Cisco is looking to give traditional or legacy wide-area network users another reason to move to the software-defined WAN world.\nThe 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.\u00a0\n\n\u201cWith 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,\u201d wrote Anand Oswal, senior vice president of engineering, in Cisco\u2019s Enterprise Networking Business in a blog about the new service.\u00a0\nAccording 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.\nTraffic 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.\nA 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.\n\u00a0\u201cWith 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\u2014transparently and securely,\u201d Oswal said. \u201cDistributing SD-WAN features over a regional architecture also brings processing power closer to where data is being generated\u2014at the cloud edge.\u201d\nThe idea is that paths to designated SaaS applications will be monitored continuously for performance, and the application traffic will be dynamically routed to the best-performing path, without requiring human intervention, Oswal stated.\nFor a typical configuration, a region covering a target city uses a colocation IaaS provider that hosts the Cisco Cloud onRamp for CoLocation, which includes:\n\nCisco vManage software that lets customers manage applications and provision, monitor and troubleshooting the WAN.\nCisco Cloud Services Platform (CSP) 5000 The systems are x86 Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) software and hardware platforms for the data center, regional hub, and colocation Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The platforms let enterprise IT teams or service providers deploy any Cisco or third-party network virtual service with Cisco\u2019s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) or any other northbound management and orchestration system.\nThe Cisco Catalyst 9500 Series aggregation switches. Based on an x86 CPU, the Catalyst 9500 Series is Cisco\u2019s lead purpose-built fixed core and aggregation enterprise switching platform, built for security, IoT, and cloud. The switches come with a 4-core x86, 2.4-GHz CPU, 16-GB DDR4 memory, and 16-GB internal storage.\n\nIf the features of the package sound familiar, that\u2019s because the \u00a0Cloud onRamp for CoLocation package is the second generation of a similar SD-WAN package offered by Viptela which Cisco bought in 2017.\u00a0\nSD-WAN's driving principle is to simplify the way big companies turn up new links to branch offices, better manage the way those links are utilized \u2013 for data, voice or video \u2013 and potentially save money in the process.\nIt's a profoundly hot market with tons of players including Cisco, VMware, Silver Peak, Riverbed, Aryaka, Fortinet, Nokia and Versa.\u00a0 IDC says the SD-WAN infrastructure market will hit $4.5 billion by 2022, growing at a more than 40% yearly clip between now and then.\nSD-WAN lets networks route traffic based on centrally managed roles and rules, no matter what the entry and exit points of the traffic are, and with full security. For example, if a user in a branch office is working in Office365, SD-WAN can route their traffic directly to the closest cloud data center for that app, improving network responsiveness for the user and lowering bandwidth costs for the business.\n"SD-WAN has been a promised technology for years, but in 2019 it will be a major driver in how networks are built and re-built," Oswal said a Network World\u00a0article earlier this year.