Cisco debuts new Catalyst family of WAN edge platforms

Cisco said the platforms aim to meld SD-WAN with cloud security, providing better integration and more secure access to cloud applications.

Cisco on Tuesday rolled out updates to its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) portfolio, including the launch of new edge platforms that the company said represent the first enterprise routing platform of this caliber from Cisco in nearly a decade.

Cisco said the platforms aim to meld SD-WAN with cloud security, providing better integration and more secure access to cloud applications. 

According to Cisco, the new Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms are built to manage cloud adoption, offering flexible options for secure connectivity and visibility to applications across cloud, data center and edge.

Cisco said the Catalyst 8000 Edge family is foundational to its intent-based networking portfolio. The family includes the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platform, which Cisco said is designed for data center, colocation, and aggregation sites. The Catalyst 8300 Series Edge Platforms are meant to handle edge connectivity at branch sites, while the Catalyst 8000v Edge Software delivers all the same capabilities in software form.

Cisco notes that it's calling these devices "edge platforms" versus "routers" because the definition of a router has evolved over recent years to be more of a WAN edge device; providing connectivity from distributed locations to both data centers and the cloud, acting as more of an edge of the network. 

Cisco also introduced Catalyst Cellular Gateways that support connecting remote sites via wireless WAN technologies. The networking giant said the gateways will pave the way for 5G connectivity in the branch office.

"With the proliferation of applications, workloads and services becoming more distributed across the edge-cloud continuum, organizations are facing new realities at the WAN edge," said JL Valente, VP of product management for Cisco's Intent-Based Networking Group. "The Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms bridge the WAN edge and the cloud edge, providing secure, high-performance connectivity for distributed users to any cloud while delivering IT visibility and business agility."

The Cisco Catalyst 8300 and 8500 models and Cisco Cellular Catalyst Gateways are available today, while the Cisco Catalyst 8000v is planned for availability in December.