How often do we prefer to avoid a detour to reach our home, office, restaurant, or subway station? The answer is – every time! We do not have the time for detours and delays in life as it affects our productivity and schedule. Similarly, business networks also need non-stop connectivity for greater performance and scalability.

As enterprises continue to grow and expand, they need a network that scales at the speed of their business. New business models drive the need for a network design that ensures seamless connectivity and greater application performance.

Multicloud infrastructure necessitates the need for networks with global connectivity

The accelerated adoption of a cloud-first strategy has changed how IT teams should design and deploy networks to manage global connectivity. With applications and workloads moving to multicloud architectures, businesses need to ensure that their SD-WAN design & architecture can scale easily without impacting connectivity and performance end-users expect across the globe. To achieve network scalability, organizations are pivoting to designs that involve splitting up the network into multiple regions, with geo-specific points-of-presence (PoPs) or Service Exchanges leading to a hierarchical architecture. This hierarchical architecture enables customers to use different traffic transport service providers for each region and for the central core-region network to optimize costs and deliver greater traffic and application performance. To make the best use of these different transports, enforce common- routing and business policy intent across regions, and leverage several rich features within SD-WAN, enterprises are leaning towards deploying end-to-end SD-WAN fabric across such networks.

The challenges of a tiered or hierarchical network design
Figure 1. The challenges of a tiered or hierarchical network design

Adopting a multi-region network design demands resolving a few network and operational challenges. To benefit from a multi-region type of network architecture, the use of a middle-mile WAN or global backbone WAN network is becoming increasingly prevalent. Enterprises are looking for ways to easily integrate middle-mile WANs with the rest of their network without the added complexity of operating, configuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting these networks as separate entities. As these deployments grow in complexity and scope, enterprises need a more effective way to scale connectivity across different regions to deliver greater application performance. An easy approach to accomplish this is to extend the SD-WAN fabric over the middle-mile WAN as well, thus enabling them to use SD-WAN to manage both intra- and inter-region site-to-cloud, site-to-site traffic via a single pane of glass.

Cisco SD-WAN Multi-Region Fabric – Your pathway to global network connectivity

Cisco SD-WAN Multi-Region Fabric is a new suite of capabilities that divides a single Cisco SD-WAN overlay network into multiple regions with a central core-region network for managing inter-regional traffic. You can scale the network architecturally and operationally by introducing the concept of regions and device roles natively into your SD-WAN solution. It enables you to extend the Cisco SD-WAN fabric across multiple regions within your network as well as the middle-mile, to provide:

  • End-to-end SD-WAN capabilities and control​
  • End-to-end encryption of inter-region traffic
  • Transport independence​
  • Performance measurements
  • Greater control over traffic paths between domains
Multi-Region Fabric reducing operational complexity by introducing 'regions' and device 'roles' natively into Cisco SD-WAN
Figure 2. Multi-Region Fabric reducing operational complexity by introducing ‘regions’ and device ‘roles’ natively into Cisco SD-WAN

Multi-Region Fabric offers advanced capabilities such as region-aware routing, simplified site scalability for higher throughput, and reduces the complexity of network architecture and policy configuration. It provides the ability to enforce a common traffic steering policy across the entire WAN or on a per-region(s) basis and end-to-end WAN segmentation – all via a single dashboard (vManage) to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot the network. This new capability within the SD-WAN fabric allows the creation of a globally distributed network in minutes with just a couple of clicks.

Multi-Region Fabric means reduced complexity, increased scalability & greater performance

This new architecture can provide significant benefits for customers, partners, and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who are considering the adoption of a hierarchical network design (with a middle-mile) for use cases such as:

  • Regionalization of network services such as Security, Identity Management, Netflow, Logging, WAN optimization, etc.
  • Improving multicloud and SaaS user experience by providing high-quality onramps into Software as a Service (SaaS) and any cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) via regional PoPs.
  • Reducing time spent on the last mile for user traffic.
  • Adapting network scale, compliance, or resiliency in a geo/segment/region-specific manner.

The Multi-Region Fabric Advantage  

  • Scalable architecture to address dynamic network needs & business intent across regions
  • Simplified policy design brings operational simplicity by eliminating the need for complex business/routing policies
  • Flexibility to select the best transport for each region provides better performance for traffic across geographical regions
  • Operationally easier to deploy and manage

Your growing business needs a network that can keep up with it, and Cisco SD-WAN Multi-Region Fabric can help you build and manage that network for you!

We understand deciding how to deploy SD-WAN for the best network scalability can bring uncertainty. How you reduce costs and complexity, simplify policy management, provide secure, seamless connectivity, and ultimately deliver superior user experience may also be difficult to fully understand. Join us for a live webinar and demo to learn more. Our speakers Hamzah Kardame, Leader, Product Management for Cisco SD-WAN, and Tahir Ali, Technical Marketing Engineering Technical Leader for Cisco SD-WAN will discuss:

  • Why do networks need more scalability and flexibility in today’s hybrid and multicloud environments?
  • How are WAN architectures evolving today and rise of middle-mile WAN-based network designs?
  • The challenges that come with adopting such next-gen WAN architectures
  • Multi-Region Fabric capabilities are available within Cisco SD-WAN to help support this transition.
  • How Cisco SD-WAN Multi-Region Fabric works and what is ahead


Join our Insider Series for Networking live webinar on September 22nd!

Additional Resources:

Cisco SD-WAN Multi-Region Fabric Video

Learn more about Cisco SD-WAN 


Sunakshi Tickoo

Product Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking & Cloud Product Marketing