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iWANT CGX Challenge – The journey so far

SD-WAN CloudGenixThe iWANT CloudGenix Challenge has come a long way since it’s kick-off in Las Vegas in the summer. Over the last few months we’ve painted cities and towns across the US CloudGenix orange. We thought we’d take a breather for a second and share with you some of our results.

Tested across verticals

Technology research and consulting, multinational software companies, law firms, investment banking, healthcare, global pharmaceuticals, energy industry, home furnishing, non-profit charities – these are examples of industries where customers have stepped up and taken the iWANT CloudGenix Challenge—the results have been stunning. 30+ challenges and 30+ wins for CloudGenix, even with enterprises with deep relationships and a traditional commitment to Cisco.

Tested for critical use cases

During each challenge, our participants had three key tasks to evaluate on CloudGenix IONs and Cisco iWAN. We identified three important use cases based on customer feedback:

  1. Set up and configure an SD-WAN including remote offices and data centers; ensuring multiple forms of connectivity, such as Internet broadband and MPLS, are used in active-active mode.
  2. Enable direct-to-Internet selectively for cloud-based applications (Office 365, SFDC.com, Box, etc.) with performance-based load-balancing across other paths.
  3. Monitor network SLA and application SLA.

Results with Cisco

Cisco consistently proved to be complex, not cloud-ready, and failed at providing a usable monitoring function. Customers experienced the following with Cisco:

  1. Cisco’s complexity frustrated all participants as they struggled to get it up and running. As a customer in North Carolina said, “Even for a simple task of setting up a basic SD-WAN, iWAN is very complicated…it is rigid and convoluted to setup, manage and monitor iWAN and today we experienced it firsthand.”
  2. With Cisco iWAN, customers cannot direct a specific application (such as Office 365 or SFDC.com or box.com) to the Internet. It had to be IP-based and an all-or nothing approach. The reality for customers is that they want to specify a particular application to take the direct-to-internet path and have it load-balance across other paths based on performance and business criticality. Cisco iWAN not being cloud-ready, despite the marketing, was a huge let-down to customers.
  3. Truth be told, based on years of less-than-stellar experience with Cisco network monitoring solutions, customers’ expectations weren’t high on performance monitoring from Cisco. But Cisco managed to beat low expectations – multiple systems needing manual configurations, systems being extremely unresponsive even for small data loads, systems not being in sync, and needing to purchase extremely expensive third party solutions – all made this extremely disappointing for customers. As a customer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania said, “iWAN is trying to be automated, but it’s still converting it back to CLI in the background and using antiquated EEM to do the job. What a façade.

Results with CloudGenix

For many customers, being used to a Cisco-based infrastructure, iWAN had seemed like the natural progression. However, CloudGenix outperformed iWAN on all of the challenge tasks, providing them with a solution that gave them a powerful transition to SD-WAN.

  1. Customers found CloudGenix very intuitive and simple to use. “The system is intuitive and not only does it enable us to have better performance for less money, but also host a far more versatile network”. “CloudGenix is streamlined, no clutter or confusion.”
  2. Customers were able to easily specify policies for their cloud applications. They were able to route O365 and other cloud-based applications direct-to-internet in a secure manner. At the same time, CloudGenix ensured that if the direct path wasn’t the best performing, it automatically load-balanced across other available paths. “With CloudGenix, we can now leverage less expensive fiber connections with more bandwidth capacity, providing a compelling ROI that enabled my organization to enhance performance and reallocate that budget to our cloud initiative.”
  3. The rich and powerful analytics provided the end user visibility not only on how the different circuits are performing but also visibility on application specific performance on those paths. Importantly, the data is actionable – CloudGenix uses the information to automatically address changing network conditions. Where there is a true network problem, the visibility dramatically reduces network troubleshooting time. “CloudGenix turned the light on in a dark room, driving immediate value from an application visibility perspective”. “With CloudGenix, we had all of the rich metrics at our finger tips to understand how our critical applications were performing, especially real time voice traffic.”

The winner

We’ll let you judge for yourself. You have seen the customer feedback. You have seen how a no-proprietary-hardware-solution, control over application-SLA, native, actionable analytics-based system can transform the customer experience. The iWANT CloudGenix Challenge was designed to go beyond vendor-speak and put power back in the hands of the customer. Take the challenge yourself and tell us what you think.

Our challenges are blogged and tracked on our new iWANT CloudGenix Challenge portal. To be part of this SD-WAN revolution, schedule a challenge on the portal or email IWANT@cloudgenix.com.