Thursday 22 July 2021

Miercom validates deployment simplicity of Cisco’s SASE solution

With the digital transformation of businesses, security is moving to the cloud. This is driving a need for converged services to reduce complexity, improve speed and agility, enable multicloud networking and secure the new SD-WAN-enabled architecture. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is the convergence of networking and security that is transforming the way organizations are delivering these services from the cloud. One of the key functions in SASE is SD-WAN that enables customers to connect users securely to applications and data regardless of location. Miercom recently did an independent study validating the setup simplicity of Cisco SD-WAN powered by Viptela with Cisco Umbrella integration, offering customers a foolproof, intelligible and complete Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution. 

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In today’s fast paced technology driven world, customers want a simplistic and seamless experience and expect the solution to be easy to deploy right from day 0 to day N setup. Cisco’s solution is simple to setup, intuitive and includes a true zero-touch SD-WAN solution that is faster to deploy and configure. Conversely, Competition setups are complex with multiple touchpoints which require manual intervention with no automated process, lacks template-based guided workflows and is more confusing to navigate. Cisco offers a cloud-hosting subscription where customers can self-provision SD-WAN controllers after order submission through a simple workflow on Cisco SD-WAN self-service portal (SSP) which incorporates vManage, vSmart and vBond in public cloud with secondary vBond and vSmart for high availability on desired region. The customers can sit back and relax while control plane/management plane setup is done via the cloud infrastructure automation tool and without any support intervention. Cisco’s SD-WAN integration with Cisco Umbrella via Cisco Smart Account licensing allows for template-based configuration workflows and automated secure tunnel deployment between SD- WAN routers and the nearest Cisco Umbrella data center. As validated by Miercom, Cisco proved more efficient in unified management mostly from a single platform (vManage), making it simple for even lean IT teams to manage via preloaded templates and troubleshooting features.

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Conversely, the competition offers complex integration between its SD-WAN and cloud security offerings which involves multiple touchpoints/steps making the process time consuming and requires support intervention at multiple stages during setup. To start with, the competition requires multiple accounts leading to complexity for customers even before entering the deployment stage. Also, during the deployment stage, lot of technical expertise is required in terms of integration process of the competitive SASE solution, making it complicated for customers. Also, the competition requires support intervention in multiple stages during the Day 0, Day 1 experience that it takes days instead of a couple of hours for the whole deployment process. 

 Cisco also provides multiple browser options (i.e., Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox), providing flexibility to customers for accessing the vManage dashboard. Cisco vManage dashboard offers customers a network topology with guided workflows for troubleshooting to make it easy for customers to remediate issues. The competition out there has browser dependencies and does not offer the same flexibility as Cisco. Troubleshooting process for competition was proven to be basic and ineffective by Miercom. 

 When we look at Cloud OnRamp IaaS/SaaS setup, Cisco provides template-based configuration workflows within Cisco vManage that, once complete, integrates with AWS to automatically deploy virtual instances of Cisco SD-WAN routers within defined AWS data centers. These routers are deployed with redundancy and dynamic routing services. When it comes to the competition, Cloud OnRamp for IaaS/SaaS has a manual configuration process, with no templates or automated workflows for ease of deployment.

Finally, Cisco SD-WAN presents the customer with plethora of deployment options for the control/management plane which the competition fails to offer. Customers can either choose to deploy the SD-WAN controllers on their premises with virtual machine options or they can utilize the Cloud Ops deployment – a completely cloud-hosted solution where every component of the control plane is deployed transparently by Cisco and handed over to the customer for management. 

Cisco Viptela SD-WAN with Umbrella offers an easy to deploy, flexible, robust and cost-effective SASE solution making it a perfect choice for customers.


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