Kathy Gibson is at the Cisco Small Business Summit in Sandton – Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) can help to provide a better user experience, greater agility and advanced threat protection.

These are among the value-adds offered by Cisco’s SD-WAN 4.0, according to the company’s Aadil Hassim.

Intent-based networking for the WAN help customers to securely connect any users to any application with the best experience.

This is delivered by Cisco through a cloud first architecture that offers transport independence, network services like security and  WAN optimisation, and end-point flexibility.

Customers are enabled to can do orchestration, analytics and serve APIs.

Centralised cloud management means Cisco SD-WAN is easier to deploy, manage and operate.

It offers cloud first management and operations, monitoring and troubleshooting with simplified workflows, and advanced analytics and assurance for application service level agreement.

Migration to the cloud is simplified with application quality of experience guaranteed.

Secure branch to cloud connectivity protects data in motion; agile workflow simplified extending the enterprise to IaaS or SaaS; awhile analytics determines the optimal path for the best application experience.

Analytics is key to any operations, and Cisco’s Viptela vAnalytics lets customers optimise the user experience by providing visibility of application infrastructure across the WAN; forecasting and “what it” analysis; and intelligent recommendation.

Because it is transport independent, customer can deploy branches at a lower costs.

The Cisco solution is able to leverage Internet for public cloud and Internet access. There is a secure VPN overlay for private and virtual public cloud access; and a seamless extension to the cloud enables business policy to follow workloads.

Security is key, so integrated security is enable via comprehensive threat protection that meets industry compliance with end-to-end segmentation.

The Cisco solution reduces the attack surface with cloud and on-premise security, while Talos threat intelligence protects all end user devices.

Cisco also combines best of breed in security with SD-WAN, offering an enterprise firewall, intrusion protection systems, URL filtering and simplified cloud security.

Hassim explains that this makes security implementation a matter of hours instead of the more usual weeks or months.