SD-WAN: Benefits and Performance
Applications are the lifeblood of every business today. If applications are down, business stops. If applications run slowly, worker productivity drops. Enterprises are clearly interested in managing networks more efficiently and economically. To succeed, businesses need to build it infrastructure so it can scale to match the demands of cloud applications. This involves a distributed IT model, where infrastructure is everywhere, blending cloud and edge.
The wide area network between geographically dispersed sites is the key determinant of application performance, user experience and other key IT success measures. Yet, for security reasons, most current WANs are backhauling Internet connectivity through the data center, which was never designed to support the volume and types of traffic destined for the cloud. Not only is this expensive, but performance is often compromised due to WAN bandwidth constraints at the branch and added latency from multiple connections.
The Internet has a reputation for unreliable data transmission. To address this shortcoming, SD-WAN includes sophisticated path conditioning techniques that can reconstruct packets lost in transit, avoiding re-transmission and overcome performance issues rather than simply routing traffic around the problem. This ultimately provides better resource utilization, higher application performance, improved productivity, a better user experience and lower bandwidth costs.
The concept of using software to describe resources has become the standard approach and the future of IT for all three aspects of the infrastructure (compute, storage and networking). The first step to deploying a cloud-ready WAN is moving away from legacy WAN processes and technologies to services that can support the challenges of a cloud-driven IT environment. Utilizing SD-WAN can solve many problems that are inherent in legacy WANs. Expanding this approach to the WAN further optimizes end-to-end application experience for business users and yields many benefits, such as:
Assure Business Intent SD-WAN solutions not only provide deep application
intelligence but also give IT the ability to align application priority and performance to business intent. Enterprises benefit from unprecedented levels of visibility into both legacy and cloud applications and gain the ability to assign policies to secure and control all WAN traffic.
Eliminating/reducing fragmentation SD-WAN enables network assets to be managed as a single logical entity, rather than a collection of disjointed physical ones. The resulting consistencies improve application performance, security compliance and customer experience.
Enhancing security Meeting compliance for NERC, PCI DSS, HIPAA and other regulations is easier with comprehensive security policy implementation and real‑time monitoring. Security is hardened by building encrypted tunnels between every site in the SD-WAN.
Micro Segmentation Advances in data center security now include the ability to segment traffic based on application characteristics and policies, known as micro-segmentation. Creating virtual overlays allows micro-segmentation to extend beyond the data center, and add specific QoS to the applications that need it the most.
Ensuring application performance As dynamic workloads migrate to the cloud, connections can be automatically optimized to continuously meet performance requirements.
Improving reliability Real-time traffic moves with active/active failover capabilities to ensure that end-users never perceive an outage.
Increasing flexibility SD-WAN enables IT teams to proactively identify and resolve potential issues—in real time, and perhaps, before issues are even detected or reported by end-users.
High Application Availability Tunnel bonding technology pools connectivity from multiple sources to create a single logical connection from one, two or more different WAN links. Application traffic is mapped to a primary bonded tunnel based on its performance and availability requirements. Packets may be sent across all the available physical links, and keeps things in order, even if the delay varies between the different paths.
Providing real-time management and visibility Real-time measurement, information and status updates across SD-WAN enable admins to function with much greater efficiency.
Reducing management and operational complexity Managing logical entities enables administrative operators to optimize networks at a higher, strategic level, rather than tactically optimizing each circuit one‑by‑one.