An influx of data and devices are pushing the limits of traditional WAN architectures, creating a difficult problem for enterprise networking and security. IT departments are trying to increase bandwidth, improve connectivity, and securely enable multicloud applications, but they can’t do it alone. Enter Cisco SD‑WAN.
With the power of software-defined networking on the WAN and integrated cloud security, businesses can improve performance, reduce costs, and protect critical assets. It’s a cloud-scale, software-driven architecture that routes traffic around problems, ensures application performance, and adapts to changing conditions—all without direct IT intervention. Along with significant benefits from software-defined WAN (SD‑WAN), new networking and security models, such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), provide a vision for managing the next normal. SASE combines networking and security functions, enabling the enterprise to connect users to services.
Today, your network has to work harder than ever to deliver the required user experiences over the cloud. With Cisco SD‑WAN, you can enable applications in minutes, on any platform, with consistent, predictable performance. SD‑WAN helps you optimize your wide area network, which means better experiences for customers and employees.
In a single overlay that extends to data center, cloud, and branch locations, Cisco SD‑WAN optimizes software-as-a-service (SaaS) performance for Office 365, Salesforce, and other cloud based apps. It also delivers seamless connectivity to the public cloud to simplify workflows for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and more—including application-aware policies that allow real-time policy enforcement for cloud and on-premises solutions. A healthcare company saw a fivefold improvement in its Office 365 performance after SD‑WAN.
Bandwidth is expensive enough as is, and network traffic shows no signs of slowing down. What if you could get simplified management and operations while lowering costs and increasing agility? Cisco SD‑WAN offers faster, easier deployments and operations, as well as better performance. Now you can get more bandwidth for less cost.
Combine MPLS with low-cost bandwidth services using a hybrid WAN approach, and save time rolling out new services and branches. Centralized management and built-in automation simplify workflows and increase efficiencies even further. IDC found that enterprises got an average of 33% more efficiency in WAN management with Cisco SD‑WAN.²
A lack of unified, end-to-end security from the branch to multiple clouds is increasing risks to organizations, especially for web traffic. Opening the enterprise to the cloud expands the attack surface of vulnerability points. Providing the right level of network access to the right people at the right points in the network becomes critical. Cisco SD‑WAN is now fully integrated with the Cisco Umbrella platform to deliver protection against web and Internet attacks and evolve the enterprise to a SASE architecture.
Secure SD‑WAN and SASE architectures achieve comprehensive threat protection and compliance for migration to multicloud architectures. Single cloud management of networking policies and security policies simplifies deployment and helps make protection more pervasive. Business-critical assets are isolated and protected at all times, because threat defenses are embedded at important points in the network infrastructure, from branch to cloud.
Managing hundreds and thousands of branch locations has always been a major challenge with traditional WAN architectures, and deploying security across global locations significantly adds complexity. This makes consistent policy enforcement a distant goal, made even more unattainable when a policy change needs to be rolled out across all sites. SD‑WAN makes consistent policy not only possible but seamless, with automated integration with Cisco Umbrella.
It doesn’t matter if you’re managing tens or thousands of locations; SD‑WAN simplifies network management. With a single WAN fabric, all policies and configuration can be centrally managed, even across multicloud environments. Cloud security can be enabled to thousands of sites within a few minutes. The outcome is true simplicity at an enterprise scale. One large tech company completed public cloud migration in one week (instead of the estimated 12 months).
APIs enable IT to seamlessly integrate its existing operations environment with Cisco SD‑WAN while also allowing a high level of flexibility to deliver capabilities that might not be available within Cisco vManage. For example, enterprise IT service management (ITSM) tools can be used to automate trouble tickets if there are issues with the WAN, enabling the artificial intelligence and machine learning engines of the ecosystem to deliver the fullest experience without IT intervention. Network monitoring tools can be used to aggregate data from the WAN with data from the rest of the network to provide a more holistic view of the enterprise, making it easier to troubleshoot and pinpoint problems faster. Service providers can also use APIs to integrate with their operations and billing systems to monitor customer networks and usage while orchestrating changes across large numbers of nodes. IDC found that enterprises had a 58% reduced implementation time for new policies and configurations with Cisco SD‑WAN.2
SD‑WAN delivers rich benefits as far as costs, security, and simplicity. But the key to a successful SD‑WAN transformation is to put the right focus on the initial setup and transition of the first 5 to 10 sites. And then to expand SD‑WAN across the rest of the enterprise rapidly. This is where services from Cisco Customer Experience are able to deliver the biggest value. Drawing from the best practices of successful deployments from numerous enterprises, ranging from simple to complex, the Cisco Customer Experience team’s focus is to make the transformation smooth and avoid major hurdles. Categorizing the various sites, establishing templates, defining global policies, and enabling the right security architecture are a sure way to a smooth and successful deployment. An IDC study found that Cisco SD‑WAN customers on average achieved 38% reduced 5-year total costs of operations.²
50 percent of organizations expect the majority of applications to be in the cloud by 2021.5
Deploy with confidence on platforms that increase agility, security, and visibility for connectivity to the cloud.
The Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family of edge devices provide agility for customers with the flexibility to increase memory, capacity, and performance, and they offer investment protection with an easy upgrade path for 5G technology. Cisco offers the highest-performing SD‑WAN edge platforms in the industry, with end-to-end visibility through analytics for optimization of cloud applications and edge compute resources.
Enable enterprises to migrate away from traditional, operationally complex WANs that have many silos to a software-based, agile WAN with robust security features.
Design a global network where the critical enterprise applications always maintain the highest service-level agreements (SLAs) and guaranteed performance, even during problems in the network.
Connect branches to the Internet and cloud with leading threat protection from Cisco Umbrella on a SASE-enabled architecture.
Achieve rapid migration to the cloud with integrated Cloud onRamp capabilities for SaaS and public cloud.
Consolidate regional infrastructure closer to cloud applications within colocation hubs using architecture based on Cisco virtualized network functions (VNF).
Only Cisco offers a comprehensive network solution that includes SD‑WAN along with powerful security architecture and the ability to scale at your own pace. Cisco SD‑WAN solutions integrate cloud optimization, security, and advanced analytics to transform your enterprise for digital and cloud.