectivity, advanced SD-WAN, advanced security, assurance and application-driven policy.
  • Cisco DNA™ Premier enables advanced SD-WAN, advanced security, application driven policy, network analytics and full WAN optimization.



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