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LD
Head of Network Service, Information's Communications Technologies and Development at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Great at aggregating the traffic with good scalability and stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is great at aggregating the traffic and then sending it in one direction."
  • "The solution could be a bit cheaper."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for MPLS. We use it to have a connection to the telecom and we also have some radio networks that we use it for. We have two WAN ports - one is the MPLS one is the radio backbone.

What is most valuable?

The solution is excellent mainly for supporting our two WAN ports. We can dedicate which WAN is taking over and which one is available or not. It's great that we can also connect them to the internet. We can have a third line to connect to the internet providers for our internet solution. Everything is redundant and everything is working so far.

Overall, it's been working well for us.

The solution is great at aggregating the traffic and then sending it in one direction.

We have a good knowledge base in-house and good support in general and therefore we have continued to use it over the years.

The product can scale well.

The solution is very stable.

What needs improvement?

The solution basically does exactly what we need it to do. I can't recall finding a feature that was lacking for our purposes. We aren't actually using many of the features in general.

The solution could be a bit cheaper.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about three or four years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had absolutely no issues with the stability of the solution. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's been quite good overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is deployed in our headquarters. We have them around the country, and we have some large offices and have the solution at all of them. There are likely 1,000 or more users on the solution all over the country.

The same generation and the same product is the easiest to scale and we have them mostly on some of our sites. We have the needed redundancy. That said, I would question the scalability if you are dealing with multiple types or other versions or other products. It needs to be of the same generation to take advantage of the path of least resistance.

We never test it with other solutions, however, with Cisco and other vendors is there is not recommended.

How are customer service and technical support?

We mainly use the solution directly and as-is. There is a lot of redundancy, so if something goes wrong, there's something to catch it. We don't really use too many features for SD-WAN. So far, we don't need anything added on, and we really don't need too much support from customer service.

We buy support, however, in the latest versions, we really haven't needed assistance. IN the past, we did have some issues and support was there to help us get replacements, for example. They make getting replacements easy.

They usually reply to us within 15 minutes or so, if we do reach out. I'd describe them as pretty responsive. 

How was the initial setup?

The level of difficulty depends on the experience of the engineer. If they don't have as much experience, it may be difficult. However, those that know the product well don't find the setup process complex.

Mainly they're using a command-line interface for years and they don't ask for anything like a GUI, which would be on Windows or Linux civil server. Everybody enjoys command-line. We exchanged some other Cisco products and some other routers recently, which were working for 15 years and are still working. We just asked for new ones with new features, like more traffic, more throughput, et cetera. 

I don't recall any maintenance really being needed. It works 24/7 without much need for assistance.

What about the implementation team?

We did have some outside help, although nothing was from Cisco directly. We have our contact support company, and also we have in-house knowledge. It's done together, using both teams.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It would always be nice if the solution was a bit cheaper, however, the value is good. The cost of ownership is worth it as the solution itself is quite good and lasts years.

As a bigger company, we'd prefer to have a brand and a solution that's reliable as opposed to trying to find the cheapest option and have sleepless nights, afraid it might fail.

To calculate what we buy and how much it costs us for all the services, it's still quite a lot of money.

You have to pay between 3000 and 10,000 euros, or something in that range. The core switches Nexus cost me between 10,000 and 20,000 euros. However, they work, and that's why we use them.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and end-user.

We have 1921 and 4331 router versions. 

Not only does Cisco have a reputation, but we also have a good experience for a number of years, - five, 10, 15, 20 even years of use. Some of them still working even after all of this time.

In general, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten. If it were more affordable, I might rate it higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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fdiazm@entel.cl
Product Manager at Entel Chile
User
Top 20
Great real-time traffic monitoring with a secure connection and visibility into consumption

Pros and Cons

  • "Load balancing is a feature that allows us to take the best of our links and distribute the load intelligently, always with an eye on the end-customer experience."
  • "What I find should be improved is the possibility of really separating the software layer from the hardware layer since today the current offer is not well adopted by the service providers"

What is our primary use case?

Initially, the primary use case was to lower costs, however, over time it has been to increase the availability of services according to the profile of the branches. 

