Cisco brings intent-based networking to WAN with SD-WAN vAnalytics and Meraki Insight


Cisco has announced two new products which should deliver intent-based networking to the wide area network (WAN) with analytics and assurance solutions, provide visibility and insight as well as provide deep learning capabilities, the SD-WAN vAnalytics and the Meraki Insight.

With the rise of multicloud IT environments which raised the complexity of the WAN, Cisco has been quite keen to employ its intent-based networking solutions to this environment and deal with the need for better visibility and analytics that will manage application and WAN performance.

The SD-WAN vAnalytics is based on technology from Viptela, a company that Cisco acquired in August last year. According to the provided details, the SD-WAN vAnalytics will provide IT with visibility, forecasting for applications and bandwidth planning, “what-if” scenarios, and actionable recommendations. Built as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, it provides comprehensive data, analysis, and corrective actions across the WAN, including branch offices as well as multicloud endpoints and multiple service providers.

The Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics will allow businesses and enterprises to identify stress points in WAN infrastructure and implement necessary policy changes, as well as use intelligent recommendations about how to deliver optimal application experiences, something that Cisco’s intent-based networking is all about.

The Meraki Insight, on the other hand, is a new tool integrated into the Meraki dashboard, which provides end-to-end visibility for both WAN and SaaS application performance and reduces the time it takes to isolate and resolve any issues.

Cisco has been pushing hard with intent-based networking and when it comes to WAN, the company says it has designed “a cloud-first architecture with integrated security, that uses the best threat intelligence”.

In a blog post, Cisco’s Senior Marketing Manager for Enterprise Solutions, Kiran Ghodgaonkar, states that the company uses five technology pillars to make the intent-based networking vision a reality, including:

  1. On-premise or cloud managed – A single WAN fabric with operational simplicity that can scale across thousands of remote sites.
  2. Transport independence – Global support for any type of connectivity including MPLS, Internet, and 4G LTE.
  3. End-point flexibility – Physical or virtual network devices that can be deployed in the branch, cloud, co-location facility, or the data center.
  4. Rich network services – Deploy in minutes network services like SD-WAN, unified communications, firewall and more, including 3rd parties.
  5. Analytics and assurance – Real-time application optimization for all applications using visibility for forecasting and planning with actionable insights for faster troubleshooting.

According to Cisco, the SD-WAN vAnalytics is now available via Cisco SD-WAN license tier while the Cisco Meraki Insight should be available in Q3, as a separate license.