Cloud has changed the way you do business, and organizations needed a WAN solution to keep up.  Here’s how the Cisco Viptela acquisition changes the face of complex enterprise network connections.

The Challenge

With more end users, more applications, and more devices challenging your data center infrastructure, your old networks are struggling to keep up (and keep you secure). As it is, your MPLS uplinks are expensive. And they’re limited, so you find yourself having to pay even more for faster connections and increased bandwidth to accommodate for rising demand.

While running transcontinental fiber from one data center to the next is plausible for some large organizations, it’s extremely expensive. Your traditional network approach has become unsustainable in today’s demanding climate.

You need a more robust, flexible, and economical WAN solution.

The Cisco SD-WAN Solution

Cisco wanted to grant its customers greater agility, flexibility, responsiveness, and cost-efficiency than their original iWAN could provide. Which is why, in August of 2017, Cisco acquired Viptela Inc.—a privately held software-defined WAN provider—to architect a new generation of intent-based networking solutions. Cisco’s iWAN had many of these capabilities prior to the merger, but the Cisco Viptela acquisition provided increased intelligence of the technology and offered more stringent security. This melding of minds and innovation introduced Cisco SD-WAN.

“The network has never been more critical to business success, but it’s also never been under more pressure. By building a more intuitive network, we are creating an intelligent platform with unmatched security for today and for the future that propels businesses forward and creates new opportunities for people and organizations everywhere.” – Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO

What is SD-WAN?

Sending data across shared links of any kind—on-premise to on-premise or cloud to cloud—introduces the potential for vulnerabilities, interruptions, breaches, and downtime. But Cisco SD-WAN circumvents these pitfalls through intelligent routing analytics and automation tools—and provides 10x the bandwidth at half the cost of traditional MPLS.

Rather than laying thousands of miles of fiber optics or paying an ISP to establish an MPLS private connection, you can leverage the resources offered by Cisco SD-WAN to build your own private connection across public links.

More specifically, SD-WAN dynamically creates point-to-point, private VPN tunnels via automatic certificates.

Improved, Reactionary Connections

This software-defined solution routes traffic by application rather than by network interface which enables the Cisco software to redefine routes in real-time. Using multiple hybrid links with active-active capability, SD-WAN mitigates and solves upstream latency issues caused by:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Jitter
  • Packet loss
  • Broken ISP Links

By routing strategically across a spectrum of ISPs, SD-WAN decreases deployment times and increases uptime for your critical applications.

Fine-Tuned Automation

SD-WAN provides consistent policy enforcement across thousands of endpoints to counteract the generic unpredictability of internet connections.

You and your IT team can set policy standards to dictate automation protocols. For example, if latency on an AT&T connection surpasses 50 milliseconds, then the SD-WAN will reroute your traffic across the Comcast link. Policies are customizable and scalable, allowing you to prioritize your critical applications and workloads. This can be used to balance unstable links, failover to cellular uplinks, or minimize the amount of data required across more expensive types of connections like MPLS.


SD-WAN technology does not simply reroute connections, however; it also alerts your IT team and provides the necessary tools to help you isolate and resolve connection issues in real-time. SD-WAN analytics—called vAnalytics—grants you visibility and actionable insight into your point-to-point connections for both physical and virtual environments.

Leveraging SD-WAN’s real-time application and workload monitoring tools, your IT team can move beyond manual connection troubleshooting to automated, granular connection health and speed comparisons for performance optimizations and improved user experience.

Integrated, Hardened Security

The SD-WAN automation and management capabilities that optimize performance and uptime are the same tools that ensure the protection and defense of your point-to-point connections.

Cisco/Viptela built the Cisco SD-WAN on a threat-centric security architecture with the on-demand insertion of Cisco Umbrella, Zscaler, Palo Alto, and other network services. Providing end-to-end protection, SD-WAN blocks external attacks with a highly secure VPN overlay that is bolstered by powerful encryption. This security-hardened network solution reduces your attack surface with segmentation and granular policies for critical enterprise compute resources:

  • IoT
  • Partner networks
  • Cloud
  • Guest wireless, etc.

SD-WAN securely connects users to applications and thoroughly encrypts all data from the WAN edge to the cloud and back.

Accelerate and Secure Your Digital and Cloud Transformations with Cisco SD-WAN

Cisco SD-WAN grants users increased agility and performance through intuitive, centralized cloud-based insights, automation, and application management tools. And its security is ironclad. Give your networks the traffic architecture needed to accelerate and outpace the competition—cloud and digital transformations wait for no one.