Cisco SDA Overview

Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) is a central part of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) solution and represents an exponential and fundamental shift in how we design, build, and manage networks, enabling enterprise customers to reduce Operating Expenditures (OpEx) and risk, while creating an agile infrastructure that delivers consistent policies and services over wired, wireless, and hybrid networks.


Cisco SDA MINT overview

Cisco SDA 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 SDA solution. By combining mentoring and installation, the program accelerates the adoption and deployment of the new Cisco SDA 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 SDA MINT Stages

Service Name

Service Description


At this stage, NIL Ltd. and the customer:

  • Agree on the desired outcome to cover the business objective;
  • Create and review project timelines;
  • Perform network assessment including network devices, network services such as AD, NTP, DHCP, FTP, etc., and security policies;
  • Create and review SDA High Level Design (HLD) pertaining within the scope of the above-mentioned SDA fabric network.


Deploy a Cisco DNA Center: includes setting-up hardware, installing and upgrading the software to the latest version, and verifying all network connectivity.

Installing of Cisco Identity Service Engine – physical or virtual server.


Integrate ISE with customer’s DA and/or LDAP server.

Integrate ISE with the appliance Cisco DNA Center.

Secure network with the macro-segmentation and micro-segmentation policies using Virtual Network ID (VNID) and Scalable Group Tag (SGT), respectively.


Discover the network through the Cisco DNA Center appliance.

The discovered network must meet the SDA fabric network listed above.


Complete a network device inventory through the Cisco DNA Center appliance. The number of discovered devices must meet the SDA fabric network listed above.


The Assurance engine must actively monitor the SDA fabric network. The SDA fabric must meet the requirement listed above.

Knowledge Transfer

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

  • How to navigate Cisco DNA Center;
  • How to use Cisco DNA Center Assurance to monitor network devices/clients;
  • How to troubleshoot and resolve network and end-point connectivity issues.

Project Completion

Deliver HLD and LLD (as per description above);

Customer Sign-off.


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.