In the last three weeks, I have been to two Cisco Events. The first was in Munich (Halbergmoos), which was a dedicated IWAN Workshop in the Cisco Offices and the second was the Cisco Network Innovation Summit in Berlin. I was inspired about the technology and the possibilities of IWAN.

What the heck is IWAN?

IWAN is an abbreviation of Intelligent Wide Area Network. Cisco says it delivers an uncompromisable user experience over any connection. Now, you can benefit from the right-sized connections for your branch offices, while gaining operational simplicity with lower costs. So it bundles a set of features to form a solution. Cisco Intelligent WAN is based on the following components:

Transport-Independent Design

  • IPSec VPN overlay over all WAN connections (MPLS, Internet, 3G/4G)
  • VPN overlay reduce routing and security complexity
  • Provides flexibility by choosing transport option (Internet-MPLS,MPLS-MPLS, Internet-Internet)
  • DMVPN  (Full-Meshed Connectivity, Secure)

Intelligent Path Control

  • Cisco Performance Routing (Version 2)
  • Monitors network performance (jitter, delay, packet loss)
  • Routes applications based on application performance policies
  • Uses load balancing traffic upon link utilization over all WAN connections

Application Optimization

  • Cisco Application Visibility and Control (AVC)
  • DPI to identify and monitor application via NetFlow
  • Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)
  • Application acceleration to reduce load

Secure Internet Access

  • IPSec with DMVPN overlay
  • IOS Zone-based Firewall
  • Cisco Cloud Web Security for Branch Internet Access


This is just a short overview of the system to enhance and increase the availability of the WAN connections. Back to the Events, while I was sitting in there, I thought about our customers and realized that this is exactly one of their biggest pains regarding their branches in other countries/continents. Now we have the possibility to solve that issue using IWAN. One of the best arguments that persuades our customers is the quick Return On Investment (ROI).

IWAN works on the Cisco ISR and ASR series, which serves an integrated Platform for IT Simplicity. It includes:

  • Router
  • WAN Path Selection
  • App Visibility and Control
  • WAN Optimization
  • Firewall
  • IPSec VPN
  • UCS E-Series Blade

The Cisco Integrated Service Router 29xx Series and above have a slot for 1 or 2 UCS E-Series Blades. With this opportunity, you can consolidate an all-in-one device for branch services into a single box


We started to share IWAN with our customers and the reactions have been awesome. IWAN is the right solution and was released at the right moment! You can find more information about IWAN here – http://goo.gl/Y2myCN


Sven Kutzer

Technical Solutions Architect

Global Security (GSSO) – EMEAR – Advanced Threat