Something very important is the security that this technology brings with it. We protect the data, we segment and give priority to what we need. In the same way, the possibility of being able to choose the underlay that I really need is great. Together with the type of service, the MPLS or Internet, is an advantage. In software-defined networks, the simplicity of doing things is its main characteristic.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to better understand the client's business. It breaks down a bit the traditional barriers of uptime and SLA and thus we are able to profile the branches in a better way.

Real-time traffic monitoring has become a fundamental tool for clients since it allows them to see what is happening in the moment and thus to be able to estimate trends or to project changes in a better and more assertive way.

The secure connection to the cloud is a gain when evaluating the traditional centralized internet links that generally exist in data centers.

What is most valuable?

Being able to see the traffic in real-time and know what application you are consuming, together with the possibility of taking your requirements directly from the cloud, has been useful.

Load balancing is a feature that allows us to take the best of our links and distribute the load intelligently, always with an eye on the end-customer experience.

Being able to prioritize, according to the applications, the exit and entrance of the traffic in a dynamic way, unlike the current quality of service that is rigid and static, is a tremendous advantage as it is done according to demands in real-time, so the customer experience is always the best.

What needs improvement?

It is transversal to all industries. What is important is to work on the costs of the solution.

On the technical side, manufacturer-independent solutions should be able to handle different topologies, simple or complex, and without having to invest more money in infrastructure or licensing.

What I also find should be improved is the possibility of really separating the software layer from the hardware layer since today the current offer is not well adopted by the service providers, which is why it does not reach the end customers. I understand this is an issue that directly affects the business goal of each manufacturer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for five years.

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

The truth is that I started using an initial solution called IWAN, the intelligent network. It tried to take the best of current technologies and provide it in a network format. In my opinion, it did not achieve its goals.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is not the cheapest solution on the market, however, without a doubt, it is one of the options that best handles complex topologies. Therefore there is a need to know more accurately what the client wants to do, what their applications are, what their flows are, and, after this consultation, define the best architecture and then choose the best manufacturer that obviously offers me a cost efficient option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluate the competition, however, within the same conditions, we wanted a dedicated equipment solution of bare metal, software, and hardware together plus the underlying layer.

What other advice do I have?

This is a great solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: CISCO, FORTINET, VERSA, DELL, VMWARE, HUAWEI
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Learn what your peers think about Cisco SD-WAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SP
Telecom and Collaboration Manager at a construction company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Comes with easy and intuitive configuration interfaces, but certain features can be better

Pros and Cons

  • "Configuration interfaces are quite easy and intuitive. Being a part of the Cisco environment, Cisco SD-WAN is quite straightforward."
  • "When you buy the equipment, they should already put it into your cloud account. It should already be set up so that we can manage with vBond. We came across an issue where it wasn't resolved in the DNS. We are using Umbrella, so we need to create a VPN IPSec tunnel to Umbrella to enable the users to browse. I would really like to see an internal built-in firewall so that we don't have to go to Umbrella. This functionality might already be there. We are quite new to this solution, and we are still learning about it."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for load balancing our network bandwidth. We haven't implemented it yet at any office. It will be done probably in a week.

What is most valuable?

Configuration interfaces are quite easy and intuitive. Being a part of the Cisco environment, Cisco SD-WAN is quite straightforward.

What needs improvement?

When you buy the equipment, they should already put it into your cloud account. It should already be set up so that we can manage with vBond. We came across an issue where it wasn't resolved in the DNS.

We are using Umbrella, so we need to create a VPN IPSec tunnel to Umbrella to enable the users to browse. I would really like to see an internal built-in firewall so that we don't have to go to Umbrella. This functionality might already be there. We are quite new to this solution, and we are still learning about it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco SD-WAN for a week. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say neutral at this time because I am deploying this in an office this week. It seems okay in terms of stability. It hasn't crashed since it has been up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am pretty sure it is going to be high. At this point, it has low usage, but we will push it to the maximum of its capacity. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't contacted them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is very easy to set up. Testing the deployment took a little bit of plug and play. I just plugged in two interfaces, and then it was in the cloud. It was quite easy.

What about the implementation team?

We had a consultant who helped us with all this. He was perfect and knew everything. It needs two staff members for deployment.

What was our ROI?

