Cisco SD-WAN OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco SD-WAN is the #2 ranked solution in our list of SD-WAN tools. It is most often compared to Fortinet FortiGate: Cisco SD-WAN vs Fortinet FortiGate

What is Cisco SD-WAN?

Deploy software-defined WAN without compromising the application experience.

Cisco SD-WAN is also known as Viptela, Cisco vEdge Cloud Router.

Cisco SD-WAN Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco SD-WAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Cisco SD-WAN Customers
Doyle Research, Ashton Metzler & Associates
Cisco SD-WAN Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco SD-WAN pricing:
  • "SD-WAN as a service is probably something in the neighborhood of $100 to $200 a month per location."
  • "Cisco's pricing is not entirely satisfactory when you compare the SD-WAN solutions in Asian markets — like the South Asian market in Sri Lanka — because there are several competing brands including Fortinet and Citrix, who provide much the same product for a generally lower price. And when it comes to firewall vendors like Palo Alto and SonicWall, they're also selling here. It's the same with VMware, too; they have much the same features."
  • "It is expensive. The license limitation is there in terms of bandwidth. Basically, Cisco is always good in terms of performance and related things. However, if you want to have a license, for example, for 100 Mbps, they charge you because of their 100 Mbps. If you want to go without the license of 300 Mbps, it is a bandwidth license as well. This is not happening with other vendors. That is the reason why we moved away from Cisco. The bill gets a little bit high. I do remember that one time we were trying to increase the bandwidth for at least five devices, and the license got as high as 20-grand for five devices, only for the license. It was expensive for us at the time. Our company is not a big company, but it is a solid company. The price was very high, and we moved away from Cisco because of the price."
  • "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."

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OM
Managing Partner at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Stable, cutting-edge, and robust

What is our primary use case?

We implemented and currently support some clients using Cisco SD-WAN. Essentially, everything is moving to the cloud. There is a big shift from the traditional network operator-based infrastructure to a fully cloud-native kind of infrastructure for companies. People don't want to deal with so many providers. The network provider, the cybersecurity provider, another company managing the routers and firewalls, et cetera. Everything is moving to the cloud to simplify things. The shift to SD-WAN is motivated by business reasons. It allows for cutting costs. Traditional networking forms for data… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very stable with very good firmware."
  • "Some competitors are much faster in providing out-of-the-box solutions, more innovative solutions. In terms of innovation, in many cases, they're lagging behind."

What other advice do I have?

Typically, we are technology agnostic, therefore, we can support clients in implementing systems, using different kinds of technologies. Among them is Cisco. We tend to work with hybrid deployments as the major pain point for clients is to harmonize, to have public and private clouds working together. There is no distinction for clients between public and private. Typically, they call us to organize to a single pane of glass, where they can control all the cloud, their network activities in a very simple, seamless way. The difficulty today is exactly putting together to work a very diverse…
ER
Executive Vice President Operations and IT at Sterling National Bank
Real User
Top 20
A solution for integrating services to enhance up-time, performance and lower costs

What is our primary use case?

With my first client on Viptela were getting MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Service). That is a type of communications network that most of the major providers like Verizon offer. They were paying roughly $3,000 a month for each one of their 30 branches. That was giving them 10 megabits per second. We replaced that with the likes of Verizon Fios and Comcast. Each one of those business internet services cost about $200 apiece per month. The cost of the SD-WAN was maybe another $200. So for $600 a month, we replaced something that was costing them $3000 a month, and they were getting a minimum of… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Using SD-WAN to combine services can result in better up time, higher speeds, and much lower costs."
  • "There have been no issues with stability."
  • "Huge companies use SD-WAN. It is largely scalable."
  • "Any technical support we needed was great."
  • "Cisco could do more to offer bundling of the SD-WAN and other solutions."

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give someone in the market for an SD-WAN is to look at Gartner and see what Gartner has to say. My information is recent in that the bank that I implemented it in does other business with me and they tell me that everything is working great. They have never had a problem. It is now four years later and it is probably worthwhile taking a look at what the competition is doing — including Cisco Meraki, which is another SD-WAN offering from Cisco. A lot of companies have implemented Cisco Meraki, and Cisco Meraki is a good solution. But there is also Versa which is a good…
Learn what your peers think about Cisco SD-WAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
534,468 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MC
Head of Enterprise Business at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Quick to innovate with new features, but requires more security out of the box

What is our primary use case?

As a company, we are a Cisco Premier Partner and we work as a system integrator and reseller. As for myself, I currently work simultaneously with Cisco and Fortinet for SD-WAN solutions. Because we're only an integrator and not an ISP-level company, we haven't engaged with that many SD-WAN projects, and our typical line of work involves using Cisco products in bank solutions, such as for branch connectivity.

Pros and Cons

  • "From my observations, Cisco has been rolling out new features every other day, so I would say their speed of innovation is one of the most valuable aspects for me."
  • "One of the major areas that Cisco can improve on with their SD-WAN offering is their security features. When compared with Fortinet, who have what they call their 'security pillars' (e.g. firewall and security features built-in to their SD-WAN solutions), Cisco generally comes up short. With Cisco, if you need a security component, you have to pay more to get it done. So if they could add more security features that come part and parcel with their existing solutions, then I think Cisco could be very aggressive in the market."

