Cisco Enhances SD-WAN with Microsoft Azure vWAN Integration Placeholder Image

It’s been a busy week for Microsoft, and Cisco isn’t missing out on the action. The networking giant today announced new integrations with Microsoft Azure aimed at improving application performance.

The new integration, which will enter testing in early 2020, introduces support for Azure Virtual WAN to Cisco’s Viptela SD-WAN platform.

“This integration will enable customers to seamlessly extend their WAN to Microsoft Azure Cloud and, in parallel, deliver optimized Office 365 experiences,” said Sachin Gupta, VP of product management at Cisco.

Gupta says the addition of Azure vWAN support is part of an ongoing partnership with Microsoft announced last year, which the company claims has already helped to boost application performance by 40% by directing Office 365 traffic to the closest network point of presence.

By leveraging Azure vWAN, Gupta says Cisco SD-WAN customers can not only benefit from enhanced application performance, but they can do so without compromising on security.

Cisco also announced deeper integration with Office 365 allowing its SD-WAN platform in order to provide better network routing and performance.

The companies expect support for Azure vWAN to begin rolling out to existing Cisco SD-WAN deployments in mid-2020.

“These new capabilities will just become additional value that they [enterprises] can start consuming,” Gupta said, adding that once in public release, customers will be able to simply flip a switch in the Viptela cloud console and take advantage of Azure vWAN.

Cisco Joins Azure vWAN Fan Club

Cisco isn’t, however, the first to team up with Microsoft let alone announce support for Azure vWAN in a bid to improve Office 365 and software-as-a-Service performance.

Cisco’s biggest competitor in the SD-WAN space, VMware, rolled out support for Azure vWAN at last year’s Microsoft Ignite conference. The company was followed by several SD-WAN vendors over the next few months including RiverBed in late 2018 and CloudGenix this summer.

On Monday, Silver Peak and Nokia Nuage joined the party after each announced partnerships with Microsoft, which included Azure vWAN integrations.

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