Cisco boosts SD-WAN with multicloud-to-branch access system

Cisco's SD-WAN Cloud onRamp for CoLocation can tie branch offices to private data centers in regional corporate headquarters via colocation facilities for shorter, faster, possibly more secure connections.

Cisco is looking to give traditional or legacy wide-area network users another reason to move to the software-defined WAN world.

The company has rolled out an integrated hardware/software package called SD-WAN Cloud onRamp for CoLocation that lets customers tie distributed multicloud applications back to a local branch office or local private data center. The idea is that a cloud-to-branch link would be shorter, faster and possibly more secure that tying cloud-based applications directly all the way to the data center. 

“With Cisco SD-WAN Cloud onRamp for CoLocation operating regionally, connections from colocation facilities to branches are set up and configured according to traffic loads (such as video vs web browsing vs email) SLAs (requirements for low latency/jitter), and Quality of Experience for optimizing cloud application performance,” wrote Anand Oswal, senior vice president of engineering, in Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Business in a blog about the new service

According to Oswal, each branch or private data center is equipped with a network interface that provides a secure tunnel to the regional colocation facility. In turn, the Cloud onRamp for CoLocation establishes secure tunnels to SaaS application platforms, multi-cloud platform services, and enterprise data centers, he stated.

Traffic is securely routed through the Cloud onRamp for CoLocation stack which includes security features such as application-aware firewalls, URL-filtering, intrusion detection/prevention, DNS-layer security, and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) Threat Grid, as well as other network services such as load-balancing and Wide Area Application Services, Oswal wrote.

A typical use case for the package is an enterprise that has dozens of distributed branch offices, clustered around major cities, spread over several countries. The goal is to tie each branch to enterprise data center databases, SaaS applications, and multi-cloud services while meeting service level agreements and application quality of experience, Oswal stated.

 “With virtualized Cisco SD-WAN running on regional colocation centers, the branch workforce has access to applications and data residing in AWS, Azure, and Google cloud platforms as well as SaaS providers such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce—transparently and securely,” Oswal said. “Distributing SD-WAN features over a regional architecture also brings processing power closer to where data is being generated—at the cloud edge.”

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