I am going to see ROI because we removed MPLS sites. When you remove MPLS sites, you get some benefits on the monthly fee because MPLS always has a higher price. We are already seeing some improvement in the monthly fee.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is going to be on a yearly basis. There are no additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend checking the exact amount of bandwidth that you really need. We have installed double one links for our office, but you probably don't need a gig link or a hundred mega link. 

I would rate Cisco SD-WAN a five out of ten. I want to be in the middle because it is the first solution that we are testing. I don't know if it is the best or the worst. I have known Cisco, and I am pretty sure it is not the worst. They know what they are talking about. They have been working on networking stuff for a long time. I don't want to give a ten because I don't even have another solution to compare. 

To get a ten, a solution has to respond to our needs, and it should have good pricing because at the end of the day, in terms of routing and other things, all solutions are almost the same. It is the pricing that becomes the main factor.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
OM
System Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good traffic visibility, and good stability but quite expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's application control and application traffic steering tool are its most valuable aspects in terms of how we utilize the product."
  • "The whole solution needs to be re-imagined. It's quite complex right now and really needs to be simplified to make it easier for those of us using it. It should offer more simplified management as well."

What is our primary use case?

There is a commercial bank here in our region, and they want to eliminate expensive and MPLS lines. They've been looking to implement internet SD-WAN solutions and to have them in their central system as two uplinks. One is service provided and another one is for added services.

What is most valuable?

The solution's application control and application traffic steering tool are its most valuable aspects in terms of how we utilize the product.

The solution allows organizations to have visibility into the application traffic. After implementing the solution, we can see what types of traffic we have. We can see how users are using the internet and will be able to tell if anyone is downloading something that they shouldn't be or if they are consuming a lot of data.

What needs improvement?

The whole solution needs to be re-imagined. It's quite complex right now and really needs to be simplified to make it easier for those of us using it. It should offer more simplified management as well.

The solution is expensive. They should adjust their pricing to make it more competitive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about one year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable enough. We haven't faced crashes, bugs or glitches that would make us concerned that is wasn't reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite easy to expand. We find it very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Regarding technical support, we only really needed them to assist us with the implementation of this solution and we haven't had to open a case since them. We were satisfied with their level of support.

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

We've also worked with Fortinet. Cisco is better for larger enterprises and for telecom operators. However, Fortinet is a much cheaper solution in terms of pricing. Fortinet is also much easier to implement. Cisco implementations tend to be complicated.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite complex. The whole system is complex. You have to have a good understanding of Cisco and its products in order to handle the setup properly.

I don't recall how long deployment took for our organization.

What about the implementation team?

We asked Cisco's technical support for assistance during the implementation process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is subscription-based. It is quite pricy, as compared to its competitors, for example, Fortinet. You can see the pricing on the Cisco site, and my understanding is that it's the same pricing across Europe. There are extra costs involved, however, because if you have an on-premises model, you have to buy the equipment. There are also costs associated with technical support.

What other advice do I have?

We're a Cisco Gold Partner.

I'm not sure of the exact version number of the solution we are currently using.

Typically, we work with small to medium-sized enterprises.

The advantage of SD-WAN is that it can eliminate costly MPLS links. That's the big selling feature for us.

I would recommend the solution.I'd rate it seven out of ten. If it was less complicated and offered more reasonable pricing, I'd rate it higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner, reseller
KS
Products & Solutions Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good hardware reusability and cloud integration but needs better licensing and more features

Pros and Cons

  • "The first part that we like is that we can reuse certain hardware, which is a valuable asset. You can use hardware SKUs that already exist in the network. The second part that we like is the integration with the cloud and the measurement of the cloud's quality. These are the two values that this solution gives as compared to other implementations that we have seen."
  • "Its license model needs to be improved. They always make the license model too complex. There are too many license models and too many options. They should have a flexible license model. They can improve a lot of things in terms of scalability, templates, and automation, mainly automation for onboarding a number of sites. If you want some new features, it can take quite a long time. If you want a feature and it is not yet developed, you need to have the support of the business units to have the feature developed. If the feature is not on their roadmap, it can take quite some time before you get the feature."

What is most valuable?

The first part that we like is that we can reuse certain hardware, which is a valuable asset. You can use hardware SKUs that already exist in the network.

