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Summary

Cisco SD WAN Based on Viptela: Review, Pros, Cons and Marketplace Research Data 

Analyst: Abigail Sturt  Contact: asturt@netify.co.uk 

If you have questions about Cisco Viptela and how their capability is aligned to your needs, email the Netify research team. UK: uk@netify.co.uk North America: northamerica@netify.com

(Please use the UK email for ROW - Rest of the World - questions or enquiries)

Categories: 

  • SD WAN
  • SASE

Sub-categories:

  • SD WAN Vendor 
  • SASE Vendor 

Pros:

  • Complex requirements, suitable for large firms with the resources to wield Viptela’s solution effectively as it allows granular visibility into applications, and identification of root cause network issues.
     
  • Effective solution that simplifies SD WAN, SASE requirements by unifying them under a single provider cloud based offering. Negates the need for a multi partner solution.
     
  • Supported by Cisco Talos, industry leading threat intelligence group, for high levels of network security. 

Cons:

  • Complex solution requires significant expertise and an IT team in order to DIY manage - may not be suitable for small medium enterprises (SMEs).
     
  • Due to complexity careful thought must be given as to which integrator or service provider will be suitable to deliver enterprise needs. 

Netify Review:

A powerful but complex solution ideal for large global enterprises. Requires IT team expertise to deploy and manage effectively. Features such as Cisco ThousandEyes allow SaaS, Internet and cloud applications to be analysed at a granular level. Cisco Viptela is ideally suited for advanced routing and scenarios that require flexible deployments. 

Contents:

  • About Cisco Viptela SD WAN Solutions
  • What is the Cisco Viptela SD WAN solution?
    • Configuration-Based Key Features
    • Security-Based Key Features
    • Performance-Based Key Features
  • What is the Cisco Viptela SASE Security Solution?
  • How does Cisco Viptela Access Cloud Vendors?
  • Does Cisco Viptela Offer WAN Acceleration and Optimisation?
  • How Does Cisco Viptela Support Remote Users?
  • Which Connectivity Underlay Services are Supported?
  • Do Cisco Viptela Manage and Support SD WAN Underlay?
  • What is the Cisco Viptela managed, co managed and DIY services solution?
  • What Reporting and Management is Available via the Cisco Viptela Portal?
  • What is the Cisco Viptela SLA?
  • Which Service Providers, Integrators and Resellers support Cisco Viptela?

About Cisco Viptela:

Viptela was a privately held company based in San Jose, California which delivered a cloud-first SD WAN solution. The company was acquired by Cisco in 2017, because Viptela’s software-driven and cloud-first WAN architecture integrated well with Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA), building on automation, virtualisation and analytical capabilities. Viptela was named in Forrester’s Wave on Zero-trust as a leader for two consecutive years and currently deploy in 70% of the Fortune 100, with large a large presence in all major sectors. Cisco Viptela are industry specialists with decades of experience. 

What is the Cisco Viptela SD WAN Solution?

Cisco Viptela is a complex and high level SD WAN offering multi-cloud capabilities. Viptela’s solution can be deployed as physical, virtual or cloud form. The solution can be fully managed, however can also be co managed indirectly via a Viptela service provider, integrator partner as well as a DIY solution, leveraging pre-existing IT teams. SD WAN can be deployed as multi-tenant, on premises or via the cloud using branch, cloud and colocation edge infrastructure. Using the Cisco Catalyst 8000v edge software or Cloud Services Router 1000v Cisco SD WAN can be deployed into cloud environments. 

Configuration-Based Key Features:

  • Cisco ThousandEyes: Improves understanding of application performance issues, using vAnalytics and quality of experience (QoE) which translate data into virtualised insights that provide visibility across the WAN, including the cloud, internet and SaaS. This integrates with Cisco Catalyst 8200 and 8500 Series Edge platforms and Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Service Routers.
     
  • Cloud-scale Infrastructure: High availability and throughput, multi gigabit port options, 5G cellular links and powerful encryption are supported by SD WAN.
     
  • Cisco Digital Network Architecture Software: Assures and automates services across the network via software delivery. Cisco DNA software is used for SD WAN and routing and is available in three tier subscriptions: Essentials, Advantage and Premier. 

Security-Based Key Features:

  • SASE: Viptela offers integrated SASE security (see, What is the Cisco Viptela SASE security solution?)

  • On-Premises Security: Clients can choose between SASE or on-premises security which provides secure WAN access by using embedded SSL deception, enterprise firewall, intrusion prevention, URL filtering and malware sandboxing.
     
  • Cisco Umbrella Cloud Security: Utilises internet infrastructure to provide security and prevent malicious activity from starting. As a cloud-based solution, there is no hardware to install saving time and money. 

Performance-Based Key Features:

  • Cloud OnRamp: Product designed to provide connectivity to the public cloud and simplify workload for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, whilst automating on-demand connectivity to multiple sites and leading cloud provider networks using software-defined cloud interconnect (SDCI) providers such as Equinix and Megaport. Also offers some elements of application acceleration (see, Does Cisco Viptela offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?).

  • Voice and Collaboration: Unified communications provides integration for collaboration tools using APIs for more effective user experiences that can be accessed as on premises software, as a service from cloud providers (UaaS) or partner hosted.
     
  • Application Quality of Experience (AppQoE): The limitations of traditional WAN are a multidimensional problem. Cisco Viptela’s SD WAN solution features a range of tools and capabilities to ensure peak performance of business critical applications. 

What is the Cisco Viptela SASE security solution?

