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Break glass in case of emergency: How a SASE strategy can clear up distant community outages

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 techniques do — and can proceed to — break. Actually, my dwelling ISP went down as I used to be penning this piece.

It’s possible you’ll be considering, ‘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 novel round dependency problem, 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 will we entry the community to troubleshoot and triage the VPN problem? How will we get into our out-of-band community on this scenario?

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 not remotely entry an out-of-band community and should bodily journey to the positioning.

To keep away from being locked out of our personal community, we began learning the latest instruments and options, contemplating their capability to create a safe, accessible community. Our crew 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 now have protections in place for safety measures, however we are able to break them in an pressing scenario.

For the answer, we leveraged Cisco+ Safe Join alongside Azure Lively Listing. Cisco+ Safe Join is Cisco’s easy and simple SASE providing, which offers VPN-as-a-Service – in the end permitting for safe connectivity and personal entry to our out-of-band community. Azure Lively 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 utterly 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 challenge and describes the explanations we chosen a SASE resolution.

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

To fulfill these constraints, the answer was arrange utilizing accounts which might be solely allowed to hook up 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 crew’s out-of-band infrastructure, and offers entry to our bounce host infrastructure that enables our community engineers to entry out-of-band ports on our community units.

A thought-starter for additional purposes of SASE

Challenge ‘Break Glass’ has sparked curiosity of how we are able to use SASE to unravel further challenges. One utility of SASE that the Cisco IT crew is contemplating is acquisition integration. Cisco has many tenants that want entry to their very own cloud assets. 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 enable 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 now not should cope with managed {hardware} units — the utterly management the digital machine and might apply updates or safety patches irrespective of the place the person is, with no dependency on {hardware}.

Keep tuned as we proceed experimenting with purposes 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.

Inside Cisco IT Weblog






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