Partnership adds to carrier’s portfolio that also includes an alliance with VMware
The Lowdown: With the announcement this week, Cisco joins VMware as partners in AT&T’s portfolio of SD-WAN offerings. The carrier last year unveiled the partnership with VMware and its SD-WAN by VeloCloud offering, saying it would bring together SD-WAN with AT&T’s growing 5G network.
The Details: Organizations are increasingly moving workloads into hybrid cloud and multicloud environments. SD-WAN gives them easier access to their data and applications with such capabilities as intelligent dynamic routing, optimized cloud connectivity, and greater visibility into the network and applications. A key part of the partnership with Cisco is security.
Cisco’s offering delivers integrated threat protection across branch offices and the cloud, including such features as an application-aware enterprise firewall, intrusion prevention, URL filtering, and advanced malware protection. In addition, AT&T’s Managed Services and Cybersecurity units will work together to manage and support the new service using Cisco’s vManage controller, which provides a single management interface for both the network and security.
The Cisco managed service is powered by Cisco’s Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) and Aggregated Service Routers (ASRs) gear and its Enterprise Network Compute System, all of which is managed via a cloud-based dashboard.
The Impact: The combination of AT&T and Cisco bring together two major players in networking to provide a managed service to organizations and channel partners at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the move by enterprises to the cloud. According to Dell’Oro Group analysts, the public health crisis itself has slowed growth in the SD-WAN market now, but the lasting impacts – such as more employees working from home – will fuel expansion as the pandemic subsides. Sales worldwide of SD-WAN technologies will grow at double-digit rates over the next five years, passing $3.2 billion in 2024, Dell’Oro said in a report this week. In addition, deployments by service providers will grow faster than those by enterprises.
Background: Cisco bolstered its SD-WAN capabilities when it bought Viptela in 2017 for $610 million, part of a larger push by the vendor around its intent-based networking efforts. The Viptela technology added to other SD-WAN offerings Cisco had through its Meraki and other business teams.
The Buzz: “Successful network and digital transformation requires effective security management,” said Mo Katibeh, executive vice president and chief product and platform officer at AT&T Business. “AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco combines connectivity, SD-WAN, and security, which allows businesses to expand and scale without worrying about the security of their branch locations.”
“As customers move their workloads to multiple clouds, they require fast, highly secure access to applications hosted anywhere, whether applications are hosted in the data center, public cloud, or a private SaaS platform,” said Ravi Chandrasekaran, senior vice president of Cisco’s Intent-Based Networking Group. “The new AT&T managed service based on Cisco Secure SD-WAN addresses this by providing businesses with the application optimization, integrated security, and consistent intent-based networking policies for their hybrid, multicloud environments.”