With the oncoming storm that is Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), the way we typically monitor our devices is going to change. Lately I have been seeing a lot traction around Velocloud IPFIX support. This blog will go over what SD-WAN is and how we can use Velocloud’s IPFIX exports to help monitor this new infrastructure.
SD-WAN is a specific application relating to SDN (Software-Defined Networking). Since it aims to allow an engineer to manage all of their WAN circuits from a single interface (decoupling the control and data planes), it can be a scary concept for engineers to grasp, since you can potentially lose a lot of visibility into the network you once managed. Here is where IPFIX support comes into play. If you don’t think SD-WAN is coming here is quote from Gartner:
“By the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN technology in their branches, up from less than 1% today” – Andrew Lerner (December 2015) Source
Much like how you are reporting on your switches, routers, and firewalls now, the transition to an SD-WAN network can also come with IPFIX/NetFlow support. This is something to keep in mind as you are moving forward to make sure you have the ability to manage all these new devices and circuits.
Velocloud is an SD-WAN vendor that has resolutely dealt with the problem when it comes to SD-WAN routers. They have decided to adopt IPFIX exports and offer a full 1:1 data stream to your favorite collector. I hope that this trend continues as other SD-WAN vendors sprout up. They also offer some assistance with application performance (maybe one day we will see this information in their IPFIX exports). This is an exciting time to start seeing many new vendors jumping into this market space, and even more exciting that we are seeing new IPFIX exports!
Currently it appears they offer standard IPFIX, which allows you to easily investigate how and why expensive WAN links are being utilized, top applications/hosts, as well as what Autonomous Systems you are communicating with! With today’s APTs, a loss in network visibility could mean a huge loss in revenue. As you move into an SD-WAN environment it’s important to stay vigilant and make sure you have IPFIX visibility.
Future of SD-WAN NetFlow Support:
Since SD-WAN deployments for most enterprise networks is still in its infancy, now is the time to start looking into how you and your team will manage these changes. Since a lot of organizations reply on IPFIX/NetFlow support to do their monitoring for both performance and threat detection, it is going to become a requirement for a lot of these SD-WAN vendors to support. I’m happy to see Velocloud spearheading these exports! If you have any questions or need any assistance setting up Velocloud IPFIX exports let us know!