Cisco releases Cloud Native SD-WAN solution for Kubernetes

Cisco has introduced an open-source project that it says could go a long way toward reducing the manual work involved in optimizing performance of Kubernetes-applications across  SD-WANs (announced at KubeCon Europe 2020

Cisco said it launched the Cloud-Native SD-WAN (CN-WAN) project to show how Kubernetes applications can be automatically mapped to SD-WAN with the result that the applications perform better over the WAN.

“In many cases, enterprises deploy an SD-WAN to connect a Kubernetes cluster with users or workloads that consume cloud-native applications. In a typical enterprise, NetOps teams leverage their network expertise to program SD-WAN policies to optimize general connectivity to the Kubernetes hosted applications, with the goal to reduce latency, reduce packet loss, etc.” wrote John Apostolopoulos, vice president and CTO of Cisco’s intent-based networking group in a group blog.

This is not a containerization of SD-WAN gateways as many can think. In a few words, Cisco has released a set of components:

Cisco releases Cloud Native SD-WAN solution for Kubernetes – CN-WAN components

  • CN-WAN Operator. This runs in the Kubernetes cluster to monitor deployed services. DevOps can add specific labels to their service metadata describing the traffic profile of it. CN-WAN operator register the service in the Service Registry along with this profile information  (i.e.  Google Service Directory)
  • CN-WAN  Reader, that is close to the SD-WAN management plane, periodically polls this Service Registry and update the CN-WAN Adaptor of this information
  •  CN-WAN Adaptor, is also allocated close  to the SD-WAN policy engine, will map those service profiles to the SD-WAN policies previously configured by the NetOps.

In summary, CN-WAN is taking advatage of the orchestration capabilities of K8s and the programability (i.e. APIs) of SD-WAN and its traffic/security policies through a centralized management plane.

More details at Cisco’s blog

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