As a lot as we’d love to jot down an article on how Cisco IT has perfected a community that by no means breaks, we’re not there but. It’s a reality of life that networks and methods do — and can proceed to — break. Actually, my dwelling ISP went down as I used to be penning this piece.

You might be pondering, ‘networks breaking is nothing new’ — and that’s true. Nevertheless, the brand new complexities launched by hybrid work means networks now break in thrilling new methods. With the rise of hybrid work, Cisco IT has run into a singular round dependency difficulty, which occurs when a community outage prevents community operators from accessing the community they should restore and troubleshoot. Particularly, if our VPN goes down, how can we entry the community to troubleshoot and triage the VPN difficulty? How can we get into our out-of-band community on this state of affairs?

SASE and Cisco+ Secure Connect work for network outage

Whereas uncommon, these sorts of outages have a big effect on the enterprise. The time to restore will increase considerably when our community operators can’t remotely entry an out-of-band community and should bodily journey to the location.

To keep away from being locked out of our personal community, we began learning the latest instruments and options, contemplating their means to create a safe, accessible community. Our staff landed on a Safe Entry Service Edge (SASE) strategy to keep away from a community operator being locked out of the out-of-band community when the in-band community is down.

The answer

Our community engineers named the answer ‘Break Glass,’ as in: Break Glass in Case of Emergency. We’ve protections in place for safety measures, however we will break them in an pressing state of affairs.

For the answer, we leveraged Cisco+ Safe Join alongside Azure Energetic Listing. Cisco+ Safe Join is Cisco’s easy and simple SASE providing, which supplies VPN-as-a-Service – finally permitting for safe connectivity and personal entry to our out-of-band community. Azure Energetic Listing allowed us to decouple out-of-band entry from the on-prem community and its dependencies. With a cloud-based VPN, it’s now fully decoupled from our community and its dependencies, and our community operators can get into the out-of-band community when the in-band community is down.

SASE and Cisco+ Secure Connect work for network outage


Joseph Bradley was the lead engineer on the undertaking and describes the explanations we chosen a SASE answer.

“We have been tasked with making a safe approach to entry the Cisco community and restore points whereas off premises — and we had an inventory of constraints. Particularly, we needed to administer the answer with a small staff, and the answer needed to be fully decoupled from our AD and IAM methods throughout an occasion. Lastly, we had to offer entry to solely a sure set of Hosts which might be used as soar hosts, and the interior answer needed to be accessible in L3 connectivity/routing. Utilizing the constraints above, our inside distant entry staff determined the most effective answer could be to make use of a mixture of merchandise that exist already, but in a novel approach. We partnered with our info safety staff, Cisco Umbrella, and Azure groups to create this distinctive answer, then improved and added options.”

To satisfy these constraints, the answer was arrange utilizing accounts which can be solely allowed to connect with the Cisco+ Safe Join service and the out-of-band community. It leverages a site-to-site VPN tunnel from the Cisco+ Safe Join service to our community staff’s out-of-band infrastructure, and supplies entry to our soar host infrastructure that enables our community engineers to entry out-of-band ports on our community gadgets.

A thought-starter for additional functions of SASE

Challenge ‘Break Glass’ has sparked curiosity of how we will use SASE to resolve extra challenges. One utility of SASE that the Cisco IT staff is contemplating is acquisition integration. Cisco has many tenants that want entry to their very own cloud sources. Traditionally, we constructed bespoke community or safety stacks on-premises. Nevertheless, with SASE, we may facilitate this connectivity securely, with out constructing on-prem community stacks.

One other utility of SASE is for safe web entry for Cloud Desktop (DaaS). A SASE-based web edge for cloud digital machines would permit us to keep away from backhauling to the enterprise community. For the person, this will increase efficiency with no compromise in safety, because the person’s machine has direct entry to the cloud. IT groups not must take care of managed {hardware} gadgets — the fully management the digital machine and may apply updates or safety patches irrespective of the place the person is, with no dependency on {hardware}.

Keep tuned as we proceed experimenting with functions of SASE and Cisco+ Safe Join in future blogs. And, we’re curious the way you’re utilizing SASE inside your enterprise networks. Tell us on the @CiscoIT Twitter, or within the feedback.

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