The second part that we like is the integration with the cloud and the measurement of the cloud's quality. These are the two values that this solution gives as compared to other implementations that we have seen.

What needs improvement?

Its license model needs to be improved. They always make the license model too complex. There are too many license models and too many options. They should have a flexible license model.

They can improve a lot of things in terms of scalability, templates, and automation, mainly automation for onboarding a number of sites.

If you want some new features, it can take quite a long time. If you want a feature and it is not yet developed, you need to have the support of the business units to have the feature developed. If the feature is not on their roadmap, it can take quite some time before you get the feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is fine if you stay within certain releases. From the stability point of view of the releases, it is fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have deployments that have more than 500 sites. That's our biggest deployment from one customer. I cannot say anything for huge deployments because we do not have a lot of metrics.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. They know what they are talking about, and you can see that they are experienced in their product.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to set up for small deployments. If you go for larger deployments, you hit some limitations in the GUI, and it could be more complex. This is because not all features that we assumed to be available are available in the GUI. For example, you know there are some features in the traditional MPLS router, but these features are not available when you run the same hardware on Cisco SD-WAN. 

In small deployments, you don't see such an issue. In larger deployments, such as data center setups, you see some limitations popping up. Some features that we had in traditional routing are not available in Cisco SD-WAN. Bootstrapping is okay, but you are limited to the serial number. A limitation is that you need to link the serial number and the bootstrap process, which depends on the model. If you are used to working with a serial number, it is fine, but if you are not, it can be more difficult.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The license model is too complex with too many flavors and options. You might not be able to see it from an end user's point of view, but from a telco point of view, their license model is too complex. They should have a flexible license model. If you want to have good pricing, you need to buy it for a two-year, four-year, or five-year license immediately. Some other vendors have much more flexible license models.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Cisco SD-WAN a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SS
Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
A scalable and stable solution which has good support and is easy to install

Pros and Cons

  • "Installation is easy."
  • "Compresson deduplication should be added."

What is our primary use case?

Primarily, the solution is meant for multi-side locations, in which different kinds of MPLS and internet to MPLS scaling over are involved, as well as configurations based on the latencies and data availability of the links. These are the kinds of parameter services to which I refer. In a nutshell, the solution focuses on the availability of the network from one side to the other. 

What needs improvement?

As there are several improvements we wish to see in the next release, I would rate the solution as an eight out of ten. 

Compresson deduplication should be added. This would make the solution excellent. The solution already affords availability, scalability, link monitoring and performance monitoring on the link. This means that if deduplication and compression could be added then, obviously, it would result in a compression of the data and a faster transmission between the side. 

If deduplication can be added at the source, then this will, certainly, greatly speed up the packet moment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been engaged with Cisco and its various solutions for around 10 or 15 years, since the start, and specifically with Cisco SD-WAN for five or six years. We did not provide the solution during the middle of last year, although we did so previously. We have not sold the solution over this past year and have, instead, acted as a service partner. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco technical support is fairly good. 

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

We have at least 10 to 15 customers making use of SD-WAN, but three or four when it comes to Cisco SD-WAN. This is because we also deal in other products, such as the segment concerning Silver Peak, Barracuda and NG Firewall. As we act as the consultant, we do not limit ourselves exclusively to the use of Cisco. There are various requirements which must be considered and these differ with the needs of the customer. 

How was the initial setup?

Installation is easy. While I do not recall its duration, I do so that it is not complex. It's pretty straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

The side in charge of deployment and maintenance and a couple of engineers is sufficient for handling these tasks. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cloud subscription management must be paid for, although this does not incur a perpetual fee. The cloud subscription comes with its own cost, owing to the maintenance and management costs that the device has of its own accord. Needless to say, there is a subscription fee involved. It is not free. 

What other advice do I have?

We have installed the solution with one of our customers. We are not its end-user, but the partner or consultant. 

Mostly, deployment is on-premises. XD management is cloud-based. 

Nowadays, there are more than three or four different units and data side locations, which obviously requires some kind of SD-WAN solution, regardless of which product the person plans to use. This is requisite technology for one's network. 

I would certainly recommend this solution to others. 

