This section will explore the different Cisco SD-WAN features and capabilities that make the solution different from the traditional WAN. The section will cover the following major topics:

  • Application Quality of Experience (AppQoE)
  • Interconnecting Multiple Clouds
  • Direct Internet Access (DIA)
  • RESTful APIs
  • Cloud OnRamp
  • Embedded Security

Each set of capabilities makes the Cisco SD-WAN solution position itself as a leading WAN networking provider in the cloud age. Let's go briefly over each major topic.

Application Quality of Experience (AppQoE)

Providing excellent application Quality of Experience (AppQoE) to users anywhere and anytime.

As organizations continue to adopt a cloud-first IT strategy, providing Application Quality of Experience (AppQoE) to users has become significantly harder and different. When an application is hosted in the organization's data center, it is far easier to control all necessary network metrics that ensure users have an excellent experience working with a business-critical app.

However, with business-critical apps now hosted in a public cloud or consumed as a service via Internet, network teams face an enormous challenge ensuring the AppQoE anywhere anytime.

Cisco SD-WAN has been designed with public cloud and SaaS in mind. It provides a complete set of features and capabilities geared toward the Quality of Experience of critical business applications. You will learn more about this in the first lesson of this section.

Interconnecting Multiple Clouds

Connecting branches and remote workers to multi-cloud apps seamlessly with unified management, visibility, and security. 

Most large organizations have business-critical applications hosted in multiple public clouds nowadays. This multi-cloud environment imposes many challenges to the organization's network and security teams such as less control over the Application Quality of Experience and expanded threat attack surface. Cisco SD-WAN helps organizations address these challenges.

Cisco SD-WAN's cloud-native WAN overlay fabric ensures that organizations can embrace the power of multi-cloud and integrated security, with minimal manual configurations by network and security teams. The solution has a set of capabilities that improve network performance, reduce operational costs, and protect business-critical data. 

Direct Internet Access (DIA)

Harnessing the benefits of SaaS and Internet-native apps.

Nowadays, most customers, contractors, and employees at remote branches access Internet-based applications. The traditional WAN architecture backhauls the Internet traffic to a data center or regional hub for security inspection resulting in higher latency and cost. 

Cisco SD-WAN DIA is a feature set that can route certain traffic from the branch directly to the Internet, thereby bypassing the organization's data center which lowers the latency and improves the performance of the applications.


Embracing custom automation.

Developers can integrate the Cisco SD-WAN solution into their custom workflows by utilizing the restful APIs. 

Cloud OnRamp

Utilizing the benefits of the public cloud.

Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp is a set of capabilities that optimize the wide-area network for better visibility, predictability, and performance in the public cloud. 

Cloud OnRamp for SaaS (software as a service) uses real-time telemetry data to steer users' traffic onto the best available network path to Internet native applications like Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.

Cloud OnRamp for IaaS (infrastructure as a service) simplifies the deployment workflows for public clouds like AWS, Azure, and GCP. It allows the use of application-aware routing policies that can choose the optimal network path to workloads running in the public cloud.

Cloud OnRamp Interconnect automates the connectivity to leading Software-Defined Cloud Interconnect (SDCI) providers such as Megaport and Equinix. 

Embedded Security

Laying the foundation for cloud-delivered unified security and SASE transformation.

Nowadays, security is paramount for all organizations. As users and applications become more distributed, network and security teams face enormous challenges to deliver reliable connectivity while maintaining top-notch security for all users and apps. 

The Cisco SD-WAN solution provides a full stack of security capabilities for both public cloud and on-prem applications. It is designed to combine organizations' existing security setups with their SASE strategy by providing security policies that can be deployed anytime, anywhere.