Cisco is set to unveil a new edition of its SD-WAN software that will extend the system’s reach and include new management capabilities.
Among the most significant enhancements to Cisco SD-WAN release 17.10, expected in December, is the ability to use Cisco SD-WAN Multi Region Fabric (MRF) support with existing Software Defined Cloud Interconnect (SDCI) systems to significantly expand the reach and control of the SD-WAN environment.
MRF lets customers divide their SD-WAN environments into multiple regional networks that operate distinctly from one another, along with a central core-region network for managing inter-regional traffic, according to Cisco.
SDCI technology is used to link enterprise resources to a variety of cloud, network, and internet service providers. Cisco customers could use SDCI with their SD-WAN deployments in the past but not MRF.
By combining the two technologies and using the Cloud OnRamp Multicloud Interconnect Gateway in Cisco SD-WAN software, customers can now set network, configuration and security policies across a wide variety of locations from a central site. Cisco’s SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp links branch offices or individual remote users to cloud applications such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft 365, AWS, Google, Oracle, Salesforce and more.
Customers can now assign regions and roles to SD-WAN edges deployed within SDCI infrastructure, and they can segment MRF regions into multiple sub-regions and share border routers between these sub-regions, allowing for better redundancy and failover-centric network designs, according to John Joyal, senior manager, product and solutions marketing with Cisco's enterprise SD-WAN and routing group. (Joyal wrote a blog about Cisco's SD-WAN MRF enhancements.)
In addition to the MRF integration, Cloud OnRamp now includes improved telemetry to offer customers better insight into and management of attached Webex application and network resources.
Another new Cloud OnRamp feature automatically programs Kubernetes application connectivity requirements, letting customers more quickly bring up those resources in an SD-WAN environment, Cisco stated.
On the security side, Cisco has expanded its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) options by adding integration with security platforms from Cloudflare and Netskope. This follows a similar integration between Cisco SD-WAN and ZScaler security offerings.
Cisco also said it would integrate its SD-WAN alerts with Splunk’s security information and event management (SIEM) system.
Also part of the 17.10 release is the deeper integration with Microsoft’s Azure cloud service that Cisco talked about in October.
Cisco said its SD-WAN package will let Azure customers build automated site-to-site connectivity over Microsoft’s global network using the Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub and Azure Virtual WAN with its multi-region fabric.
The idea is to let customers build single or multiple overlays on top of Microsoft’s backbone to interconnect enterprise sites worldwide, and to connect sites to workloads running inside Azure, similar to an arrangement Cisco has with Google Cloud.
Microsoft’s fabric can identify a site based on its geographic location and attach sites to regions based on geographic boundaries. With Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub, enterprises that have deployed Cisco SD-WAN fabric for their WAN infrastructure can now securely extend their fabric to the public cloud in a simple and automated way and consider utilizing this for their global site-to-site connectivity, the companies stated.