SD-WAN - vEdge vs cEdge

In a Cisco SD-WAN deployment, there are two types of edge devices that can be provisioned: cEdge and vEdge. Here are the main differences between them.

cEdge (Cisco Integrated Services Routers)

  • Hardware-Based: cEdge devices are typically hardware-based and are part of Cisco's Integrated Services Routers (ISR) and Aggregation Services Routers (ASR) series.
  • IOS XE Operating System: They run on Cisco's IOS XE operating system, which is a more traditional Cisco operating system used in a wide range of Cisco hardware.
  • Integration with Legacy Systems: cEdge routers are often used in environments where there is a need to integrate with existing Cisco-based infrastructure and services.
  • Feature Set: They support a broad range of traditional routing features and services, in addition to SD-WAN capabilities.
  • Unified Management: cEdge devices can be managed through the Cisco vManage platform, allowing for unified management with vEdge routers in a mixed environment.

vEdge (Versatile Edge Routers)

  • Purpose-Built for SD-WAN: vEdge routers are purpose-built for SD-WAN and are a part of the Viptela acquisition by Cisco.
  • Viptela Operating System: These devices run on the Viptela operating system, which is designed specifically for SD-WAN applications.
  • Hardware and Software Options: vEdge is available in both hardware form factors (such as vEdge 100, 1000, 2000 series) and as a virtual appliance (vEdge Cloud).
  • SD-WAN Focused Features: While they provide comprehensive SD-WAN functionalities, they might not have as broad a range of traditional routing features as cEdge devices.
  • Management: They are also managed through the Cisco vManage platform, providing a centralized management and orchestration solution.

While both cEdge and vEdge devices are integral parts of Cisco's SD-WAN solution and can be managed using the same management platform (vManage), they differ in their underlying technology, purpose, and integration capabilities. cEdge devices are more suited for environments that require integration with existing Cisco infrastructure and support a wider range of traditional networking features, while vEdge devices are specifically tailored for SD-WAN deployments with a focus on simplicity and efficiency in new installations.

The configuration syntax and show commands on these devices are also different. For examples, you can see the links below.