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Cisco Controllers Deployment Options

Cisco SD-WAN has three controllers. They are vManage, vBond and vSmart. There are many options to deploy SD-WAN controllers.

The main requirement to deploy SD-WAN controllers is that the controllers must be IP reachable from end devices and other controllers. The actual location of controllers is flexible. They can be hosted on the cloud or on-premise.

Based on the location of controllers, we can classify Cisco SD-WAN deployment options into three types:

1. Cisco Controller as a Service



Cisco Controller as a Service

When you choose a Cisco-hosted controller deployment option, the infrastructure of the controllers is managed by the Cisco Cloud Ops team. This team makes sure that:

– Your controllers are up, online, and reachable

– The public IP addresses of your company are allowed to access them (You provide these IP addresses)

– There is redundancy in place. For example, in the U.S., we deploy them on East and West coast cloud centers.

Cisco will perform the initial installation of the controllers for you and provide you with the required information to access them. To get in touch with CloudOps at any point, you can open a TAC case using technology > SD-WAN, and then you’ll see a choice for Cloud Ops. With the Cisco-hosted model, you are responsible for actually configuring, upgrading, and using the controllers as you would in an on-prem install. What it means is that you are still the one creating device templates, policies, logging into vManage to do something, etc. The CloudOps team is just making sure you can reach the controllers and that they are healthy.

Managed Service Provider

These are the third-party Service Provider that manages our vManage, vBond, and Vsmart. They ensure that our SD-WAN controllers are reachable at all times.

Some of the Managed Service Providers on which we can deploy SD-WAN controllers are

Google Cloud

Microsoft Azure

Amazon AWS


We can deploy SD-WAN controllers on our own data center. We can deploy SD-WAN controllers in different types of hypervisors such as KVM and ESXI.

We must ensure that the NAT operation is performed on the vBond IP if private IP is used for the vBond Deployment and if edge devices are configured with Public IP.

Hardware requirement for SDWAN Controller installation on Data Center



32GB Memory

Disk 1: 30GB

Disk 2: 100GB



4 GB Memory

Disk 1: 10.5GB (Approx. image size)



2GB Memory

Disk 1: 10.5GB (Approx. image size)

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Fig: SD-WAN controllers’ deployment in Data Center

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