Hybrid WAN vs. Internet as WAN
Your Hybrid WAN may have enabled you to send some of your traffic across an internet link to ease the burden on your MPLS connection. This can present challenges with steering the right applications over the right circuit at the right time.
Dynamic Multi-Path Selection
Steering traffic on a per-packet basis across the best available link in real time prevents black-outs and brown-outs. Pre-set performance criteria enable specific application traffic to use the cleanest, shortest, and most reliable route to access SaaS applications without backhauling traffic through a distant data center as a traditional Hybrid WAN might.
Internet as WAN
SD-WAN has enabled the emergence of private Wide Area Networks across many locations using internet only circuits. Even broadband circuits. This is revolutionary in that these broadband type circuits are a fraction of the cost of a dedicated MPLS T1 or fiber. But what about performance ?
SD-WAN enables you to aggregate 2 or more internet circuits together… running them in a Primary-Primary scenario. The “software” piece of this technology brings benefits giving your non-sla broadband circuits a similar performance quality of an SLA circuit. Here is how:
The Struggles of Traditional WAN
Traditional WAN, especially MPLS, requires a single provider to access many sites. Most often, this provider is “white labeling” or reselling the services of other providers native to your branch locations. This is called a Type 2 circuit and only adds unnecessary costs to your WAN.
Traditional WAN does not allow for branches to have direct access to cloud resources using a “hub and spoke” network design. Traffic backhauled through the datacenter carries heavy performance penalties. This is one of the major disadvantage of traditional WAN.
An MPLS network creates a single point of failure in your network and makes it very difficult to allow for a failover solution of equal performance and security without a highly expensive and complex solution.
Another drawback in traditional WAN is application traffic over internet connections lacks SLAs and the reliability needed by users. Prioritizing data over VPN between branches is difficult and causes performance challenges of key applications such as voice and video.
Benefits of SD-WAN
A Single web-based portal provides real time analytics to every connection across an entire enterprise at every site. This is one of the major advantage of SD-WAN technology because an IT leader can now see performance metrics and history of brown outs and black outs as well as diagnose performance issues caused from internal discrepancies.
SD-WAN measures the quality of each circuit at the packet level as it dynamically steers traffic to the most efficient path and runs remediation on any connection experiencing degradation due to latency, jitter, or packet loss. These two components working in tandem create an unprecedented uptime reliability.
Speed of Deployment
Orchestration and Configuration are done at a global level and allow for branch deployment in minutes rather than months. An organization can set business and security policies one time for the entire organization and push it to every branch. Edge devices are self learning and can be installed with ZERO IT-knowledge.
Branch Office Deployment
With Traditional WANs, deployment is a long and drawn out process requiring months of coordination, multiple pieces of hardware at each site, and local configuration. Even after an organization has completed the arduous task of provisioning a traditional WAN, making changes and adding new sites brings an entirely new set of challenges.
With a cloud provisioned edge services, branch connectivity happens automatically with a downloaded configuration and self learning abilities to detect links and bandwidth. Remote sites can be brought online in minutes using staff with ZERO IT-knowledge.
Global Policy Creation
Business and security policies can be set one time, globally, for all sites.
Many organizations may have many branches but only a couple different branch profiles. These profiles can be created for a pilot site and deployed to all similar sites without starting over each time.
Accessing cloud applications from multiple devices in multiple locations presents new challenges in network security today. How does an organization effectively secure traffic when it leaves the private MPLS network? SD-WAN can help.
With Several different deployment architectures, a Cloud-delivered SD-WAN architecture accommodates the needs of the most sensitive companies. Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables visibility into data center and SaaS application use, allows for network wide security policies, and inserts local and third party security services whenever needed.
The flexibility of branch deployment models allows for the level of security you need.
Securing the complexity of an increasing number of VPN tunnels is key in maintaining a secure environment without routing traffic back to a central data center. Cloud based SD-WAN can leverage hosted security facilities, both for VPN termination, as well as for insertion of other services including firewalling and cloud-based-security, such as Zscaler. This level of protection will ensure that your Company, brand, employees, and customers are all protected appropriately.
Cloud application / hosted controller
Management and control are provisioned and configured in the cloud delivering cloud SaaS/IaaS traffic to the cloud SD-WAN node while data center traffic continues to flow directly to the data center node.
Advantages of SD-WAN
In comparison to traditional WAN, SD-WAN delivers cost reduction, 10x faster deployments, Central management, and increased cloud application performance. SD-WAN enables business managers to deploy any type of internet connection from MPLS to broadband to LTE easily, quickly, and with increased quality, reliability, and security. Below is the brief overview of SD WAN technology and its new features:
Simplify Branch Network
Provisioning is easy and fast. With a single web based portal you can configure branch locations with automated zero touch deployments. Orchestration, monitoring, and troubleshooting tools make ongoing management simple.SD-WAN makes it possible to streamline branch infrastructure by inserting network services on the branch edge, in the cloud, or in your data center.
Optimize Application Performance
Optimize application performance over private, hybrid, or internet connections with direct, secure access to enterprise and cloud applications. SD-WAN provides direct, secure access to enterprise and cloud applications, reducing latency and improving performance.
SD-WAN allows for savings up to 60% when compared to traditional WAN configurations. SD-WAN allows for utilization of the highest quality connections available at the lowest price at each branch location. SD-WAN can be delivered on a purpose-built hardware device, virtual machine, or an existing x86 based router.