Enabling WAN Insights

To start using WAN Insights, you must have an existing network that is based on Cisco SD-WAN with vAnalytics turned on. Review the prerequisites below and then see How to Activate ThousandEyes WAN Insights for instructions on self-service onboarding.

WAN Insights activation occurs in the same data region as your vAnalytics instance. WAN Insights activations made from a U.S. vAnalytics instance will receive a ThousandEyes account in the same region, while activations from an EMEA vAnalytics instance will receive a ThousandEyes account in the EMEA region. Currently, provisioning in a different region is not supported.

Customer Eligibility

Cisco SD-WAN customers with DNA Advantage or Premier license entitlement are eligible to use WAN Insights. A self-service WAN Insights activation button is available through the Cisco vAnalytics interface.

You don’t need to have a pre-existing ThousandEyes license in order to activate WAN Insights. When a SD-WAN customer activates WAN Insights, they are provisioned with a ThousandEyes organization that has access to the WAN Insights portion of the ThousandEyes user interface. A ThousandEyes license is assigned as part of the onboarding process.

Environments where a single vManage instance is shared across multiple entities (tenants) are supported as described in the Special Notes for Multi-Tenant Deployments section on this page.


Prior to activating and using WAN Insights, customers should do the following:

  • Activate vAnalytics on the SD-WAN overlay as described on the Cisco vAnalytics page section titled “Onboarding Cisco vAnalytics”. The vAnalytics instance must be in a supported data region, for example the US data region.

  • If your users are connecting to SaaS applications via Direct Internet Access (DIA) paths, you must enable Cloud OnRamp (CoR) in your SD-WAN.

  • Activate deep packet inspection (DPI), Flexible Netflow (FNF), or SD-WAN Application Intelligence Engine (SAIE) in vManage. Which you use depends on your vManage release version – enable DPI for 20.7.x earlier, or SAIE for 20.8.x and up.

  • Any new application profiles and SLA quality thresholds must be pre-configured in vManage.

  • To use the capacity planning feature, it is recommended that you review existing circuit bandwidth settings in vManage for accuracy and completeness. (Note that vManage only lets you configure egress traffic not ingress.)

Supported SD-WAN Software Versions

WAN Insights relies on data from Cisco SD-WAN components including cEdge and vEdge routers, and vSmart, vBond, and vManage controllers. Each of these has its own set of software versions as listed below.

Supported cEdge and vEdge Versions

  • cEdge: 16.12 and higher

  • vEdge: 18.4 and higher

  • cEdge: 17.3.3 and higher

  • vEdge: 20.1 and higher

  • Controllers (vSmart, vBond, vManage) : 20.3 or newer

vManage Version

WAN Insights doesn’t require a specific vManage version in order to generate recommendations. However, in order to make fullest use of the workflow to Request to Apply a recommendation, vManage v.20.12 is required.

For the Apply Recommendation workflow described in Applying WAN Insights Recommendations, WAN Insights checks the vManage version. If it is anything below 20.12, the Request to Apply button is not available.

Special Requirements for Throughput Analysis

Regarding the graph titled Throughput and Quality Analysis: The circuit bandwidth feature works only on cEdge routers, and is not supported on vEdges. The minimal software version to see accurate bandwidth data from cEdge routers is:

  • cEdge: 17.9.3

  • Controllers (vSmart, vBond, vManage): 20.9.3

vAnalytics Versions

There is no specific version requirement for vAnalytics, other than that it is enabled and is generating historical data for WAN Insights.

Special Notes for Multi-Tenant Deployments

If a WAN Insights customer is using multiple tenants, i.e., the same vManage instance across multiple customer organizations or geographical regions, there are a few items on the WAN Insights user interface that may work differently than expected.

For vManage 20.12 or higher, if a customer has DPI sampling enabled in vManage, the bandwidth values shown in the Capacity Planning (capacity saturation) and Throughput and Quality Analysis (traffic volumes) will not be correct.

For vManage versions pre-v20.12:

  • Same DPI sampling limitation as above

  • No custom application categories. The out-of-the-box Application Categories are still available.

For customers with single-tenant deployments, these limitations do not apply.

Audience Assumptions

This documentation is written for seasoned network and IT teams, in particular individuals who already possess expertise in Cisco SD-WAN networking and the use of Cisco’s Application-Aware Routing (AAR) feature. We assume that readers of this documentation are already knowledgeable and proficient in the use of Cisco SD-WAN solutions to support large enterprise networks.

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