Introduction to Cisco SD-WAN
SD-WAN solutions reduce the costs of running enterprise networks and by leveraging a software overlay that runs over standard network transport services, including the public Internet, MPLS, and broadband. SD-WAN also introduces a software-based controller to simplify the provisioning and management of large and complex networks that are distributed across multiple locations and geographies. SD-WAN networks provide security by implementing encrypted (IPSEC-based) end-to-end tunnels to secure data in transit. Overlay networks can also extend into public cloud infrastructure accelerating and simplifying using cloud resources like SaaS services and IaaS cloud infrastructure.
The Cisco SD-WAN solution provides advanced routing, segmentation, and security capabilities for interconnecting complex enterprise networks. Through the acquisition of Viptela, Cisco has combined cloud-first network management, orchestration, and overlay network technologies with their existing enterprise routing platforms and solutions.
The Cisco SD-WAN solution uses vManage as the primary Network Management System (NMS) which provides status, health and configuration of the other components including the vSmart controllers, vBond orchestrators and the WAN Edge routers (usually referred to as cEdge for native Cisco hardware and vEdge for the legacy Viptela hardware platforms).
Automating Cisco SD-WAN with Gluware
Gluware does not replace vManage. Gluware can be used for numerous use-cases to automate on-top of vManage through REST-based API calls and also through direct CLI access to the WAN Edge routers. When cEdge devices are managed through vManage they still support interaction via CLI but configuration through CLI is disabled, however, through CLI, Gluware can still perform config drift, audit and show commands for ad-hoc query and state assessment. Cisco acquired Viptela in 2017 and since has been integrating their software and porting the Viptela OS features into Cisco IOS. Gluware originally supported Viptela and the vEdge devices directly when they supported configuration through “CLI mode”, now Gluware is helping customers as they concurrently run vEdge (Viptela hardware platforms) and cEdge devices (native Cisco ISR-based platforms). For Cisco native hardware they have integrated the SD-WAN feature set in what is referred to as a “universal image” with the 17.3 branch of IOS XE that supports a command to switch between IOS mode and enabling the IOS XE SD-WAN feature sets.