IWAN: Cisco Systems Entry into the SD-WAN Arena

By - June 28, 2017

Cisco’s Intelligent Wide Area Network (IWAN) is an evolution of existing feature sets that have come together in a very flexible, reliable, and scalable Wide Area Network (WAN) solution. This innovative solution grants IT visibility and control over your organization’s network. While reducing operating costs and improving end-user performance, you will get the same reliability and robust security as before in a router that is application-aware and optimizes traffic flows to protect application performance and increase bandwidth.

IWAN is deployed on the Integrated Services Router/Aggregation Services Routers (ISR/ASR) routing platforms that many organizations already utilize. In most cases, these organizations already have the licensing in place for the platforms to utilize these feature sets and it is just a matter of planning and turning up these advanced services. Features can be turned up in a crawl/walk/run plan to begin using services and features in a planned and steady approach.

There are several specific benefits to the IWAN solution:

  • Carrier/Transport independence
    • You have full control over your traffic and no longer need to have the carrier involved in making changes
    • You can easily move from one carrier to another with minimal changes on the hardware
  • Flexibility of transport
    • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable, Ethernet, Long-Term Evolution (LTE), etc.
  • Secure WAN
    • IWAN can encrypt all traffic before it leaves your control
    • Carriers/MPLS providers have no visibility into your network traffic
    • There is no risk of routing table leaking between your internal and provider networks
  • Rapid deployment
    • New remote sites do not require any changes to the hub or other sites to be brought online
  • Traffic engineering
    • This allows decoupling of traffic from routing tables
    • Traffic engineering also allows you to select the traffic path based on various metrics per application
    • IWAN has the ability to load balance between multiple paths
  • Utilize existing investments in routers
    • No need to buy a separate appliance for your Software Defined Networking (SD-WAN)
  • Combine multiple services with the same platform
    • IWAN reduces device sprawl at the remote locations
    • IWAN allows an organization to combine services including voice, WAN Acceleration, SD-WAN, routing, compute, switching, firewalling, etc.
    • IWAN also includes capabilities for Direct Internet Access (DIA) to route traffic out the branch locally

At RSM, our Infrastructure team addresses issues affecting telecommunications, productivity, data storage, and security to help organizations run more efficiently and effectively. We offer a “quick hit” diagnostic evaluation called a Rapid Assessment and we have many Infrastructure case studies available for review. We’ve helped clients transform and enhance their current system capabilities, implement new IT environments, and migrate platforms to optimize their technology investments. From system performance to data security, we help organizations create an IT infrastructure that is flexible, responsive and cost-effective. RSM’s technology consulting professionals bring deep industry-specific experience to help middle market businesses enhance operations and address critical issues across the organization.

To learn more about RSM’s technology and management consulting services offerings, please visit our website. You can also contact RSM’s technology and management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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