Cisco says that it has six service providers — British Telecom (BT), Verizon, Orange Business Services, Vodafone, Telstra, and SFR—currently using its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) gear. And the company expects to attract more service provider deals as the appeal for the service grows.
Ghodgaonkar said the company had 400 deployments of SD-WAN running at 2,500 sites.
“Cisco is doubling down on our SD-WAN software strategy and moving toward a more software-driven model vs. hardware,” Ghodgaokar said, adding that the company is seeing customers want to shift to a subscription model. “We are seeing uptake in subscription-based pricing for WAN connectivity,” he said.
Cisco built its SD-WAN product with some of its existing product line, including its Intelligent WAN (IWAN) traffic control product that the company developed a few years ago. But Cisco refers to its SD-WAN product as IWAN.
According to Sanjeev Mervana, senior director of service provider marketing at Cisco, the appeal of SD-WAN for service providers is that it allows them create more value-based services for the cloud that they can offer along with MPLS and VPN. “Just leveraging MPLS connectivity for small and medium businesses is not an economical model,” Mervana said. “Now this gives broader reach for service providers to go after a bigger market.”
He added that SD-WAN should not be viewed as a replacement to MPLS but as a way to add more services on top of MPLS connectivity. “It’s not about replacing but about augmenting and expanding.”