Cisco SD-WAN Overview

Digital transformation is changing IT architectures across the world. Your network team must now manage complex edge and multicloud environments to ensure consistent everyday operations. Everything must operate as a single WAN.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) create even more complexity and place additional demands on your network. These connected endpoints proliferate on your network while workforce mobility grows. Access to information, optimal performance, and comprehensive security must be delivered no matter where people work. There can be no compromise.

It’s a challenge for any IT team, but it’s one that can be navigated with confidence when you choose Cisco Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).

Cisco provides a complete SD-WAN fabric for unparalleled control over your network with automated security built into the solution, creating optimal, secure connectivity from branch to colocation facility and cloud.

 

Cisco SD-WAN MINT overview

Cisco SD-WAN Mentored Install Network Training (MINT) program is an authorized hands-on training program that helps you gain skills and master best practices while deploying the Cisco SD-WAN solution. By combining mentoring and installation, the program accelerates the adoption and deployment of the new Cisco SD-WAN solution in your environment and helps you achieve your desired outcomes.

 

Why choose NIL as your MINT partner?

NIL has been a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, System Integrator, and Cisco Platinum Learning Partner for over 25 years. We educate Cisco engineers, develop official Cisco courseware, and have expertise, experience and capability to make sure that your solution is properly deployed and configured.

NIL is an authorized Cisco partner for providing MINT programs for Cisco SDA, Cisco DNA Center, Cisco SD-WAN, Cisco ACI, Cisco HyperFlex, and Cisco Tetration technologies. We have extensive experience delivering different MINT projects to organizations worldwide that result in high customer satisfaction and faster particular technology adoption.

All our MINT programs are fully customizable. This means that the basic scope is predefined, in order to ensure best practices and key objectives are covered. However, the exact delivery is tailored to your specific environment and requirements, ensuring optimal outcome of the service.

 

Objectives of engagement

  1. Discover the customer outcome desires through investigation of the current situation and steps needed to achieve the goal.
  2. Deployment and configuration of the solution.
  3. Customer enablement and knowledge transfer for continued operation and maintenance of the environment.
  4. Functional solution, with accompanying project documentation.

 

Scope of Work

SoW is predefined to an extent, but will be solidified and agreed upon after the initial situation and outcome discovery.

 

Roles and responsibilities

NIL will do the majority of the work, however, in order to ensure high customer satisfaction and achieve the desired goals, a customer is expected to provide the following:

  • Stakeholder discovery workshop participation
  • Preparation of the environment for the beginning of configuration, which includes, but may not be limited to:
    • Rack space
    • Power capacity
    • Cooling capacity
    • Equipment stacking
    • Infrastructure pre-configuration
  • Customer engineers that will participate in all steps of the project for:
    • Knowledge transfer
    • Testing support
    • Support for integration with the existing environment
  • Plan of test scenarios to determine operational acceptance of the solution situation and outcome discovery.

 

Cisco SD-WAN MINT Stages

Service Name

Service Description

Design

At this stage, NIL Ltd. and the customer:

  • Agree on the desired outcome to achieve the business objective;
  • Create and agree upon project timelines;
  • Perform network assessment, including network devices, device licensing, WAN links (performance, reliability, and availability), and network services (AD, DHCP, PnP, NTP, etc.);
  • Create and review SD-WAN High Level Design (HLD) pertaining to and within the scope of the SD-WAN fabric network.

Installation

Deploy all necessary components of the solution:

  • Install and configure required hardware;
  • Deploy SD-WAN controllers with HA on premise, in the cloud, or a combination of both;
  • Perform post-installation tasks such as licensing and certificate management to bring up the SD-WAN Control Plane.
  • Deploy SD-WAN routers at a test site and bring up secure Data Plane.

Configuration

Define a limited number of configuration templates for Day-0 onboarding and Day-N configuration management.

Policy Development

Define a limited number of policies to implement arbitrary topologies based on customer requirements and deploy local internet breakouts along with any required security services.

Knowledge Transfer

Instructions (in the total amount of 4 hours) are to comprise the following:

  • Navigating the vManage controller;
  • Monitoring the status of the SD-WAN fabric (control and data plane);
  • Onboarding and licensing new SD-WAN devices.

 

Next steps after MINT

Your environment is now set up and running. Your team has the basic knowledge and capability to keep it operational.

But maybe you want additional functionality, are looking into further integration, or are even considering a completely new solution, based on a different technology.

For all of these instances, you can turn to NIL to help you move further along. We offer training on the whole range of Cisco products and solutions. Those trainings span from official courses to highly customized workshops that can be tailored to your very specific needs.

In addition, we offer both additional MINT services, as well as full consultancy engagements that extend well beyond pure Cisco deployments and integrations. And we will be more than happy to help you out with any of these challenges and offer proper guidance.