Cisco is unveiling two new SD-WAN solutions based on Meraki and its recently-acquired Viptela technology that will help partners get into the managed SD-WAN game.
The two latest SD-WAN-based solutions will use both historical data to help businesses predict how their applications will perform across the wide area network (WAN), as well as real-time information so users can mitigate issues faster. For partners looking to offer managed SD-WAN services, the two new offerings are a big differentiator when compared to solution providers that can't provide application performance assurance, said Joe Aronow, product architect, Cisco Meraki.
"I see an enormous partner opportunity because functions like this are a huge value-add for a managed service. Partners will be able to say; 'not only can we manage your infrastructure, but we can also add analytics and assurance on top of that,'" Aronow said.
The two solutions will soon be available through channel partners, the networking giant told CRN.
San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco has been offering analytics and performance monitoring solutions for other parts of the network, including the campus, branch, and data center, but the WAN remains a "blind spot" for many IT teams today. This is especially true as more traffic shifts to the cloud and over networks that aren't controlled by IT, said Kiran Ghodgaonkar, senior marketing manager for Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) team.
To that end, Cisco is introducing Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics, a cloud-based solution that is based on Viptela technology that the vendor acquired in August. The SaaS offering provides historical data that both partners and end customers can use for bandwidth planning and to forecast how policy changes or specific applications may behave on their WAN infrastructure. The solution also provides recommendations and corrective actions that users can take to improve application performance on the WAN across branch offices, multi-cloud environments, and multiple service providers.
"This solution can help users forecast what could happen to their WAN infrastructure if they roll out a new application like Office 365; do they have the right bandwidth, and do they have the right redundancy built-in," Ghodgaonkar explained.
Instead of sending the IT team alerts when an issue does arise, the offering gives users a possible solution to the problem, he added.
Businesses, or channel partners on behalf of their customers, can access vAnalytics via its online portal.
Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics is available now to customers through a Cisco SD-WAN enterprise license tier, according to the company.
However, when monitoring and troubleshooting the WAN, users need to understand what is happening at both the circuit and the application levels, Ghodgaonkar, said.
For that reason, Cisco is also revealing Meraki Insight, a new tool that will be integrated into the existing Meraki dashboard that will give users more real-time application and WAN performance visibility. Businesses using Meraki Insight will be better able to identify and troubleshoot both internal and external issues that often lead to poor user experience for applications hosted in a remote data center or in the cloud, Cisco said. This software-based solution will help businesses resolve performance issues faster.
To take advantage of Meraki Insight, users will need a Cisco Meraki MX security appliance within their IT environments, Aronow said.
Cisco expects Meraki Insight to be available in Q3, and the tool will be available to customers as a separate license, the company said.
Cisco customers can use SD-WAN vAnalytics and Meraki Insight together or separately. When used together, IT teams can make more informed decisions about their WAN infrastructure, which will lead to a better user experience, Ghodgaonkar said.