Cisco SD-WAN Edge Platform

Cisco SD-WAN


Cisco SD-WAN Edge Platform


Lately, Cisco Catalyst 8000 edge platforms are announced as a new Cisco SD-WAN edge platform which can drive many new features and delivers SD-WAN success. These new flexible edge platforms support SD-WAN and cloud networking use cases and there are three major platforms within the Catalyst 8000 family:


The Cisco Catalyst 8500 is designed to replace the ASR 1001-HX / ASR 1002-HX and is positioned at the data center/colocation for extremely high performance.


The Cisco Catalyst 8300 is designed to replace the ISR4400 and is positioned at the branch. This innovative platform offers very good performance but also focuses on delivering services like switching, VoIP, security and more at the branch in a compact footprint.


The Cisco Catalyst 8000v is positioned to replace the CSR100v. This one is designed to run in virtual environments and on cloud marketplaces such as VMWare ESXi and Amazon AWS.


The Catalyst 8000 Is More Than a Router

So What the is an edge platform really? Well, these platforms can do a lot more than just routing. The Cisco 8000 series platform offers a lot of compute power which can be put to use to run KVM based containers such as Thousand Eyes, Wireshark and more. Also IOS-XE SD-WAN mode provides strong support for programmability and automation. These devices can be interacted with via custom automation and programmability solution, or through Cisco’s campus automation tool DNA Center, or the company’s WAN automation tool vManage.



Previously, if you wanted to run the Cisco SD-WAN feature set, you had to install one image and If you wanted traditional IOS-XE, you had to install another image. However, after IOS XE 17.2, you can use a universal binary and boot into whichever mode you want. Be sure to back up your config when moving between images as there are some circumstances where it can get blown away.

SD-WAN Edge Platform


40G and 100G Interfaces

Nowadays, WAN and LAN interconnects are getting faster. Cisco Catalyst 8000 series can provide 40G and 100G connections which are required to deliver more powerful and consistent services. Powered by the all-new third-generation QuantumFlow Processor (QFP) Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), the Cisco Catalyst 8000 series platforms can enable this connectivity and forward high levels of IPSec throughput. If you’re still utilizing 10G/1G ports, these platforms can offer high-density port counts for those use cases.

cisco sd wan architecture


Cisco Catalyst 8000 License

These edge platforms use the DNA subscription licenses and plug-and-play licenses to be registered properly into your Cisco SD-WAN environments. These licenses can be purchased and assigned to the vManage, based on the encrypted bandwidth that are needed for the network.

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