Cisco upgrade enables SD-WAN in 1M+ ISR/ASR routers

Cisco integrates Viptela SD-WAN features into 1 million ISR/ASR routers running IOS XE

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Cisco is moving rapidly toward its ultimate goal of making SD-WAN features ubiquitous across its communication products, promising to boost network performance and reliability of distributed branches and cloud services.

The company this week took a giant step that direction by adding Viptela SD-WAN technology to the IOS XE software that runs its core ISR/ASR routers. Over a million of ISR/ASR edge routers, such as the ISR models 1000, 4000 and ASR 5000 are in use by organizations worldwide.

The release of Cisco IOS XE provides an instant upgrade path for creating cloud-controlled SD-WAN fabrics to connect distributed offices, people, devices and applications operating on the installed base, wrote Anand Oswal, senior vice president of  network engineering in a blog post about the upgrade.

The software includes support for vManage, the cloud-based dashboard built by Viptela that lets users bring up SD-WAN resources and segment resources on the fly.  Cisco acquired the SD-WAN company for $610 million last summer. Earlier this year Cisco added Viptela’s vAnaytics technology to its SD-WAN software to help enterprises identify the stress points and necessary policy or bandwidth changes that might be needed across an SD-WAN.    

“Cisco adding SD-WAN capabilities to its ISR/ASR router portfolio is a significant industry milestone in and of itself, as this will allow a large number of enterprise IT shops to benefit from upgrading their existing Cisco-based WANs,” Rohit Mehra, vice president, network infrastructure research at the International Data Corp. said. “And mind you, these are software upgrades that will enable network managers to rapidly move to an agile network environment with improved security and an improved user experience for public cloud/SaaS applications.”

Oswald wrote that Cisco SD-WAN on edge routers builds a secure virtual IP fabric by combining routing, segmentation, security, policy and orchestration.

“It eliminates backhauling from branches to headquarters to access SaaS applications, improving application performance and experience for a distributed and mobile workforce. For example, at the branch-level, you can define a performance policy for Cloud SaaS Onramps to maintain a level of QoS for Office 356 performance and assign a real-time streaming policy for unified communications,” Oswald wrote. 

Driving the need for better SD-WAN security and connectivity features is the huge push in cloud computing resources, said Kiran Ghodgaonkar, Cisco senior manager of enterprise marketing.  “With the increased use of multi-cloud services especially, the WAN is really becoming the backbone of the enterprise.”

Lowering costs by not having customers buy new hardware and by easily supporting lower cost connectivity, either via the Internet, Ethernet or

 

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