Explore O365 Optimization with Cisco SD-WAN

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Solution Overview
Explore O365 Optimization with Cisco SD-WAN is a capability of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) designed to provide an environment to gain hands-on experience with the O365 optimizations using Cisco's SD-WAN solution. The environment that supports the lab is completely virtual, removing any hardware dependencies associated with physical infrastructure

Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is a Software as a Service (SaaS) suite that provides Web-based access to their various product offerings that were traditionally ran on local compute resources. The shift to SaaS has resulted in product offerings being represented by different endpoint addresses in Microsoft’s cloud. These endpoint addresses could be IPv4, IPv6, or FQDN addresses and are subject to frequent change. The recommendation by Microsoft for accessing O365 SaaS services is to ensure a subset of endpoints can go direct to Internet with the remaining endpoints being backhauled to a data center for remote Web access. 

Goals & Objectives

In our exploration we will bring together a proven workflow to simplify, automate, and most importantly optimize O365 workload traffic thus reducing latency from a branch site. As part of the workflow, we will not only automate the management of these endpoints, but integrate this with our SD-WAN solution to ensure the Optimize and Allow workloads are sent to the nearest egress location and therefore optimizing traffic flow in accordance with Microsoft's best practices for their SaaS offering. At the end of this exploration you should be able to recognize the following benefits of new web-based services and how SD-WAN can help realize them:

  • Automation and validation of data during publishing
  • System readable data for direct network device integration
  • Data available in JSON or CSV format
  • Includes new Optimize, Allow, Default categorization of Office 365 endpoints
  • Version change notification published alongside the data

Hardware & Software

Cisco SD-WAN Devices
1x vManage (ViptelaOS 19.2)
1x vSmart (ViptelaOS 19.2)
1x vBond (ViptelaOS 19.2)
3x cEdge CSR1000v (SD-WAN on IOS-XE 16.12.1d)

Infrastructure Devices
1x CSR1000v (IOS-XE 15.5(2)S)
2x Windows 10 Desktops