Cisco Aims New Intent-Based Networking Wares at SD-WAN

Cisco Systems this month announced new solutions that take its intent-based networking technology to the software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), promising increased visibility and control for disparate branches.

WANs have traditionally been difficult to analyze for problems, the company said, because they are often fragmented into distinct systems that are sometimes out of the control of IT departments.

Using intent-based networking, Cisco said its new offerings will provide such control at the level of every individual branch of those sprawling WANs. Intent-based networking is kind of an offshoot of the sofware-defined movement, with Cisco defining it as "as the ability to capture an organization's requirements or 'business intent' and continuously align to it."

Cisco described its new wares as:

  • Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics, which, incorporating technology acquired with a buyout of SD-WAN specialist Viptela in 2017, reportedly makes it easy for IT to have visibility into WAN performance, provides forecasting for application deployments, planning for "what-if" scenarios and easy to follow corrective actions.
  • Cisco Meraki Insight, which, incorporating technology acquired in a buyout of Miraki in 2012, reportedly helps IT administrators maintain good client experiences by providing insight into WAN and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application performance, which can significantly reduce the time it takes to isolate and resolve issues.
  • Cisco Intent-Based Networking for the WAN
    [Click on image for larger view.] Cisco Intent-Based Networking for the WAN (source: Cisco Systems).

    In a news release earlier this month, Cisco commented on vAnalytics: "Using vAnalytics, customers can forecast how potential policy changes to the WAN could affect application performance. It can also provide intelligent recommendations about how to deliver optimal application experiences."

    Cisco said Meraki Insight was "a new tool integrated into the Meraki dashboard to help IT maintain a better end-user experience. The solution provides end-to-end visibility with application and WAN performance analytics."

    In a blog post, the company described its cloud-first architecture that integrates security and provides threat intelligence. The five technology pillars behind the company's vision were described as:

    • On-premise or cloud managed. A single WAN fabric with operational simplicity that can scale across thousands of remote sites.
    • Transport independence. Global support for any type of connectivity including MPLS, Internet, and 4G LTE.
    • End-point flexibility. Physical or virtual network devices that can be deployed in the branch, cloud, co-location facility, or the data center.
    • Rich network services. Deploy in minutes network services like SD-WAN, unified communications, firewall and more, including third parties.
    • Analytics and assurance. Real-time application optimization for all applications using visibility for forecasting and planning with actionable insights for faster troubleshooting.

    Availability for the new products varies, with vAnalytics now ready with a Cisco SD-WAN license tier, while Meraki Insight is forecast to land in the company's third quarter under a separate license. Cisco's fiscal Q3 runs from Jan. 27, 2019, to April 27, 2019.

    About the Author

    David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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