SD-WAN is gaining tremendous traction as more and more organizations deploy it to replace traditional branch routers. The two biggest reasons for this are ease of use and cost reduction. Saving time and money is a great start, but widespread adoption first requires a solution to a broader set of real-world problems.
There are many SD-WAN benefits that are driving rapid adoption into enterprises of all sizes.
- Ease of initial deployment
- Ease of ongoing management
- Seamless provisioning of new sites
- Resource-aware traffic forwarding across multiple paths
- Dynamic path utilization, per application, based on its business criticality
- Support parallel broadband, Long-Term Evolution (LTE), and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) links for a highly resilient WAN
- Improved application performance and user experience
According to a recent Network World article citing IDC’s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017-2021, the SD-WAN market was worth $225 million in 2015. It reached $1.19 billion by the end of 2017 and is expected to experience a 69% CAGR, reaching $8.05 billion by 2021. The growth rate is tremendous, but as organizations rush to deploy SD-WAN and take advantage of all the above benefits, they should consider their requirements for end-to-end visibility and reporting as well.
End-to-End Visibility and Reporting
Most SD-WAN providers do a great job of reporting on what is happening across the SD-WAN environment itself. Using Scrutinizer in conjunction with the SD-WAN provider delivers insight into the entire conversation from the mobile user, across the LAN, through the WAN and all the way into the cloud.
User experience is never defined in a subsection of the environment. It is defined across the entire communication channel. Collecting information from every corner of the network, including the SD-WAN, then correlating, visualizing, and reporting on it all allows organizations to quickly understand whether the root cause of problems lies with the application, server, LAN, WAN, ISP, or cloud hosting provider.
In support of this, Plixer recently announced support for NSX SD-WAN VeloCloud. VMware demonstrated interoperability between Scrutinizer and NS SD-WAN as part of their Whisper Suites presentation at VMworld.
Hold Service Providers Accountable to Their Service Level Agreements
One of the great features of SD-WAN is the ability to support different types of WAN links in parallel, and to forward traffic across the links that best support the latency, jitter, and bandwidth requirements of each application. That means that organizations can reduce cost and spread the load across broadband, LTE, MPLS, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), and other links all in parallel. The SD-WAN uses these connections and ensures the best paths are followed.
No longer do organizations need to rely only on expensive MPLS lines for all application traffic. In the event of a transport problem, the SD-WAN will dynamically change how different applications are fowarded across these paths. End users love that application performance is optimized across the SD-WAN to minimize disruption, but they must be notified when it happens. Without proper notification of topology changes, they won’t know that the SD-WAN has protected them from carrier problems. In addition, end users want end-to-end visibility, giving them the ability to hold service providers accountable for their SLA guarantees and to prove that the service provider caused problems.
Third-Party Validation of WAN Optimization
Threre are two primary reasons why many organizations want to use third-party software alongside their SD-WAN product. First, the team that sponsored and implemented SD-WAN needs to be able to measure and report its value back to the business. Understanding each time that the SD-WAN’s software protected application performance is critical to understanding the ROI of the platform. Second, they want a third-party tool to verify that the SD-WAN software is efficiently doing what they bought it for.
SD-WAN offers tremendous value to the business, saving time and money while optimizing capacity across a diverse set of wide area network links. Leading SD-WAN providers like VeloCloud deliver not only strong management and visibility for their products, but they also export rich contextual data to third-party platforms like Scrutinizer to ensure that customers get the most out of their deployments.
For more information on SD-WAN, check out our related blog Monitoring SD-WAN Traffic with NetFlow, IPFIX and metadata.