Cisco ThousandEyes Technical Part 3: Cisco SD-WAN Monitoring

ThousandEyes (Solutions Integration) 

Technical Part 3


Welcome back we discussed Agents and the Tests in our previous articles. Based on the application or component that you want to monitor, there are different types of tests – routing, DNS, Network and Voice Tests.

Another thing to keep in mind whatever traffic that is generated by ThousandEyes agents is synthetic means it simulates an end-user and there is no way that dashboard capture actual user traffic.  From compliance perspective user traffic is not going to ThousandEyes dashboard.

ThousandEyes supports various Cisco technologies integrations – Cisco SD-WAN, MS office 365 and Cisco WebEx. Today we are going to cover the visibility & troubleshooting features of ThousandEyes for Cisco SD-WAN.


SD-WAN comes with several benefits while redesigning the WAN however, it has some challenges –

  • Being an overlay technology, it hides the underlay network complexity and therefore has limited visibility across underlay network
  • Although Cisco SD-WAN provides the automated workflows to connect to the public cloud for SaaS applications and IaaS datacenters but has no visibility of Internet, SaaS and other IaaS offerings


Cisco ThousandEyes complement the SD-WAN solution by providing the solution to the challenges discussed above. Not only this, Cisco ThousandEyes can provide the complete lifecycle management for SD-WAN solution –

  • Before SD-WAN Adoption – it can assist network administrators to assess the branch readiness in terms of understanding the underlay performance of underlay and baseline the current state
  • Day 0 – it can assist network administrator during the implementation of SD-WAN technology and solve the onboarding problems related to identify the service providers issues; collect the before and after network SLA metrics
  • Day 2 & n – it can assist network administrator to verify the pushed intent expressed in form of policies. It gives insights after policy implementation and network performance

Figure 1:ThousandEyes SD-WAN Integration – Performance Overlay Apps (Private and Public DC); Underlay & Underlay Monitoring (MPLS & Internet Circuits/Tunnels); Branch to DC communications

As we already discussed about the capability of the ThousandEyes solution in our introduction article, it is not only limited to detecting the latency, loss, and jitter. It provides the Digital Experience Monitoring end-to-end from user till application.

For private on-Prem applications DEM can include test from branch agents to Data Center Network Agents over SD-WAN overlay network. Not only this, web layer tests with tunnel network visibility, provide the root cause quickly whenever there is any potential issue.

This capability not limited to on-Prem applications but for cloud applications as well.

Underlay Monitoring

Underlay monitoring is performed using the various options – branch agents sending network tests to the DC edge device; Multiple ICMP tests to Remote site Internet IP address configured on Interface; DIA performance using the test for public IP addresses; Monitoring MPLS IP addresses configured on Interfaces.

All above tests provides solutions to various limitations that are faced by administrators during SD-WAN adoption. ThousandEyes provides capability to define the complex test as well using multiple agents with PBR configuration to simulate user traffic for multiple applications over network.

 SLA Visibility

ThousandEyes enables administrators to have network availability and performance data to understand the SD-WAN network condition. ThousandEyes gives the capability to define the custom view of the various widgets to have the SLA visibility.

Fig 1.2- ThousandEyes Report

In summary, ThousandEyes very well gel will other solutions that are in customer existing environment or customer is planning to adopt – to measure and protect the user Digital Experience Monitoring. It comes up as an effective tool for network administrator to reduce the Time to innocence (time network team take to find out it is not the network issue). Want to understand this solution integration in more details? Learn More