How often does IT receive the complaint “the network is slow?” End users complaining about application problems can be frustrating, especially when it is not always the network that is the cause. When those complaints come from remote sites, eliminating the WAN as the cause of the problem is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Troubleshooting time increases, as does downtime. We can do better.

The race to cloud is creating a blind spot for IT

As the adoption of cloud applications accelerates, there is increasing pressure to change the way we design, deploy and operate the WAN. IT teams are turning to SD-WAN for a more flexible and easier to manage WAN architecture that can address the dynamic demands of the cloud. At the same time, IT is taking the opportunity to use internet connectivity to lower WAN costs and optimize the user experience.

While the increased bandwidth and cost savings of using the internet for the WAN are attractive, this shift brings additional challenges that are not seen with private MPLS links. The Internet is made up of disparate networks outside of the control of IT and it is quickly becoming the largest blind spot when it comes to troubleshooting application issues.

Cisco brings visibility and insights to the WAN

To deliver the best user experience across the entire enterprise, you need to make sure that the WAN is not holding you back. Today at Cisco Live Melbourne, we announced new analytics and assurance innovations for the WAN to help IT get started. This is a critical next step in our vision to extend intent-based networking across the enterprise and follows on the heels of ground-breaking assurance innovations introduced at Cisco Live Barcelona two months ago that cover the campus, LAN and data center.

So, what’s new? Two new solutions that ensure IT has the visibility and insight into the WAN to keep your business up and running:

  • Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics makes it easy for IT have visibility into WAN performance, forecasting for application deployments, planning for “what-if” scenarios and easy to follow corrective actions.
  • Cisco Meraki Insight helps IT administrators maintain a great client experience by providing valuable insight into WAN and SaaS application performance, significantly reducing the time it takes to isolate and resolve issues.

Cisco’s intent-based networking vision for the WAN

We describe an intent-based network as the ability to capture an organization’s requirements or ‘business intent’ and continuously align to it. Assurance is a fundamental capability that helps to guarantee that the network is doing what you intended it to do.

To deliver on our vision for intent-based networking for the WAN, we have designed a cloud-first architecture with integrated security, that uses the best threat intelligence. The five technology pillars that make this vision a reality are:

  1. On-premise or cloud managed. A single WAN fabric with operational simplicity that can scale across thousands of remote sites.
  2. Transport independence. Global support for any type of connectivity including MPLS, Internet, and 4G LTE.
  3. End-point flexibility. Physical or virtual network devices that can be deployed in the branch, cloud, co-location facility, or the data center.
  4. Rich network services. Deploy in minutes network services like SD-WAN, unified communications, firewall and more, including 3rd parties.
  5. Analytics and assurance. Real-time application optimization for all applications using visibility for forecasting and planning with actionable insights for faster troubleshooting.

With the addition of the analytics and assurance our vision for the WAN is making it easier for IT to deliver the best user experience all the time. And when problems do happen Cisco is making is easier to quickly pinpoint the problem and keep downtime to a minimum.

Find out more about the latest Cisco SD-WAN innovations and Intent-Based Networking or reach out to me on Twitter @ghodgaonkar.


Kiran Ghodgaonkar

Senior Manager, Enterprise Marketing

Intent-based Networking Group