In April of 2017, Cisco put both feet into the SD-WAN waters with their purchase of San Jose, Ca.-based Viptela, a privately held SD-WAN company. One of the biggest reasons for the acquisition was its ability to easily integrate Viptela software into Cisco’s platforms. Prior to the acquisition, Cisco’s SD-WAN solution utilized its own IWAN software, which delivered a somewhat complex, unwieldy option. The merger of IWAN and Viptela formed what is now called, not surprisingly, Cisco SD-WAN.
Questions concerning the agility and effectiveness of Cisco SD-WAN can best be answered from the following quote published by Cisco customer Agilent Technologies, a manufacturer of laboratory instruments:
“Agilent’s global rollout of Cisco SD-WAN enables our IT teams to respond rapidly to changing business requirements. We now achieve more than 80% improvement in turnaround times for new capability and a significant increase in application reliability and user experience.”
The following four (4) “v” components are what comprise Cisco’s innovative SD-WAN solution.
What separates SD-WAN from those WAN technologies of the past is its decoupling of the Data Plane, which carries the traffic, from the Control Plane, which directs it. With decoupling, the controls are no longer maintained in equipment’s firmware, but in software that can be centrally managed. Cisco’s SD-WAN controller is called vSmart, which is cloud-based and uses Overlay Management Protocol (OMP) to manage control and data policies.
Cisco’s SD-WAN routers are called vEdge, and receive data and control policies from the vSmart controller. They can establish secure IPSec tunnels between other vEdge routers, and can be either on-prem or installed on private or public clouds. They can run traditional routing protocols, such as OSPF or BGP, to satisfy LAN needs on one side, WAN on the other.
vBond―the glue that holds it together
vBond is what connects and creates those secure IPSec tunnels between vEdge routers, after which key intel, such as IP addressing, is communicated to vSmart and vManage.
Managing the WAN traffic from a centralized location is what makes SD-WAN, well…SD-WAN. vManage provides that dashboard through a fully manageable, graphical interface from which policies and communications rules can be monitored and managed for the entire network. Different topologies can be designed and implemented through vManage, whether it’s hub and spoke, spoke to spoke, or to address specific needs to accommodate different access types.
To enjoy the Power of v, contact the experts at GDT
GDT has been a preferred Cisco partner for over 20 years, and its expert SD-WAN solutions architects and engineers have implemented SD-WANs for some of the largest enterprises and service providers in the world. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’d love to hear from you.