I rate Cisco SD-WAN as an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Arturo Sierra
Senior Engineer at Totalplay
Real User
Top 10
Stable with a straightforward setup and very helpful technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The deployment is quite simple and straightforward."
  • "The solution needs to be more flexible around legacy devices."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily work with branches of small businesses and enterprise-level organizations.

What is most valuable?

The solution works well in big environments. It's excellent for large enterprises with a high number of users.

The deployment is quite simple and straightforward.

The solution is stable.

Technical support has always been quite helpful. We are very happy with their level of service.

It's possible to scale the solution.

We've looked into the existing documentation and found it to be okay. It varies, however, they do offer documentation for their products.

Overall, I really like the whole technology.

What needs improvement?

For the most part, we don't really see any features that are lacking.

The actual configuration could use some work. The solution could add in some more automation elements to help with the process.

The solution needs to be more flexible around legacy devices.

The security should be improved on the solution. They need to make everything more secure.

Scalability could be easier to achieve if a company needs to expand.

The product could improve its pricing. They are very expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six years at this point. It's been a while. We've been working with the solution over the last 12 months as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very, very reliable. It's quite stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been good overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay. We largely deal with medium and large enterprises in Mexico. There are typically government or educational organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been very, very happy with Cisco's technical support. They are extremely helpful and responsive. 

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is pretty straightforward. Now it is easy as they've updated the process a bit. We can use icon managers, for example, and engineer basic modes of deployment.

The deployment process takes about three or four months. However, it depends on the number of sites or services. They vary and some types of data are very different.

The maintenance requirements vary. It depends on the project's maintenance. When the implementation is a government or education client our engineers and Cisco engineers work together. There are more business enterprise requirements. Typically you need two or three people, more or less, and it depends on the project.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is quite high. Cisco is not cheap.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the Fortinet solution. We've chosen Cisco over Fortinet as we felt Cisco offered just a bit more in terms of options. It became our solution of choice.

What other advice do I have?

We're a service provider and a Cisco Partner. We use Cisco technology in implementing the services.

I'm not sure or which version of the solution we are using. It's likely the latest, however, I'm not sure of the version number.

The solution is deployed both on-premises and on cloud and with Meraki and with Stellar.

I would recommend the solution.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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PA
Pre-sales Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good security, easy to deploy, and integrates well with other Cisco products

Pros and Cons

  • "You get security, all of the service you need, and it's easy to deploy."
  • "Cisco products are a little bit complicated, so making them a little bit easier would be an improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Cisco SD-WAN is one of the products that we implement for our customers. I am a pre-sales engineer and help with the consultancy.


What is most valuable?

The idea of SD-WAN is very good and it's efficient.

You get security, all of the service you need, and it's easy to deploy.

It is a feature-rich product with a lot of components.

What needs improvement?

Cisco products are a little bit complicated, so making them a little bit easier would be an improvement. The installation is easy but having many components, and the integration with other components, is a little bit complex compared to other products and other vendors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco SD-WAN for one or two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is definitely a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product and it can also be integrated with other Cisco products such as NSO (Network Services Orchestrator) and the virtual CPE. The customers for this product are enterprise-level companies.

How are customer service and technical support?

The Cisco technical support is excellent.

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

Prior to this solution, we used Cisco iWAN.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy to do. I'm not sure of how long it takes to deploy, but it is not very complex and if all of the requirements are met then it should be straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy this product for our clients.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cisco is more expensive than some competing products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have compared Cisco with all of the vendors such as Fortinet and Talari. I believe that Cisco is the best, overall. It is not the cheapest, but it is the best both technically and support-wise.

With respect to other vendors, they have different strengths. For example, Fortinet is coming from a security background so they have quite a good product with a secure firewall on it. However, they lack some of the SD-WAN functionalities. I believe the routing part is still being done on the CPE, whereas with Cisco, it's done on the orchestrator.

Overall, I don't know how other vendors can compete with Cisco, and that is partly because of the integration that Cisco has with all of its products. It gives them a big edge.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco is a company that has been in this market for quite a long time. They have a stable office, stable software, and all of the features are there. Having the SD-WAN on top of the routers they have has given them an advantage. Plus, they have a wide range of products and there is integration between all of them and SD-WAN.

I would rate this solution an eight 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