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Cisco and AWS are delivering a high-performing, integrated solution using Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN’s cloud networking solution, Cloud OnRamp, and AWS Cloud WAN with Tunnel-less Connect.

Schematic: Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN cloud Router and AWS Cloud WANLearn how Cisco and AWS have co-innovated to enhance the experience of our joint customers by extending Cisco SD-WAN across the global AWS cloud network, interconnecting enterprise sites and cloud workloads, using the Cloud WAN backbone.

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp offers a single pane of glass experience by automating AWS Cloud WAN with Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Manager, allowing customers to securely extend their network to the AWS cloud.

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp delivers integration with AWS cloud-native constructs of AWS Transit Gateway (TGW) and AWS Cloud WAN. The automated solution offers options to connect over Internet or Direct-Connect, as well as the ability to leverage IPsec or GRE based tunneling. Building on our strategic partnership, we are now integrating with AWS Cloud WAN with Tunnel-less Connect.


AWS Cloud WAN is a managed wide area network (WAN) service that enables customers to easily connect their workloads, users, and enterprise network over the AWS global network. AWS Cloud WAN network is managed via a central core network policy (CNP) document which contains information about regions, segments, attachments, route-sharing, and service insertion. A global Cloud WAN network is deployed based on the intent declared in the CNP.

AWS Cloud WAN schematic

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN with AWS Cloud WAN

Through Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Manager customers can now securely create, deploy, and manage, a global AWS Cloud WAN network, alleviating the need to manage day to day network changes and allowing them to focus on their core business.

This deeply integrated automation offers customers an intuitive, intent-based user interface and a logical step-by-step guided workflow to associate AWS cloud accounts, discover and tag workloads, and deploy Cloud Gateways (CGW), providing secure and segmented connectivity.

SD-WAN integration with AWS Cloud WAN

The Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN integration with AWS Cloud WAN creates a Cloud Gateway (CGW), which brings up a Transit VPC (TVPC) with a pair of Catalyst 8000V SD-WAN virtual routers. Simultaneously it brings up the Cloud WAN network by creating and connecting to the regional Core Network Edge (CNE).

The customer can instantiate CGWs in all the desired regions, which will automatically extend Cloud WAN across those regions. The SD-WAN manager also creates and updates the AWS Core Network Policy (CNP) to reflect the customer intent captured through the workflows.

The customer can route traffic through SD-WAN tunnels over the Cloud WAN backbone. This simplifies site-to-cloud connectivity, allows interregional connectivity, and enables use of Cloud WAN as the underlay for site-to-site use cases. Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp automation helps to realize this architecture with just a few clicks.

Integrating Catalyst SD-WAN and AWS Cloud WAN using Tunnel-less Connect

The strong partnership and deep interworking between Cisco and AWS teams discovered an opportunity to optimize the performance of SD-WAN on AWS Cloud WAN, originating the idea of Tunnel-less Connect. With Tunnel-less Connect, the Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN virtual router (Catalyst 8000V) will connect to CNE without an IPsec or GRE tunnel for underlay connectivity to Cloud WAN.

Tunnel-less Connect for multi-region and multi-site use case

The Catalyst 8000V will use Connect attachment (tunnel-less enabled) to connect to the CNE (Core Network Edge). It then creates two Connect peers on the Connect attachment to bring up BGP sessions between the pair of Catalyst 8000Vs and the CNE. This establishes a dynamic underlay connectivity into Cloud WAN.

In a site-to-site use case, a backbone segment is created. The connect attachment uses the underlying VPC attachment for data transport and is associated with this backbone segment on the CNE. All the Catalyst 8000V devices in a CGW in any region will receive the routes advertised by other 8000V devices for underlay reachability. The Cloud WAN core network thus acts as a high-speed global middle-mile to the SD-WAN tunnels overlay network. This inner working is hidden from the customer as Cloud OnRamp automation takes care of the end-to-end configuration.

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN with AWS Cloud WAN’s Tunnel-less Connect offers:

  • Configuration simplicity with native BGP peering
  • A 25% improved throughput performance from smaller packet overhead and lesser processing overhead
  • Access to improved aggregate throughput of 100Gbps per AZ for the Connect attachment

The integrated solution with AWS Cloud WAN using Tunnel-less Connect is available to test now. For Demo/Proof-of-concept please email us at: aws_cisco_sdwan@cisco.com


Learn more about Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN with AWS Cloud WAN


To learn more about AWS Cloud WAN Tunnel-less Connect read this blog.

Additional Links

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp webpage

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN webpage

Solution demo video


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Diptish Doshi

Technical Marketing Engineer, Cloud

Enterprise Networking

Nitisha Bhatia

Product Manager

SD-WAN Cloud Networking