ORLANDO, Florida — Ten months after its $610 million purchase of SD-WAN firm Viptela, Cisco says it has more than 800 new SD-WAN customers and that number is growing rapidly. “We are quickly approaching 1,000 customers,” said Kiran Ghodgaonkar, senior marketing manager for enterprise networking at Cisco. “We are seeing good momentum.”
Speaking to SDxCentral from the sidelines of Cisco Live 2018, the company’s annual partner conference, Ghodgaonkar said that some of these new customers were already in Viptela’s pipeline before Cisco acquired the firm, and some are existing Cisco networking customers that decided to add SD-WAN.
Ghodgaonkar said now that Cisco has integrated Viptela into some of its routing platforms, existing routers just need a software upgrade to support SD-WAN. “A million routers in the field can do a software upgrade to Viptela and will be able to migrate to SD-WAN,” he added.
Cisco is currently preparing for the next-phase of integration, which includes adding the company’s intent-based networking (IBN), called DNA Center, to Viptela. Once that occurs, SD-WAN customers will have additional capabilities such as software-defined access (SD-Access) and will be able to extend security policy from the cloud to the branch to the LAN. Ghodgaonkar believes it will take another 12 to 18 months for that step to be complete.
Faster Time to Market
One trend that Ghodgaonkar is seeing in SD-WAN is that service providers are starting to add third-party network functions onto their SD-WAN offering to build their own customized platform. “Providers are looking to move beyond connectivity and sell specialized services like security or WAN optimization,” Ghodgaonkar said.
BT is one example of a Cisco customer that is doing this for its enterprise customers. The service provider is providing a managed SD-WAN service from Cisco, but BT adds analytics and reporting capabilities and provides additional security, such as advanced routing capabilities, to the network. All these additional services are managed by the BT orchestration platform.