Alan Dapré, author of more than 60 children’s books said, “Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?” You may be thinking that “extraordinary” is not a term commonly associated with network connectivity. Shouldn’t it just be like water coming out of the faucet? A utility that is … well … ordinary?

Extraordinary is an enhanced experience. And the Cisco Networking Cloud vision enables you to create an enhanced experience that your users refer to as extraordinary. With our latest SD-WAN product enhancements, we’ve made it easier for you to deliver that exceptional experience to them.

SD-WAN: New name and additional deployment option

At Cisco Live in Las Vegas, we announced the rebranding of the Viptela technology solution from Cisco SD-WAN to Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN. The Catalyst brand has always stood for the industry’s most powerful switching, wireless, and routing platforms. This name change not only provides consistent alignment with the Catalyst brand of our routing hardware, but also with our access, data center, and cloud solutions—and drives brand simplification. Cisco’s SD-WAN portfolio includes both Catalyst SD-WAN and Meraki SD-WAN fabrics to provide the most versatile solutions regardless of your use case.

Deployment options for SD-WAN connectivity

Until now, Cisco has offered two ways for you to consume Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN. First, an on-premises deployment would reside in your own data center or a managed service provider’s data center. The second option was to deploy in a Cisco hosted environment with either an AWS or Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.

A third deployment option is now available. Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN can be cloud-delivered to align to your infrastructure strategy. Why cloud-delivered? We recognize that operating models are changing. Organizations demand simplicity, agility, flexibility, and scalability. Cloud-delivered Catalyst SD-WAN provides a cloud-first experience with automated, rapid on-boarding and single sign-on.

Cisco provides zero-touch life cycle deployment and management of the infrastructure via Cisco’s Cloud Operations team. Customers will experience end-to-end service delivery, providing automated provisioning of the SD-WAN fabric. Cisco provides the management, monitoring, upgrades, and backup and restore. We’ve included access to end-to-end actionable insights that measure, predict, understand, and remediate potential issues, so there’s no need to implement it later. You can now consume SD-WAN with a flexible subscription model that scales to your needs and enables more precise OpEx planning and lower TCO.

Elevating the application experience  

Nary a business has been unaffected by the need to support hybrid work requirements. The importance of delivering an exceptional experience to your users has risen with this trend, and the accelerated adoption of digital services has transformed enterprise IT. Unless every one of your users work from the office and all applications they access are on premises, you no longer fully control the end-to-end infrastructure, yet you are still accountable for delivering optimal digital experiences. These new capabilities and solutions help you elevate the application experience.

Securing remote workforce

ThousandEyes Service Assurance helps your organization ensure top-notch digital experiences through end-to-end network visibility and proactive insights that empower you to pinpoint, troubleshoot, resolve, and optimize performance across every network domain that matters to them—whether on premises, the internet, or cloud.

Cisco is announcing expanded support with ThousandEyes, providing visibility into public cloud networks, internet routing, and enterprise sites with new vantage points from Meraki MX (and Webex RoomOS) devices. You’ll enhance operations with automated event detection and problem isolation, and unmatched insights of your cloud connectivity.

As organizations adapt to hybrid work, IT is expected to support workers at the branch, campus, and remotely. The Meraki Z4 gateways allow IT teams to securely provide connectivity to remote workers and simultaneously manage SD-branch infrastructure across global locations on a unique cloud platform that consolidates security, SD-WAN, access, and IoT.

Simplifying IT

Technology should never get in the way of conducting business and has two essential requirements: work as expected and be simple to use.

Simplifying the IT Experience

The latest enhancements in SD-WAN management and analytics include new Circuit and SecOps dashboards—along with step-by-step configuration templates to expedite the implementation and management of security policies. They include enhanced visibility into circuits and traffic patterns with a visual interface. An enhanced topology view has been added, and real-time tracking of network and path conditions by application-aware routing provides faster brownout detection.

We are introducing closed-loop automation capabilities to Predictive Path Recommendations (PPR). As an integral component of Cisco predictive networks, PPR delivers a predictive network solution, enabling IT personnel to proactively improve application experience. Leveraging advanced algorithms and predictive models, PPR determines the performance and policy compliance of the paths carrying the site application traffic. When performance is below historical benchmarks or SLA, PPR can make recommendations to the IT personnel and automatically implement corrective actions—before impacting users.

Granular Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) enables service providers to offer a robust co-managed SD-WAN service. Both service providers and their tenants can share or split responsibilities while maintaining accountability via auditing functionality in managing an SD-WAN overlay.

Predictive network analytics

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN now supports Cisco Umbrella’s multi-org integration, allowing customers to easily manage multiple child organizations or regions from a single Umbrella dashboard. This enables the integration of multiple Umbrella organizations with a single-tenant Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN deployment by configuring the Umbrella API integration for DNS and SIG on a per-device basis. By creating customized security policies tailored to specific needs of different regions or organizational units, customers can simplify the security management process, improve network security, and reduce the risk of security breaches. A centralized view of multiple networks reduces the time and effort to manage multiple networks and improves the user experience.

Cloud and middle-mile connectivity

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with AWS Cloud WAN provides a dynamic WAN service that allows building of a global network in a simplified and fully automated manner, within minutes. The solution delivers a secure, on-demand, flexible, and highly available middle-mile, leveraging the global AWS backbone, intent-based network management, and advanced security through a central policy framework.

Our multicloud solutions start with our enhanced cloud router—the Catalyst 8000V—a virtual router that is optimized for scale and performance for compute instances across the cloud and backbone providers. You can consume this software from public cloud marketplaces with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) licenses or bring your own license (BYOL), purchased directly from Cisco.

During Cisco Live, we announced a network-as-a-service consumption model for middle-mile services with Megaport. This PAYG model allows customers to be billed by Cisco according to the usage of their Megaport services. We also announced the availability of Megaport Ports on Cisco’s Global Price List (GPL). Customers will be able to purchase ports globally for private connectivity to Megaport Virtual Edge and for provisioning global backbones through Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN. With PAYG and Megaport Ports, you gain private connectivity to virtual edges from your data centers or sites. PAYG is important for customers because you only pay if you use them. There is no upfront commitment and no overage.

Efficiency and cost savings for service providers

Cisco Multitenant Edge for Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN platforms enables providers to securely host multiple tenants on a single physical or virtual SD-WAN platform. It simplifies and accelerates SD-WAN design and deployment, while also providing CapEx and OpEx savings. This also helps you meet your sustainability goals by powering fewer WAN appliances.

Clearly, network connectivity is no longer just an ordinary, basic utility. As we continue to build on our vision for Cisco Networking Cloud, we are enabling elevated experiences that allow you to provide connectivity experiences for your users that are truly extraordinary.


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John Joyal

Leader, Product Marketing

Enterprise Solutions