Cisco SD-WAN Review

Good application-level routing and easy to manage with a single dashboard, but it should include a complete firewall


What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

One of our customers has approximately 100 branches that were linked together using Cisco SD-WAN in multiple phases. In the first phase, they started with 40 branches. In the head office, they have two MPLS links and two internet links. In each branch, they have one of each. Before implementing this solution, they could not do both things at the same time.

How has it helped my organization?

With Cisco, you can optimize and design the solution in the way you want. For example, you can have 1,000 branches with three or four data centers, and if you can reroute the traffic from one branch to the nearest data center in order to inspect the traffic.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the application-level routing. One of our clients used this solution to route VOIP and video calls using MPLS.

The single dashboard makes the management very easy.

What needs improvement?

This solution has a built-in firewall that handles URL filtering and functionality, but you have to pay extra for it and some of the customers would rather just use Fortinet or Palo Alto. This solution should include a fully functional firewall at no extra charge. At this time it supports layers three, four, and five, but it needs support for a level seven firewall.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco SD-WAN is stable. There might be minor bugs in a few of the features, but overall, the product is stable and the customers are happy with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is highly scalable. We have heard that you can have 10,000 or 20,000 servers.

Our clients are medium-scale customers, as opposed to really large enterprises. They are retail stores, organizations in the hospitality industry, and pharmaceutical companies.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have also worked with Meraki SD-WAN, but the choice of solution depends on the customer's size and requirements. Meraki is for smaller clients. For example, Meraki only supports two landings, whereas Cisco supports more than that.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not that easy, although there is training that is available for it. It will take time to create templates and the other configuration that needs to be done.

it will take between five and ten days to complete the basic, initial setup, which includes changing the IP addresses. After that, you can migrate two or three branches a day if you have the devices.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is researching this solution is to consider the size of the environment. If they have 100 to 150 branches, then they should also look into other solutions such as VeloCloud by VMware.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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