What other advice do I have?

My overall advice is that if you already have your network security established, then Cisco SD-WAN is a good, solid solution for the rest of the networking components. However, if you require more of an all-in-one SD-WAN solution that incorporates security from the beginning, you might want to look elsewhere. I would rate Cisco SD-WAN a seven out of ten.
SS
Pre-sales consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Segmentation is great but router and voice gateway are not currently available

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case generally relates to customers looking to reduce their MPLS costs. In addition, many of our customers are moving to the cloud, which can handle both on-prem and cloud services, a hybrid solution. Finally, some of our customers are looking to move towards new technologies and will choose this solution, but the primary use cases are the first two - reduction of MPLS costs, using multiple modes of transport, and managing and control of technologies. We deal mainly with large enterprise companies. A few years ago customers were not aware of SD-WAN or they were not looking to… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The segmented traffic it provides is the best in the industry right now."
  • "Cisco's router and voice gateway has not been available since the launch of SD-WAN."

What other advice do I have?

It's important to realize the product has two layers, the underlay, and the overlay. The controller is in the overlay and the underlay is the physical devices. Most of those are on-prem, but the controller is mostly on the cloud. That's what most people prefer. In terms of size, different customers have different migration plans and different approaches. For example, Cisco has the Meraki SD-WAN solution, and then they have the retailer SD-WAN solution. The question is which solution fits the customer best. I would advise them on that aspect first before deciding whether they go for a Meraki…
DA
Solution Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Very reliable with advanced network configuration and automated routine features

What is our primary use case?

We are network providers. SD-WAN is one of the main options we offer to our customers. Clients primarily use the solution for three main reasons. The first is for cost savings when accessing the internet. The second is access to the cloud. The third is to allow customers a kind of autonomy with management over the network.

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco is an industry leader, so customers have a high level of trust with the brand more-so than with some newcomers that might have some more revolutionary solutions, but no name recognition."
  • "The client portal needs to be improved in order to make the solution much better."

What other advice do I have?

The solution works very well for mid-size and enterprise-level organizations. I would advise others considering implementing the solution to set aside time to strategize and create a proof of concept before diving right in. This will help a company reveal where the solution is relevant and where it is not. Then, it's important to look at the cost and layout of all of the finances so that the board will have all of the information in front of them. It will help them decide if it makes sense to pursue implementation. The finances and P&Ls must be clear for them. Finally, it's important to find a…
DM
Network Operations Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It has fantastic orchestration on the VPN connection, but it is very expensive

What is our primary use case?

Normally, you use it for the internet connection.

Pros and Cons

  • "The orchestration on the VPN connection between remote locations is a fantastic feature. I used it some time ago."
  • "The bandwidth limitations would be good to remove, but it is a policy and license situation for Cisco because the cost is very high. It would be good to have OTP implemented with VRF. It can have support for EIGRP Over the Top (OTP) VRF. I saw some limitations in regards to the VRF protocol and the advertisement between VRF configuration. EIGRP Over the Top basically was quite limited with the VRF configuration. If you wanted to do rollback in VRF by using the EIGRP OTP protocol, the formation was not populated across. Cisco got back and confirmed that it is a configuration that I need to wait for until the next release, which is going to happen in one year. Cisco documentation is not the way it used to be before. It just gives an easy way to configure, but it doesn't go into the details of the configuration. The information that you need is there, but sometimes you want to go further and get more information, but the information is quite limited. It would be good to cover a few business cases or configuration cases. They used to be there in the past."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it only if you have the budget to buy and implement a good solution with Cisco. Otherwise, unfortunate for Cisco, there are other vendors. They do the job pretty well. They are able to deliver what you require in the same way that Cisco does, but the price is going to be a little bit affordable for the company. In my company, we don't have any plans of buying anything related to SD-WAN, but, in terms of personal growth, I'm planning to get more information and more knowledge about SD-WAN. There are a couple of courses that I could learn from. I would rate Cisco SD-WAN a six…
AS
Lead BD,Global ICT & transformation at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good routing and WAN optimization but needs more competitive pricing

Pros and Cons

  • "If I have to give a neutral view of all the SD-WAN platforms that I have known so far, Cisco is good in routing."
  • "We have found that their SD-WAN has a lot of scope for improvement."

What other advice do I have?

We're both customers and resellers. I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using at this time. I don't know the version number off-hand. Cisco is no doubt a great company in the routing area. Nobody can beat them or nobody can even come close to them. That said, to be very honest, in the SD Wan space, they are struggling. There are a lot of cases where Cisco is technically disqualified when it comes to pure SD-WAN. SD-WAN is the game of FatPipe. FatPipe is the one who invented this technology, and they have delivered SD-WAN since 2002. This company has more than 20 years of…
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

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.

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 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.
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