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Cisco adds Webex support to SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp

Cisco's SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp integration with Webex brings the number of supported cloud platforms and SaaS applications to 14. Cisco plans to add automation to Cloud OnRamp next.

Cisco has introduced Webex support to the SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp to let customers prioritize and secure traffic from the collaboration software.

Cisco introduced the integration this week, saying it would allow IT departments to automatically segment the SaaS application's traffic away from general internet traffic and route it through more secure, higher-quality connection paths.

Cloud OnRamp is an extension of Cisco's SD-WAN designed to simplify and automate how customers can use it to connect their on-premises environments to the cloud. It also includes security features such as intrusion detection/prevention, application-aware firewalls, URL-filtering, AMP Threat Grid and network services like load balancing.

The Webex integration with Cloud OnRamp assists IT by unifying management for all its supported apps. IT departments can manage Webex or any other supported app as if it resided in their data center.

Including Webex, Cloud OnRamp supports 14 cloud platforms and SaaS applications: Microsoft 365, Amazon Web Services, Google apps, Salesforce, Dropbox, SAP Concur, Intuit, Box, Oracle, Zendesk, Zoho, SugarCRM, GoToMeeting and Webex.

What makes Webex unique from the other supported platforms is that it's the first Cisco SaaS app added to Cloud OnRamp. Raj Gulani, Cisco's senior director of product management for SD-WAN, said the timing was part of a natural progression for Cloud OnRamp.

When Cisco launched the service, the company focused on enabling SD-WAN connectivity for cloud environments. Once Cisco accomplished that, the company moved on to a security focus, then a multicloud one. Now that Cloud OnRamp can manage a multicloud environment, it's time to focus on application performance and SaaS optimization, Gulani said.

The next phase for Cloud OnRamp is automation and observability, he said. "[After that,] I can give you a line of sight, observability for the different aspects of the stack."

Having ownership of most of the stack -- hardware, SD-WAN and cloud connectivity -- will make it easier for Cisco to develop SD-WAN automation that keeps pace with the agile, flexible cloud apps it supports, said IDC analyst Brad Casemore.

"[Cisco is] moving to a greater degree of automation across their portfolio," he said. "It took a while for network operators, the actual network users, to get comfortable with automation, but we've reached a point where it's absolutely essential."

Customers using SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp can use WebEx support at no additional cost.

Madelaine Millar is a news writer covering network technology at TechTarget. She has previously written about science and technology for MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Khoury College of Computer Science, as well as covering community news for Boston Globe Media.

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