The issues IT and network operations teams face are becoming more intricate as modern networks evolve. The adoption of multi-cloud environments, the shift to hybrid work models, and multi-cloud application strategies have led to a fragmented, less secure, and challenging IT experience. Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN is a comprehensive solution to simplify network management, enhance cybersecurity, and provide real-time visibility amidst all these challenges.

Read on to learn how Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN enhances network security and connectivity.

What Is Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN?

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN is a transformative solution connecting users to applications with integrated capabilities for multi-cloud, security, predictive automation, and enhanced network visibility. It is a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution that helps organizations simplify, automate, and secure their networks. It provides a centralized view of the entire WAN fabric, making managing and optimizing performance, security, and costs easy.

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN is a flexible solution that can be deployed in various environments, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid. It is also compatible with multiple Cisco and other vendors’ routers, switches, and security devices.

Features of Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN includes several capabilities that simplify network operations, increase security, and adapt to changing network requirements:

Enhanced Application Experience

  • Dynamic Path Selection: Automatically directs critical applications around network issues for a seamless user experience.
  • Hybrid Active-Active Links: Utilizes multiple links simultaneously for various scenarios, enhancing overall network efficiency.
  • Micro-Segmentation and Identity-Based Policies: Enforces consistent security policies across domains, promoting a uniform user experience.
  • Monitoring and Validation: Actively monitors and validates web applications’ usability and performance, optimizing users’ digital experiences.

Pervasive Security

  • Distributed Security Enforcement (DSE) Framework: Ensures security is embedded throughout the network.
  • Embedded Security: Includes Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), providing a robust first line of defense against cyber threats.
  • Fabric Security: Seamlessly integrates security measures into the network fabric.
  • On-Premises Security: Offers a range of security features, including NGFW, Advanced IPS, AMP with Sandboxing, URL-Filtering, TLS proxy, Unified logging, and Identity Firewall support.
  • Cloud Integration: Integrates with cloud-delivered Cisco Umbrella, protecting security blind spots and cyber threats.
  • Modular SASE Solution: Allows integration with third-party Secure Service Edge (SSE) providers like Zscaler, Netskope, Palo Alto, Cloudflare, and Skyhigh.
  • Zero-Trust Foundation: Implements a zero-trust approach with authentication, encryption, and segmentation.
  • Integration with Cisco ISE: Works seamlessly with Cisco Identity Services Engine for user identity verification, visibility, and adaptive policy enforcement.
  • Threat Detection and Response: Employs the Talos engine for industry-leading threat detection and response.
  • Centralized Security Dashboard: Offers a centralized view of network security events through the Catalyst SD-WAN Manager Security dashboard.
  • SIEM and SOAR Integration: Integrates with third-party Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) vendors like Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel.

Optimized for Multicloud

  • Cloud OnRamp: Extends SD-WAN seamlessly to central public cloud, cloud interconnect, and colocation providers.
  • Automatic Path Selection: Automatically selects the fastest and most reliable path for optimized performance with major SaaS and custom applications.
  • Workflow Integration: Automates workflow integration for major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • Regionalized Internet Access: Utilizes colocation facilities for regionalized internet access, enabling quick deployment of new services with consistent policies across the WAN.
  • End-to-end Encryption: Ensures end-to-end traffic encryption from branch to cloud through the Software-Defined Cloud Interconnect (SDCI) or middle-mile backbone of major cloud providers.

Visibility and Predictivity

  • Native Integration with Analytics Tools: Integrates natively with Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Analytics, Predictive Path Recommendations, and Cisco ThousandEyes.
  • Correlation of Telemetry Sources: Correlates raw telemetry sources, establishes historical benchmarks, and provides operational insights for a predictive network model.
  • Proactive Monitoring: Proactively monitors network and application performance to avoid potential issues before they impact users.
  • Unified Application Experience: Ensures a unified application experience regardless of user location and associated network environment.
  • Perpetual Optimization Cycle: Establishes an endless optimization cycle for overall Capital Expenditure (CapEx) and Operational Expenditure (OpEx) efficiency.

Operational Simplicity

  • Highly Visualized Interface: Provides a highly visualized interface and an intuitive user experience through Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Manager.
  • Preconfigured Templates: Provides ready-made templates for quickly and automatically implementing famous use cases.
  • Guided Configuration: Helps customers configure new devices intelligently by guiding them step-by-step.
  • Complete Integration: Fully integrates unified communications, multi-cloud, and security into SD-WAN for a seamless experience.
  • Scalable Deployment: Enables scalable and simplified SD-WAN deployment across regions, catering to Managed Services Providers (MSPs) and global enterprises.
  • Multitenant Edge: Allows MSPs to host multiple enterprise customers securely on a single physical or virtual SD-WAN platform.
  • Automated Solution Delivery: Provides automatic solution delivery with Cisco overseeing the entire lifecycle deployment and management of the SD-WAN fabric.

Benefits of Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN

Organizations deploying Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN have realized numerous benefits, making it a compelling choice for network transformation:

  • 5-Year ROI: Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN delivers a substantial return on investment over five years.
  • 15.6 Months to Payback: Organizations experience a quick payback period, ensuring a rapid return on their investment.
  • Lower Total Cost of Operations: The platform contributes significant cost savings in overall operations.
  • More Efficient Network Management: Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN streamlines network management, making it more efficient.
  • More Available Bandwidth: Organizations benefit from increased bandwidth availability for improved performance.
  • More Efficient Help Desk Operations: Help desk operations become more efficient, addressing issues promptly.
  • Savings in Network Infrastructure: The platform substantially saves network infrastructure costs.
  • Reduction in Unplanned Downtime: Unplanned downtime is significantly reduced, enhancing overall system reliability.
  • Reduction in Network Degradation: Network degradation is minimized, ensuring a consistently high level of performance.
  • Additional Revenue Gained or Protected: Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN contributes to further revenue gains or protection.

Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN stands out as a robust solution to address the complexities of contemporary networks. This solution empowers organizations to expedite digital transformation and innovation without grappling with the challenges of transitioning to multi-cloud setups. Its capabilities make it attractive for businesses aiming to improve network security and connectivity. If you want to adopt the Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN solution for enhanced network security, UCCREW can help you. Contact us to learn more.

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