Magic million: That's how many Cisco routers can now run SD-WAN

Viptela vManage comes to boxen running IOS XE


Cisco has made the next move in its integration of 2017 acquisition Viptela, prepping an SD-WAN upgrade it is going to ship to a million routers.

Readers may recall that Viptela was founded by ex-Cisco executives, and was acquired by Switchzilla in May 2017 for $610m (somewhat under its peak valuation at $900m).

Cisco is now putting its SD-WAN technology to work to simplify branch management by blending its vManage software into DNA Center, and out to routers as part of the IOS XE software that drives ISR/ASR routers.

That's where the "million routers" number comes from – any device in those two series less than around four years old can handle the IOS XE upgrade.

Anand Oswal, senior veep of engineering for for Cisco's Enterprise Networking Business, blogged that the IOS XE upgrade provides a path for customers to give their distributed offices an SD-WAN fabric "on the installed base".

From the admin's point of view, Oswal said, connectivity is unified whether the connection is MPLS, Ethernet, the public internet, DSL, LTE, or leased line.

As well as making applications more consistent across SaaS, cloud, and on-prem data centres, he added that it's much easier to secure applications and devices with an SD-WAN in touch, as it is to handle configuration and management tasks. Oswal said, for example, that putting the WAN under software control means a branch user's traffic can be sent directly from user to an SaaS application, without having to traverse the head office network.

The Viptela integration also shunts router management off into the cloud for better remote oversight of anything that doesn't need a truck roll to the branch.

Where a truck roll is needed, such as connecting a new router to the network, vManage running as a cloud application can handle device configuration including policies, device security, application QoS, and network segmentation.

Network admins with longish memories will be pleased to hear this, since Cisco's previously had trouble with its password-unprotected Smart Install, which has led to complaints that it's attackable (there's a tool to block it).

Oswal's post doesn't mention how licensing works for the upgrade, but this February presentation from Cisco Connect said the hardware price won't change. Rather, the SD-WAN capabilities will be offered under three licensing tiers, "Plus", "Pro" and "Enterprise", as addons to the CPE cost.

Cisco SD-WAN license tiers

Cisco explanation of licence tiers, from February 2018. Click to embiggen

If you're ready to give the SD-WAN capabilities a spin and have a suitable router, the install documentation is here. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Cisco warns of security holes in its security appliances
    Bugs potentially useful for rogue insiders, admin account hijackers

    Cisco has alerted customers to another four vulnerabilities in its products, including a high-severity flaw in its email and web security appliances. 

    The networking giant has issued a patch for that bug, tracked as CVE-2022-20664. The flaw is present in the web management interface of Cisco's Secure Email and Web Manager and Email Security Appliance in both the virtual and hardware appliances. Some earlier versions of both products, we note, have reached end of life, and so the manufacturer won't release fixes; it instead told customers to migrate to a newer version and dump the old.

    This bug received a 7.7 out of 10 CVSS severity score, and Cisco noted that its security team is not aware of any in-the-wild exploitation, so far. That said, given the speed of reverse engineering, that day is likely to come. 

    Continue reading
  • Datacenter networks: You'll manage them from the cloud, eventually, claims Cisco
    Nexus portfolio undergoes cloudy Software-as-a-Service revamp

    Cisco's Nexus Cloud will eventually allow customers to manage their datacenter networks entirely from the cloud, says the networking giant.

    The company unveiled the latest addition to its datacenter-focused Nexus portfolio at Cisco Live this week, where the product set got a software-as-a-service (SaaS) revamp.

    "It's targeted at network operations teams that need to manage, or want to manage, their Nexus infrastructure as well as their public-cloud network infrastructure in one spot," Cisco's Thomas Scheibe – VP product management, cloud networking for Nexus & ACI product lines – told The Register.

    Continue reading
  • Cisco execs pledge simpler, more integrated networks
    Is this the end of Switchzilla's dashboard creep?

    Cisco Live In his first in-person Cisco Live keynote in two years, CEO Chuck Robbins didn't make any lofty claims about how AI is taking over the network or how the company's latest products would turn networking on its head. Instead, the presentation was all about working with customers to make their lives easier.

    "We need to simplify the things that we do with you. If I think back to eight or ten years ago, I think we've made progress, but we still have more to do," he said, promising to address customers' biggest complaints with the networking giant's various platforms.

    "Everything we find that is inhibiting your experience from being the best that it can be, we're going to tackle," he declared, appealing to customers to share their pain points at the show.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022