Making It Connect: Cisco vManage with Network Edge on Platform Equinix

Accelerating and optimizing central control for your SD-WAN.

Jason Lee
John Joyal
Making It Connect: Cisco vManage with Network Edge on Platform Equinix

Enterprises worldwide are far more informed when it comes to the technology solutions they are considering for their business. They are weighing both options and impact.  Some will investigate on their own and some will seek a trusted advisor – a partner that can provide guidance on the plethora of considerations.

For many businesses, SD-WAN is currently one of the top solutions to consider. The migration of applications to the cloud has also shifted access from the data center to the edge – changing the way networks are deployed and managed.  For example, how do you manage access to your network by employees at central and remote locations?  Or, how do you ensure proper access by partners and customers? The answer to both of these questions is: You need to provide access for anyone, over any transport, to any application, anywhere.

Fortunately, Cisco SD-WAN is a secure, cloud-scale solution that addresses these possibilities and provides an SD-WAN controller called vManage that ensures visibility and control over your end-to-end SD-WAN infrastructure. In conjunction with Network Edge services from Equinix, you can facilitate and accelerate optimized SD-WAN management worldwide on Platform Equinix®.

For many businesses, SD-WAN is currently one of the top solutions to consider when migrating applications to the cloud.

Deploying SD-WAN across hybrid and multicloud environments

In our previous blog, Best Practices for Deploying Cisco SD-WAN for Hybrid and Multicloud Access, we explained the benefits of deploying Cisco SD-WAN via Network Edge services and Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp for Colocation on Platform Equinix. Here, we focus on the range of functionality provided by SD-WAN and the best practices to support dynamic software-defined WAN management.

Cisco SD-WAN deployed with Network Edge services on Platform Equinix

Enterprises can rapidly deploy Cisco SD-WAN functions on Platform Equinix via Network Edge services and Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) to take advantage of a multitude of global interconnections to multiple network and cloud services. With Cisco SD-WAN on Network Edge, we’ve tightly integrated the solution with the Cisco vManage console in order to enable seamless ongoing management of the virtual function on an interconnection node on Equinix’s global platform. Once deployed, the Cisco SD-WAN node on Network Edge will become another node on your SD-WAN network, and will remain consistent with policies that are already applied across the network.

In addition, the pre-integration of Network Edge with ECX Fabric allows you to bypass the public internet and establish direct and secure, private interconnection between your branch and public clouds. In addition to an added level of security, low-latency private virtual connections boost data throughput and scalability by allowing required bandwidth to be dynamically added. Enterprises who already use Cisco’s vManage dashboard to manage their physical SD-WAN devices can continue to use it to manage virtual SD-WAN functions deployed on Platform Equinix.

Efficient management is especially important when SD-WAN functions are deployed across widely distributed hybrid and multicloud environments providing essential capabilities that:

  • Optimize WAN traffic across branches and data centers, as well as cloud and network service providers.
  • Establish and manage policies to load balance applications among all circuits.
  • Create networks that isolate data traffic per the business requirements and guarantee stable operations when executing critical workflows.
  • Optimize application routing so that mission-critical applications are allocated to faster transport circuits.
  • Leverage real-time WAN network analytics that use bandwidth forecasting and branch expansion analysis, and also recommend application QoS categorization and policy changes for optimized application performance.

These SD-WAN capabilities simplify the overall management of the WAN infrastructure, policies and traffic for remote office network connections.


Cisco vManage: Optimal SD-WAN management

With the complexity of monitoring and maintaining SD-WAN resources deployed across widely distributed hybrid and multicloud environments, enterprises need to efficiently handle components. Network administrators want tools that provide maximum control and visibility over a wide range of network resources.

Cisco addresses that need with vManage, a mature, widely adopted cloud-based management interface. Cisco vManage allows network administrators to centrally manage and orchestrate all aspects of SD-WAN, including provisioning, monitoring and upgrading while also providing application visibility and diagnostics. Key capabilities include:

  • Performing authentication and authorization of all elements when initially deployed into the network.
  • Providing information regarding component-to-component connectivity.
  • Implementing policies and connectivity (routing information, access control, segmentation, extranets and service chaining) between SD-WAN branches using a centralized policy engine.
  • Providing policy constructs to manage SD-WAN resources regardless of location—on-premises, colocation center, hybrid or multicloud environments.
  • Providing visibility to any visibility of problems with the network or applications.
  • Providing visibility to network or application performance.

With a single, centralized approach, vManage simplifies SD-WAN management regardless of the location of SD-WAN resources.Enterprises or managed service providers can deploy Cisco SD-WAN with Network Edge services and ECX Fabric on Platform Equinix in just a few quick steps using the ECX Fabric Customer Portal:

  • Select the Cisco SD-WAN from the list of virtual network functions available on the ECX Fabric Customer Portal.
  • Select the desired Equinix location to deploy Cisco SD-WAN.
  • Configure Cisco SD-WAN with basic settings in the portal or via the ECX Fabric API.
  • Establish management plane between Cisco SD-WAN device and vManage.
  • Create connections to other devices, other cloud or SaaS  services via ECX Fabric or access Cisco SD-WAN directly to implement additional configurations.

Just as Platform Equinix provides a single, centralized source to simplify the deployment of a wide range of virtual network functions, Cisco vManage provides a similar centralized means of managing SD-WAN efficiently.

Equinix and Cisco enable best practices for SD-WAN management

Together, Equinix and Cisco enable enterprises to rapidly deploy and manage network resources that support widely distributed hybrid and multicloud environments. Cisco SD-WAN on Platform Equinix allows enterprises and managed service providers to rapidly deploy SD-WAN connections globally while centrally managing corporate network security and performance.

Cisco vManage simplifies the orchestration and management of SD-WAN resources and provides the tools to centrally monitor enterprise network operations. With Cisco SD-WAN deployed with Network Edge services and ECX Fabric on Platform Equinix, you can provide any user, from anywhere, access to cloud applications over any transport, at any time to ensure the best user experience. The Network Edge services data sheet will give you the details you need to get started.

To learn more about how Cisco SD-WAN, CRN’s 2019 Product of the Year, is implemented on Platform Equinix and managed by vManage, we invite you to view the #CiscoChat Live – Deployment Options for SD-WAN Hybrid and Multicloud Access video:

14-Day Trial

Equinix is offering a no-obligation 14-day trial of Network Edge services. To find out how you can participate, go to our Network Edge free trial page.



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Jason Lee Global Solutions Architect
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John Joyal Product and Solutions Marketing Manager, Cisco
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