‘Cisco SD-WAN offers capabilities that go beyond the traditional SD-WAN’


Cisco SD-WAN offerings provide better application experience, end-to-end security, optimised cloud connectivity, and a single, centralised, cloud-delivered management dashboard, says Ritesh Doshi, Director of Enterprise Networking at India & SAARC, Cisco in an interaction with CRN India

How is Cisco helping to support secure and effective hybrid work with its SD-WAN technology? How is it accommodating the new ‘digital- hybrid workforce’?

The workloads placed on today’s networks are more dynamic and distributed than ever before, and the requirement to support these radical new use cases is most acutely felt in the WAN. To provide our customers with a trusted platform and technology leadership, Cisco SD-WAN offers capabilities that go beyond the traditional software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN). From enabling multi-cloud access, to securing infrastructure against the latest threats, to delivering optimised insights, we have the ability to help businesses deliver exceptional network experiences across locations. Most importantly, at Cisco, we are uniquely positioned to help customers by providing solutions that include the consolidation, ease of deployment, and management that you need to scale your business and provide effective security for users anywhere they choose to work – without compromising speed, performance, or user experience. 

Please explain the evolution of SD-WAN and future predictions of the SD-WAN market in India, in 2022.

Just a few years ago, SD-WAN was a new technology just breaking into the awareness of the IT market. It arrived at the time when enterprises were changing from moving applications and data to a cloud platform to expanding to multiple clouds. In 2020, we left our data centres behind and moved to the public cloud to create exceptional customer and employee experiences. Today, organisations have to provide connectivity to a new class of hybrid users, mission-critical cloud applications, and a vast array of connected devices while ensuring an optimal experience for every interaction. And as more application traffic migrates outside corporate borders, IT teams will need better visibility and automated troubleshooting across the digital experience. The traditional WANs are not designed to meet these new demands, as they worked well when all connections from branches and a distributed workforce flowed back to a central data centre. 

SD-WAN was designed to address these complexities. The rise of multi-cloud networking and the proliferation of connectivity has triggered enterprises to augment their networks and to adopt SD-WAN for networking and secure access server edge (SASE), as it helps deliver security and networking services together from the cloud and allows organisations to securely connect any user or device to any application. According to a report by Research and Markets, the global SD-WAN market will achieve a revenue of $859 million by 2024 at close to 20 per cent CAGR. The continued growth will be spurred by demand for more agile, high-performance, and secure connections to cloud applications. As we go deeper into the digital-first world, organisations of all sizes are expected to modernize their Wide Area Networks to provide improved user experience for a range of cloud-enabled digital applications.

What are the benefits of SD-WAN over Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Wide Area Networks (WANs)?

As businesses adopt SaaS and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) applications in multiple clouds, IT realises that the user application experience cannot be compromised. Traditional WANs are designed for a different era and are not ready for the unprecedented explosion of WAN traffic that cloud adoption brings. That traffic causes management complexity, application-performance unpredictability, and data vulnerability.

SD-WAN addresses the current IT challenges and requirements. It enables teams to deliver routing, threat protection, efficient offloading of expensive circuits, and simplification of WAN network management. It’s not just cost savings by supplementing or replacing MPLS with direct internet connections that is motivating the transition to SD-WAN architecture. It’s also about gaining flexibility and stability with intelligent, continuously monitored connections to multi-cloud resources and SaaS applications that are fueling the transition. At Cisco, our SD-WAN offerings provide, better application experience, end-to-end security, optimised cloud connectivity, and a single, centralised, cloud-delivered management dashboard for configuration and management of WAN, cloud, and security.

Please tell us about the importance of virtual WAN architecture in the new normal.

Trends such as globalisation, digital transformation, business automation and resilience, and sustainability are shaping the requirements for a new kind of network. Virtual WANs bring many networking, security, and routing functionalities together in a single operational interface. To stay at par with the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the virtual WAN is designed to provide large-scale site-to-site connectivity and offers throughput, scalability, and ease of use. Overall, in a transit network, the virtual WAN helps lay the foundation of a global transit network architecture by enabling ubiquitous, any-to-any connectivity between distributed VNets, sites, applications, and users.

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN. This integration allows customers to extend their Cisco SD-WAN to their Microsoft Azure Cloud and access Azure enterprise workloads with little or no additional configuration. The users of Cisco SD-WAN can benefit from enhanced WAN performance without sacrificing security, which is always of utmost concern, especially at the intersection of the cloud and the network.


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