Cisco Viptela employs an integrated SASE security solution that unifies network and security under one cloud-delivered service. The SASE solution can be deployed on-site or with Cisco Umbrella Cloud Security, providing network protection against web based attacks. Segmentation allows for mission critical assets to be isolated and protected from anywhere across the network. 

  • Cisco Secure Access by Duo: Implements Zero-Trust policies for all users and protects applications with custom security policies. Centralises security that can be rapidly deployed and provides the following features: Adaptive policies, Device visibility, Remote access with or without VPN, Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Single Sign On (SSO) for all applications. 
  • Cisco Umbrella Secure Internet Gateway: Unifies the DNS-layer security, cloud access security broker, firewall and secure web gateway into a single cloud service. 
  • Cisco Talos: Cisco’s threat intelligence group, identifies and analyses threats to enterprise networks. 

How does Cisco Viptela access cloud vendors?

Viptela SD WAN cloud interconnect, connects site to site or multi-cloud services via a cloud agnostic backbone. This allows Viptela to access cloud vendors and IaaS environments such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS. 

Cisco is an AWS QuickStarts partner for security and compliance. It leverages a virtual private cloud with an AWS Transit Gateway route table, which extends connectivity to on-premises resources that use either an AWS site-to-site VPN or AWS DirectConnect gateway. They also feature on Azure’s marketplace offering Cisco Cloud vWAN application for Azure virtual WAN. 

Cisco’s joint solution with Google Cloud leverages Cisco SD WAN cloud hub and Google Cloud Network Connectivity Centre to connect branch sites and on-premises data centres to the cloud. 

Does Cisco Viptela offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?

Viptela offer WAN acceleration and optimisation using Cisco Cloud OnRamp, which ensures that high SLAs and performance are maintained for critical applications. Automated dynamic path selection automatically steers critical traffic around network problems and issues are mitigated in real-time, ensuring optimal performance for cloud-applications such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce. This also enables fast infrastructure migration to all major public clouds such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, with colocation facilities providing policy enforcement independent from cloud providers. 

Direct internet access (DIA) is also provided to optimise branch workloads without compromising security. Acceleration to SASE architecture is available using Cisco Umbrella Platform, a cloud-based product that protects against security blind spots and cyber threats. Clients can choose to prioritise network traffic such as cloud applications, unified communications and guest access.

How does Cisco Viptela support remote users?

Remote users are connected to the internet or enterprise network using the Cisco AnyConnect security end point agent. Viptela’s solution provides remote users with secure access from any device, anywhere in the world whilst also protecting the integrity of corporate network security. This utilises posture enforcement, roaming protection and web security features to provision secure access to applications, internet or internal resources. Viptela provides a simple single client for endpoint and cloud security and functionality control. Viptela AnyConnect is cross-platform and supports multiple devices. 

Which connectivity underlay services are supported?

Cisco offer overlay services that run on satellite MPLS, broadband and internet, 5G/LTE, connecting to IaaS and multi-cloud servers.

Do Cisco Viptela Manage and Support SD WAN Underlay?

As an SD WAN vendor, Cisco Viptela’s offering supports the SD WAN overlay. Viptela do not manage or support an SD WAN underlay directly. 

What is the Cisco Viptela managed, co-managed and DIY services solution?

Viptela does not offer their own managed services, instead service providers such as Verizon offer managed services for Viptela solutions (see, Which service providers, integrators and resellers support Cisco Viptela?). Cisco Viptela offer DIY SD WAN solutions that should be considered for enterprises with robust IT teams that possess high levels of expertise. However they offer both co-managed and fully managed SD WAN via third party service providers. Viptela services are best purchased via an accredited reseller. 

What Reporting and Management is Available Via the Cisco Viptela Portal?

vManage is Viptela’s reporting and management dashboard, designed to simplify network operations. The dashboard allows users to connect all company data centres, branches, core and campus locations, colocation facilities, cloud infrastructure and remote workers (see, How does Cisco Viptela support remote users?). This provides one area for centralised configuration management and operations to be monitored across the entire SD WAN. It also includes Cisco Umbrella for accelerated access to SASE. This is enabled by Cisco SD WAN applying the Overlay Management Protocol (OMP) to the entire WAN. 

What is the Cisco Viptela SLA?

Cisco Viptela do not have a Service Level Agreement as they do not provide managed services themselves or offer underlay connectivity. Customers are able to set their own SLAs however using Cisco products. 

Which Service Providers, Integrators and Resellers support Cisco Viptela?

Viptela have different levels of partnership including: Partner Ecosystem Exchange, Solution Partners, DevNet Solutions Plus and Digital Solutions Integrators. Cisco Viptela also support strategic partnerships with the following:

  • Accenture
  • Apple
  • Atos
  • AWS
  • Citrix
  • Cognizant
  • Cohesity
  • Dell EMC
  • Deloitte
  • DXC
  • Emerson
  • Ericsson
  • Equinix
  • EY
  • Google
  • HCL
  • Hitachi
  • Honeywell
  • IBM
  • Infosys
  • Intel
  • Itron
  • Johnsons Controls
  • Logicalis 
  • Microsoft
  • NetApp
  • NTT 
  • NVIDIA
  • Pure Storage 
  • Red Hat 
  • Rockwell Automation 
  • SAP
  • Schneider Electric
  • Signify
  • Tata Consultancy Services 
  • Tech Mahindra
  • VMware
  • Veeam
  • Wipro

Focus

Proposition Focus

0%
35%
30%
35%
Managed services
SASE security
Portal
SD WAN

Cloud Focus

30%
30%
40%
AWS
Azure
Google Cloud

Other Focus

33.33%
33.33%
33.33%
Remote users
Simplicity
Complex requirements

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