How automating SD-WAN implementations improves application performance and user experiences
Published Jun 02 2021 11:32 AM 2,769 Views

As organizations increasingly shift to decentralized SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) architectures for their IT, voice, and data networking needs, they are finding their configurations become quickly outdated because of the demands of dynamic applications.


Mike Palmer, Senior Business Development Manager, Cisco Systems, explains how Cisco SD-WAN, available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, automates implementations, empowering users to run Microsoft 365 and other applications on Microsoft Azure over a continually optimized SD-WAN network:


Many companies run their businesses on third-party enterprise applications such as Microsoft 365 and the Microsoft Azure public cloud. Consistently delivering optimal user experiences for customers, partners, and employees who use these applications is critical to the success of these companies. And delivering optimal user experiences depends on the performance of the underlying WAN.


For nearly two decades, enterprises deployed WAN technology for IT, voice, and data networking infrastructure over centralized multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network architectures. Today, many enterprises are shifting to decentralized SD-WAN architectures, which includes implementing secure access service edge (SASE) architecture. Cisco has been consistently recognized as a leader in delivering these technologies.


Automating SD-WAN implementation for dynamic environments

Until now, deploying Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp, a secure, cloud-scale WAN architecture, in Azure environments involved an old-fashioned process. The challenge is that application use can be dynamic, and optimal SD-WAN configurations are likely to change over time. But because tearing down old and spinning up new SD-WAN instances is an outdated process, it often is not done. The result? User experience can suffer; performance degrades as applications run over sub-optimized SD-WAN instances.


To address this challenge, Cisco and Azure engineers teamed up to add features to Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp through Cisco Catalyst 8000V Edge Software or Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Services (CSR) Router 1000V. To begin with, Cisco and Microsoft included automation that will optimize the operator’s experience when setting up an SD-WAN instance on Azure. Specifically, they automated the integration, policy deployment, and configuration of Cisco SD-WAN virtual routers, Cisco 8000V Edge Software, and the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR 1000V) in the Azure Virtual WAN (vWAN) environment.


Now, instead of taking hours, an SD-WAN instance can be set up in minutes. As a result, users can automate spinning up and tearing down SD-WAN instances so they consistently run Microsoft 365 and other applications on Azure over an optimized SD-WAN network.


Improving the performance of Microsoft 365 by up to 40 percent

Cisco and Microsoft engineers took another step to help customers deliver an optimal user experience: They optimized Microsoft 365 and Azure application consumption with Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp. They accomplished this by categorizing Microsoft 365 and Azure application workloads, enabling users to optimize network performance delivered to the various applications. For instance, users might prioritize bandwidth for applications running video such as Microsoft Teams over other applications. In one test, the performance of Microsoft 365 improved 40 percent with this new categorizing capability.


Test drive the Cisco SD-WAN optimizations for Azure at no cost

Curious to learn more? Test drive and experience for yourself the benefits of utilizing the new Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp when consuming Microsoft 365 or other applications running on Azure. This test drive will help you to develop a baseline understanding of the value of leveraging Cisco SD-WAN features to optimize the Microsoft 365 user experience. This two-to-four-hour session will demonstrate use cases related to Cisco SD-WAN integration with Microsoft 365 and Azure vWAN. It will also highlight the ease of configuration and manageability of this integrated solution.


This test drive is built and delivered by subject matter experts who have extensive experience with Cisco SD-WAN and Azure. It is complimentary, but only for a limited time. Check it out for yourself today.

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‎May 27 2021 12:20 PM
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