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SD-Routing: Unlock Agility and Efficiency for the Secure WAN Edge

SD-Routing: Unlock Agility and Efficiency for the Secure WAN Edge

Many Cisco enterprise customers have decades of Cisco Catalyst routing and security capabilities functioning at branch locations. However, many of their traditional network management solutions can’t keep up with the demands of cloud adoption, remote work, and ever-growing user expectations. This translates to poor user experience, sluggish applications, and possible security vulnerabilities. These factors are driving the need for a transformation across applications, networks, and security.

This operational paradigm shift aims to seamlessly connect users anywhere to any application and secure user access by protecting against evolving threats. The answer to these operational challenges is Cisco’s software-defined routing (SD-Routing) solution. It goes beyond traditional per-device-based management by enabling full frictionless lifecycle device management, monitoring, configuration, and troubleshooting—as well as robust, next-generation firewall security integrations—from a single dashboard that doesn’t require any changes to your existing environment.

SD-Routing: Unlock Agility and Efficiency for the Secure WAN Edge

Figure 1. SD-Routing solution overview

Let’s explore some key use cases of SD-Routing that can transform your network:

Frictionless device lifecycle management. Simplify and prepare your network for the future with one management platform. SD-Routing, controlled through the Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Manager dashboard, can:

  • Unify management: Manage device software upgrades, monitoring, and troubleshooting through the intuitive Catalyst SD-WAN Manager dashboard. This simplifies network operations and empowers you to manage both traditional routing and Catalyst SD-WAN environments.
  • Tame legacy challenges: Simplify complex legacy operations with SD-Routing. Basic troubleshooting tools within the manager help you maintain and optimize performance. Continuous updates ensure your network stays ahead of the curve.
  • Combat configuration drift: Manage and track changes with a unified platform. Use the manager to create configuration templates for standardized deployments and future SD-WAN migration.

Network administrators might be using homegrown automation or third-party vendor tools to solve these problems. You can continue to use these tools, but you don’t need to invest further. Rather, take advantage of SD-WAN Manager, which comes as a part of Catalyst licensing.


Configuring diverse IOS XE security features through the command-line interface (CLI) or customized ad hoc scripts has historically been a complex, labor-intensive process that is prone to errors. This is especially true for defining granular security policies across zones and containers. With the introduction of SD-Routing guided security workflows, customers aiming to implement robust, next-generation firewall (NGFW) security on their on-premises routers will find this a valuable addition, allowing for consistent policy application across deployments. Many customers want Direct Internet Access (DIA) at their branch offices, but security concerns hold them back. SD-Routing can streamline secure DIA deployment on WAN edge routers, offering a simpler approach to securing distributed networks.

Cloud on-ramp for multicloud

Traditional network teams often struggle to securely extend their WANs to cloud providers, where key enterprise applications may reside. SD-Routing simplifies this process, especially for those who are hesitant to adopt it. With SD-Routing, you can securely connect to cloud providers like AWS and Azure following best practices, without months of learning complex, cloud-specific configurations. This empowers you to seamlessly connect to cloud providers and focus on your business outcomes.

As you tackle the modern network challenges, explore SD-Routing to simplify, streamline, secure, and future-proof your WAN environment. The single management platform for Catalyst SD-WAN and SD-Routing saves time and operational expenses with agile and automated workflows that quickly respond to network changes.

Beyond these immediate benefits, SD-Routing also can help strategically position your network for simplified future migrations to SD-WAN, depending on where you are in your digital transformation journey.

Whether you have existing enterprise networking equipment in your WAN or are considering a future purchase of Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms, Cisco 1000 Series Integrated Service Routers, Cisco 1000 Series Aggregation Service Routers, or Industrial Routers, SD-Routing can unlock their full potential. Even better, if you’re already using Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN Manager, you can leverage the same platform to manage your SD-Routing deployments.


Watch this Explainer Video to learn more about SD-Routing



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