We continue to see great interest and momentum around our Intelligent WAN solution but there is one thing we are hearing loud and clear from our customers; the need for better tools to configure and manage branch sites and associated WAN connections. For those of you familiar with Cisco’s Intelligent WAN there are four main business outcomes that the solution promises to deliver:
- Better Application Experience for Users
- Robust Secure Access for Applications and Users
- Lower IT Costs
- IT Simplicity for Increased Agility
Management falls into the IT Simplicity bucket and many times while presenting our Intelligent WAN solution customers are already thinking about how they are going to reconfigure their network into an Intelligent WAN. One of the main concerns is that the more sites you have the larger the task. Quite often there are limited or no IT resources at the branch and the thought of sending someone onsite (truck rolls) to change or reconfigure the branch router can be an expensive proposition. So what can you do to take advantage of the cost savings provided by an Intelligent WAN?
Our product teams have been hard at work building a solution to make the transition to Cisco’s Intelligent WAN simpler and easier. Before I go into the details some background on Cisco’s management strategy. Last year Cisco launched its Fast IT strategy aimed at helping IT free up resources to stay relevant to vital lines of business and invest in innovation. To help IT meet these goals Cisco launched its SDN solution called Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) which forms the foundation for our management story. ACI changes the way IT manages its infrastructure by moving from a manual, customized approach based on traditional IT tools to an approach based on business policy and automation to make network changes. This approach aims to improve application availability and performance while making sure that any changes to the network maintain security, and lastly being able to scale changes across the network with little or no errors.
Our SDN controller is called the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and with the Enterprise Module (EM) it will address Enterprise Networking management use cases. On top of the Enterprise Module (EM) will be the ability to use a number of applications including 3rd party applications. In fact the first application coming in summer 2015 will be the IWAN App. Following the IWAN App will be Prime Infrastructure along with some Threat Defense Capabilities.
The IWAN App aims to make it simple and easy to deploy Intelligent WAN across your network. Using tried and tested designs from the new IWAN Design Guide, the IWAN App is workflow based alleviating the need to go to each remote site and configuring PfR for example. The IWAN App will be a revelation when it arrives especially for those of you that used to making changes through the Cisco CLI. For those die hards the CLI is not going away any time soon but the IWAN App will make your lives easier.
If you are interested in learning more about managing your branch infrastructure register and join our upcoming webinar “Introducing Dramatically Simplified WAN Infrastructure Management” on Wednesday 18th February at 10am PST. This webinar is part of out on-going “Enabling the Hybrid WAN” webinar series and will have demos of the new IWAN App as well as review Cisco’s longer term management strategy.
Click here to register. If you are unable to join this live webinar the session will be recorded.