The Software-Defined Networking Movement
Cisco has been leading the charge into enterprise software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) with its industry-leading Intelligent WAN (IWAN) solution. A complementary Meraki-based solution addresses the SD-WAN needs of the smaller enterprise and commercial markets. Regardless of market segment, SD-WAN offers incredibly powerful transport capabilities between main offices and branch facilities. By providing alternate transport paths between offices, as opposed to expensive (and sometimes excessive and underutilized) dedicated circuits, SD-WAN enables the business to maximize existing investments in their networking infrastructure, creating a greater return on investment.
So how does SD-WAN deliver this value? It’s actually a pretty simple concept. Most enterprises have built out Internet, LTE, and other transport capabilities. Utilizing a mixture of existing hardware and software-defined capabilities, SD-WAN enlists these mechanisms as alternate paths for less critical traffic, prioritizing critical traffic and routing it over traditional dedicated circuits. In essence, SD-WAN enables transport paths like the Internet to serve as viable alternatives to dedicated circuits. The cost savings of SD-WAN can be significant.
A simple truth is: powerful new solutions can also bring additional complexities that have to be dealt with. The complexity introduced by software overlays in SD-WAN can create operational headaches for enterprises whose IT staffs simply don’t have the proper skill sets and experience to maintain enterprise-wide SD-WAN deployments from a Day 2 perspective. Moving up the stack into software-defined functionality makes troubleshooting a tricky endeavor. This is where Cisco Managed Services comes into play. By reducing the risk in deploying and operating cutting-edge solutions like SD-WAN, Cisco Managed Services can facilitate a quicker return on investment, faster time to resolution when issues arise, and ultimately a lowered total cost of ownership with a higher level of user satisfaction.
SD-WAN brings tangible and long-term benefits when properly deployed and maintained—Cisco Managed Services reduces the risk in deploying SD-WAN through highly experienced technical personnel, industry-leading best practices, and powerful monitoring and management tools.
What Is Viptela?
Cisco’s acquisition of Viptela earlier this year provided some very exciting developments in the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) market that are just around the corner. Viptela joins a stable of other Cisco SD-WAN solutions that are positioned for different market segments, filling a key gap in the growing cloud-based networking market.
Viptela is an SD-WAN solution that incorporates a Meraki-type operational model. With Viptela, management occurs from the cloud, not at the device level. What this model provides is an easier way to configure, deploy, and operate SD-WAN, removing some of the complexities inherent in a software-defined solution. Flexibility and extensibility are also key aspects of the Viptela SD-WAN solution.
Viptela is a forward-leaning SD-WAN model that incorporates the best aspects of Meraki-style deployment and management. It helps to remove the complexities that traditional SD-WAN solutions can introduce into the operational environment.
The Benefits of Viptela and Cisco Managed Services
Viptela is a cloud-based, secure, flexible, and service-rich SD-WAN architecture that helps ensure the best user experience over any connection. Because Viptela operations are carried out via cloud interactions, management is streamlined and centralized in a model that Cisco is embracing across the board.
Though a cloud-based delivered management model, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every enterprise can quickly adapt to deploying and managing it effectively. Because Viptela is a software-defined solution, complexities still exist making it difficult to troubleshoot and restore service in the instance of an incident. Most enterprises don’t have the IT expertise to assume full-time operations of software-defined platforms, so Cisco Managed Services with 24/7 Cisco-led operations helps to assure a secure and flexible SD-WAN experience.
Vipela’s cloud-based delivered architecture creates operational efficiencies alongside the functional gains of alternate WAN transport options. However, not all the complexities of a software-defined architecture can be totally removed. Cisco Managed Services has the in-house capabilities to ensure that our customers maximize their investment into SD-WAN and avoid the risks in deploying and managing the solution.
The Happy Path of SD-WAN
The happy path rarely becomes the actual path taken, simply because unexpected issues always arise despite the best efforts during the planning and design phases. On the happy path of SD-WAN implementation, Viptela provides the greatest opportunities to achieve streamlined deployment and efficient operations. The Viptela cloud-based delivered model creates operational efficiencies that go far beyond what is possible with traditional SD-WAN solutions that must be managed device by device in a non-centralized manner. This is the reason that Cisco has much to look forward to with Viptela in the stable of SD-WAN solutions available to our different customers.
Cisco Managed Services nudges Viptela much further down the happy path. Nobody understands Cisco’s technologies and solutions better than Cisco. Therefore, a Cisco-led operational plan enables the enterprise to take advantage of SD-WAN while the best and brightest in the industry augment its in-house IT capabilities. Software-defined architectures are rather new to most IT professionals, and the associated management methodologies need to be adapted to this cloud-based delivered model. Cisco Managed Services has worked through all the right methodologies and best practices needed to tap into the full power of Viptela’s alternate-transport solution. By leveraging our managed services, enterprises can reduce the risk inherent in deploying and operating innovative new technologies such as SD-WAN, all while helping to secure a quicker return on investment with the best user experience available. Viptela and Cisco Managed Services are truly better together!
Cisco Managed Services brings niche expertise to a powerful software-defined solution, reducing the risk in deploying new and innovative technologies while helping to capture a quicker return on investment.
Some Final Thoughts
SD-WAN provides real value for most businesses and enterprises with large existing investments into alternate transport options. The acquisition of Viptela brings a cloud-based delivered model that adds unique value to Cisco’s SD-WAN capabilities. While Viptela on its own creates operational efficiencies that most customers will be able to take advantage of, with Cisco Managed Services providing Cisco-led expert management and operations, those efficiencies are secured and the happy path becomes a successful path traveled.
Check out what our managed services capabilities can do for your Viptela deployment.