Cisco unifies security and SD-WAN offering

New features in Cisco SD-WAN seek to accelerate cloud adoption among UAE enterprises

The emergence of the new Cloud Edge is disrupting our customers’ network and security architectures, Al-Zoubi said.
The emergence of the new Cloud Edge is disrupting our customers’ network and security architectures, Al-Zoubi said.

Cisco is unifying its security and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technologies to help accelerate cloud adoption.

The WAN is undergoing a radical transformation. Today, organisations host their applications in multiple clouds – public, private and SaaS. The way people work has also changed; employees connect from coffee shops and airport lounges, instead of just the office. Now, organisations must rely on the Internet to connect users to business-critical applications. This has resulted in a new Cloud Edge – the intersection of networking and security.

Until now, SD-WAN solutions have forced IT to choose between application experience or security. By evolving its SD-WAN portfolio, Cisco wants to address the new realities of the Cloud Edge. Cisco SD-WAN can help IT deliver application experiences simpler and with scale; and now security can be enabled anywhere it is needed, from the branch to the cloud.

“The emergence of the new Cloud Edge is disrupting our customers’ network and security architectures. Today, every WAN device must become software defined and secure,” said Osama Al-Zoubi, chief technology officer, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “Cisco’s SD-WAN makes it easy for customers to get the very best of networking and security. We are building a bridge to a new business world that speeds our customers’ ability to unlock the power of the cloud — faster with less risk.”

New features in Cisco SD-WAN include:

- Fusing Security with SD-WAN: From application-aware enterprise firewall and intrusion prevention, to URL filtering, advanced security is now integrated into Cisco SD-WAN devices and managed through a single pane of glass. And Cisco SD-WAN is powered by Talos cyber threat intelligence

- Simplifying cloud security deployments: By integrating Cisco SD-WAN with Cisco Umbrella, access to malicious destinations can be blocked before a connection is ever established.

- Applications experience: Cisco has partnered with Microsoft to enhance the Office 365 application experience for users. Cisco SD-WAN monitors in real-time all available paths to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. Using Microsoft Office URLs, Cisco is also able to determine the closest cloud, resulting in up to 40 percent faster performance for users.

- Open and programmable: With open APIs, Cisco SD-WAN helps developers and network engineers create applications faster, while Cisco DevNet has created new SD-WAN learning labs and sandboxes.

- New SD-WAN Infrastructure: With a broad SD-WAN portfolio powered by Viptela and Meraki, Cisco is offering even more options for customers with two new Integrated Services Routers (ISR) designed for small and large branch offices.

- Quick start service: Cisco is also helping customers accelerate SD-WAN deployments and decrease risk via a new SD-WAN Quick Start Service.  For a fixed-price, customers get access to remote implementation and knowledge transfer capabilities to streamline projects. 

- Easy to buy and manage: Cisco has made it easier to consume and manage the new solution. Both the network and security can be purchased through a single license model and managed through a single interface.

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