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Cisco Seeks Secure SD-WAN

Cisco is seeking to integrate more security into its offering for the exploding SD-WAN space with a multi-prong effort based on new hardware and software initiatives.

As the software-defined networking (SDN) movement has transformed enterprise networking, its reach has expanded to include wide-area networks (WANs) beyond in-house datacenter/campus connections. The resulting SD-WAN market sees SDN-associated benefits such as lower costs and flexibility in new services that are replacing specialized, proprietary systems.

One thing those legacy systems had in their favor, however, was integrated security, which Cisco hopes to provide in its revamped SD-WAN effort.

The company said it's evolving its security products to offer the same protection that enterprises used to enjoy with proprietary WAN solutions, but in the new cloud-based, Internet-powered networking arena. The company coined the term "cloud edge" to describe the intersection of networking and security that organizations must deal with as business users must now rely on the Internet to connect them with business-critical applications in a variety of locations.

Cisco touted the security of its SD-WAN technology powered by the cyber threat intelligence solution called Talos and announced new initiatives including:

  • The integration of the SD-WAN with Cisco Umbrella, another security offering described as a "secure Internet gateway in the cloud."
  • Two new Integrated Services Routers (ISR) designed for small and large branch offices: Cisco ISR 1111X-8P and 4461.
  • A partnership with Microsoft that connects Office 365 users with the closest cloud computing hook-up. It works by continually monitoring all available paths in the Office 365 cloud using Microsoft Office URLs to find the closest connection.
  • A new SD-WAN Quick Start Service. "For a fixed-price, customers get access to remote implementation and knowledge transfer capabilities to streamline projects."
  • New SD-WAN learning labs and sandboxes created by Cisco DevNet to help developers take advantage of open APIs to create unique new services.

The Cisco ISR 1111X-8P and 4461 routers are available now, while Cisco SD-WAN Security and Microsoft Office 365 software is available beginning in the fourth fiscal quarter of this year. The above and several other announcements were made at the Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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