Cisco SDWAN on IOS-XE router with new features

Why SDWAN on IOS-XE Router?
Cisco acquired Viptela to have the SD-WAN solution in its portfolio. At the same time, Cisco has a huge routing install base. One to protect the customer existing investment done on best of breed hardware and other to provide the SD-WAN features on the already installed router to reap the benefits of next-generation routing that is to provide cost reduction, time-to-market speed-up, better application experience and the extending branch to the cloud. 

Fig 1.1- Cisco SDWAN on IOS-XE
Viptela SD-WAN on Cisco IOS-XE Router 
This article covers the SDWAN features on Cisco IOS-XE routers. SD-WAN features on IOS-XE image is not the additional feature on top of available feature-sets. Instead, this includes only the relevant features that make sense for SD-WAN features sets. 

SD-WAN on IOS-XE devices (ISR 1k, 4k, and ASR-1k) follow the Viptela SDWAN framework where vManage takes care of the device configuration and the monitoring. 

What all you need to deploy SD-WAN on Cisco IOS-XE Routers?
Yes, you need hardware that runs on the universal IOS image (IOS-XE). SDWAN capability first introduced on ISR 4000 Series Routers that include 4331. Now the list of hardware that supports SD-WAN includes all ISR 4000 router, ISR 1000 routers and ASR 1001-X, 1002-X, and -HX. The minimum 4GB DRAM required on ISR 4000 and 1000 routers and 8GB on ASR 1000 routers. 

What about the existing modules support?
Not all the modules are supported with SD-WAN image. It is recommended to read the release notes for SD-WAN IOS-XE image to know the supported modules on the router. 

Software Requirements 
Once you have the compatible hardware with supported modules. You need to check the software components of the solution. Viptela controller components include vManage, vSmart, and vBond. All the controllers should have 18.3 or higher software version. 

What about the mix environment?
If you have existing Viptela manufactured vEdge router and want to connect to cEdge (Cisco router running SD-WAN IOS-XE image) minimum software version is 17.2.1 required on vEdge routers. It is because of the BFD session established between the routers needed the code change. 

Licenses Requirement 
When considering the SD-WAN feature on IOS-XE routers or vEdge router, you need a license that controls the SD-WAN features and the bandwidth support on the edge router. Cisco has three types of routing licenses:
  • DNA Essential: overlay up to 50 devices, full-mesh topology, App-Aware Routing, Dynamic Routing (BGP, OSPF), TCP Optimization, FEC and packet deduplication, branch security features firewall and IPS
  • DNA Advantage: unlimited segmentation, vAnalytics, URL Filtering, AMP Hashing
  • DNA Premier: Cisco Umbrella insights, Cisco Threat Grid

More information on licenses, please refer the Cisco routing ordering guide

5 Easy steps can explain the process to use SDWAN on IOS-XE router:
  • Select the hardware that meets the future bandwidth growth and feature requirement 
  • Identify the License Tier (DNA Essential, Advantage or Premier)
  • Select the Bandwidth (maximum in or out)
  • Select the duration/license term (minimum 3 / 5 Years)
  • Select the type of controller deployment (on-prem or on-cloud)