Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What is an SD-WAN?

The use of SDN in data centers in a time of software defined networking has made possible the integration of business IT infrastructure with more automated systems. This adoption has also allowed enterprises to create virtual networks and micro segmentation, two things that were unheard of in the past. This capability alone has showcased the true value of SDN when it comes to bridging the gap between the traditional and the automated world of business network systems.  
That beings said, data centers are not the only ones that can benefit from the use of a software defined hand. Being able to stitch together remote offices with the help of a MPLS network is more effective and efficient, especially since it uses L2 and L3 connectivity capabilities and guarantees the highest security. While a broadband option does lack the kind of diverse functionality of a provider’s MPLS cloud, they do provide more bandwidth for the same cost.
In a perfect world, a company could use broadband connectivity for more interoffice traffic while using MPLS links for more critical tasks. Although it is possible to configure routers to do that kind of hybrid WAN, the result is a complex configuration which the network managers have to tackle. Besides, even with this type of WAN implementation it is highly unlikely that the initial deployment will be set in stone and will not be in need of any further configuration. This is because of the simple reason that as application profiles change so does WAN router configurations as well. This is where SD WAN products can help a company since it addresses all of these problems by automating the entire process by running traffic over a hybrid broadband and private MPLS links. What you get in return are these three benefits.

Increased Flexibility

SD-WAN technology allows a hybrid WAN to react in the proper way to the network’s conditions as they change with time. This in turn, increases the flexibility of the system, meaning that an organization can plan a reduced budget for an opex for their WAN infrastructure and capex for new circuits that are needed.

Reduced Cost

With a SD-WAN system an organization is able to rely on broadband and less on the use of private networks. Since broadband cannot offer quality guarantees the SD-WAN is used to fill the gap by analyzing data between endpoints to find out if a broadband link is really capable of carrying out the functions that are required of it. This is the reason why organizations need to invest more on cheaper broadband links and lesser on private ones.

Reduced Amount of Complexity

Needless to say, having to configure a hybrid WAN by hand is a pain. The main reason is that routing protocols aren’t known for reacting to the changes in network circumstances, for instance, excessive jitter or packet loss. That’s because routing protocols don’t include that data in their best path calculations. While techniques such as PfR and IP SLA can change those metrics, they are very complex. On the other hand, SD-WAN is capable of handling this kind of task with relative ease, making sure that all routing and rerouting traffic is based according to the current state of the network.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home