How LiveAction Compliments Cisco’s New ISR/ASR SD-WAN Enabled Routers

SD-WANLast week Cisco made headlines when it announced the addition of Cisco SD-WAN capabilities across the ISR/ASR router family with its new Cisco IOS® XE software. This update gives customers an instant migration path for SD-WAN deployments, allowing them to quickly deploy the latest next-generation WAN solution coming from the Viptela acquisition in the fall of 2017. With more than a million of these routers deployed worldwide, this news reaffirms Cisco’s commitment to bringing Intent-Based Networking to distributed enterprises and further supports its goal of enabling existing customers to transition to software-defined networks.

What impact will this have on Cisco customers?

Running the IOS XE software has some major advantages. Essentially, customers can now flip a switch and start seeing the benefits of SD-WAN. And they can do it all while leveraging their existing infrastructure (with no added hardware investment). That means unifying connectivity; maintaining application performance whether SaaS, cloud or in the data center; securing device and application access; and significantly reducing transport costs. It also means streamlined operations with cloud-controls (a key benefit of the IOS XE software is its cloud-based management that simplifies deployment, configuration and ongoing management). NetOps can use the zero-touch provisioning features of the ISR/ASR routers and simply ship the device to a site, have an on-site employee power it up, then IT can connect via cloud with vManage to push config files, policies and more. Simply put, SD-WAN just got a whole lot more accessible for Cisco customers.

What role does LiveAction play in ensuring SD-WAN success?

To make software-defined networking a success, organizations still need a platform that helps plan, deploy and verify new SD-WANs. Just because organizations can quickly turn on SD-WAN functionality doesn’t mean a deployment will go off without a hitch. LiveAction is the only platform offering comprehensive visibility to ensure SD-WAN is a sound investment that meets business goals, regardless of the makeup of their network. And our integrations with Cisco allow users to quickly get a unified SD-WAN view. Here’s how:

  1. A key benefit of SD-WAN is to reduce transport and bandwidth costs while maintaining or improving the application experience for end users. Doing that effectively not only means collecting key information from applications, tunnel overlays, sites, devices and more on the WAN, but also understanding the impact the deployment is having on key resources or paths in the cloud or at the data center. This is why LiveAction plays such a crucial role in these new initiatives. If you can’t monitor and continually assess application performance across the ENTIRE network, you can’t ensure operational excellence. Only LiveAction enables companies to lower their time to issue identification from hours and days down to seconds and minutes, based on our patented visualization capabilities. This translates into real outcomes, like reducing trouble tickets, improving application performance, eliminate jitter on voice or video calls, increasing the reliability at branch offices, saving costs on transport, speeding MTTR, and much more. We help network operations teams find the elusive “needle-in-a-haystack” quickly and efficiently to meet the business expectations of the network.
  2. In David Izumo’s blog post earlier this week, he explained how to get started with planning for an SD-WAN deployment. Of course, it’s no surprise that visibility is critical to that process. To help organizations with new SD-WAN initiatives, LiveAction breaks planning (and visibility) into three phases: baseline planning (Day 0), deployment and verification (Day 1), and ongoing operational insight (Day 2). That means when initial planning occurs, IT must establish a baseline to understand the potential impact to the network. What devices will be affected, what path will the connection take, and what transport will be used? Once baselining is complete, it’s time to deploy. Will the new SD-WAN perform as designed, are the policies functioning as intended, is the user experience meeting expectations? And finally, once up and running, does the IT team have holistic visibility into existing and newly deployed network infrastructure to ensure ongoing performance and meet service level agreements?
  3. Finally, in a recent blog post, I noted that EMA reported that 49 percent of enterprises use 4-10 tools to monitor and troubleshoot their networks, and 27 percent use 11 or more. Tool sprawl is a real problem because it can lead to major inefficiencies and a lack of visibility. But, we’re working to eliminate that problem by continually adding capabilities and features that can correlate complex network data (from NetFlow to packet) and give customers complete visibility, even in a multi-vendor, multi-platform, multi-fabric environment. That means as customers roll out Cisco SD-WAN services, they have a centralized platform that can meet all their monitoring and management needs. And, as they evolve their networks with cloud, they know they have a solution that can see from the core to the edge.

Cisco and LiveAction are both dedicated to simplifying the network. As Cisco continues to make it easier to deploy SD-WANs, we’ll continue to make it easier to visualize and manage these next-generation networks within the context of your existing infrastructure.

Want to learn more about SD-WAN?

Brooks Borcherding
CEO at LiveAction

Aug. 16, 2018