With all the money that you invest in your business’s wide area network, you expect a certain ROI. As the backbone for nearly every critical enterprise process today, the network is an indispensable resource. However, if your users are experiencing problems like poor application performance or downtime, your network could be leaving you needing more.
When it comes to a company WAN, “good” is no longer good enough. Businesses need a network that offers a combination of high availability, reliable network performance and application Quality of Experience. They need a failsafe SD-WAN.
That may sound easier said than done, but at Talari Networks, they specialise in providing the best SD-WAN solutions available. To help your business navigate the world of SD-WAN, we’ve put together this guide to show you how you can establish an intelligent, failsafe network with Talari Networks’ SD-WAN technology.
- Understand Exactly What SD-WAN is: Simply put, an SD-WAN solution uses network intelligence to help your business use its available MPLS and broadband links in the best way possible. Custom policies established by your IT team alongside continual measurement of key network metrics like availability, packet loss, latency and jitter help the SD-WAN make smart choices about how to treat each and every data packet. You read that correctly — the SD-WAN itself can react to changing network conditions to choose the best path for all of your company’s network traffic. These, and other benefits that we’ll get into a little later, are helping the SD-WAN industry grow from a value of $USD225 million in 2015 to reach $USD6 billion by 2020, according to IDC.
- Make Use of All Your Network Resources: An SD-WAN solution is deployed on top of your current network, enabling it to utilise all types of different links to establish a robust, intelligent network with multiple pathways available for traffic. “The types of underlying transport used in hybrid WANs becomes agnostic because SD-WAN technologies create a logical overlay to intelligently route data across multiple paths,” Network Computing explained. “Multiple connections can be used simultaneously, eliminating the need to oversubscribe connections that have traditionally functioned in an active/standby manner.”
- Reduce Connectivity Costs: As available bandwidth via internet connectivity continues to rise, these plans only become more affordable. And with an SD-WAN solution in place that can help your company leverage its internet connectivity to create a failsafe network, the return on investment grows even more. MPLS supported by copper T1 or E1 lines typically runs a company around $USD100-$USD300 per Mbps each month. Internet connectivity, on the other hand, offers a much greater bang for your business’s buck. Currently, internet service providers have options available from as low as $USD1 to $USD2 per Mbps per month.
- Measure Application Performance: An SD-WAN solution also measures certain metrics across these paths. The technology can identify and measure things like packet loss, latency and jitter, which can prevent systems and applications from functioning as optimally as they should. At the same time, it also measures each path for overall availability. These measurements take place constantly, and the SD-WAN uses this information to select the very best path for each and every data packet. In other words, if one link is being degraded by performance-hampering packet loss or jitter, the SD-WAN will route traffic to a connection with better availability. And all of this happens without your IT team having to intervene.
- Prioritise Critical Traffic: The intelligence of SD-WAN technology doesn’t end there. As it’s measuring and selecting the best path, this system can also identify certain kinds of network traffic and make sure that critical traffic takes priority over less important activities. For example, real-time processes like VoIP or video calls will take precedence over casual web browsing.
What does this mean for your business? In essence, this ensures that your employees always have the network support they need for important tasks. The performance of mission-critical applications and platforms is maximised with an SD-WAN in place.
- Enable Branch Office Access: SD-WAN technology can also be incredibly beneficial when it comes to enabling access for branch office locations. This solution can effectively reduce network complexity, making it easy to establish branch office connectivity without having to rip or replace the existing infrastructure. Talari Networks’ SD-WAN also allows the central IT team to remotely manage and control network activity at each branch location. In this way, there’s no need to worry if IT doesn’t have boots on the ground at every site. The SD-WAN allows network admins visibility into every branch office, as well as the ability to remotely troubleshoot, when necessary.
- Ensure Visability and Control – Even Into The Cloud: SD-WAN solutions make it easy for your network admins to have the visibility and control they need over your critical infrastructure. Traffic prioritisation takes place according to unique policies written by your IT managers, ensuring that the SD-WAN operates according to the needs and requirements of your users. And with end-to-end visibility into every process taking place, your IT administrators are never in the dark when it comes to your network. This visibility extends beyond the company’s branch locations and data center —with an SDWAN in place, IT admins can also view activity taking place in the cloud. This has traditionally been a blind spot for corporate IT teams, but Talari’s SD-WAN solution eliminates this pain point.
- Secure The Data Centre and The Branch: SD-WAN solutions also have a lot to offer when it comes to security. Thanks to packet-level inspections that take place according to the policies established by the IT team, all network activity is carried out in the most secure way. What’s more, the SD-WAN can serve as the gatekeeper to the network no matter what type of link is used — this technology was one of the first to enable the secure, widespread use of hybrid WAN architectures, according to TechTarget.
Talari Networks’ SD-WAN solution is also able to support the strongest encryption standard possible, AES-256. This ensures that the mission critical, sensitive data your business deals with is always protected. Also, a unique, zone-based firewall is integrated into Talari Networks’ SD-WAN solution, enabling organisations to easily create a secure network environment. Establishing global security zones among various branches, this feature allows for the stress-free management, configuration and maintenance of network security processes.
- Sub-Second Response For Seamless Failover: One of the most impactful benefits of SD-WAN is its ability to not only reduce, but eliminate costly downtime thanks to its seamless failover. Using the policies created by your administrators alongside network metrics, the solution makes smart decisions about the best pathways to use for network traffic. This means that should an outage take place, the SD-WAN will respond by re-routing traffic to other links—and your employees won’t miss a beat.
This is just one of the advantages that United Federal Credit Union enjoys with its SD-WAN solution. Even in the face of a link failure, network activity can continue and users don’t know an outage has ever taken place. Infrastructure and operations manager Todd Woods noted that with Talari Network’s SD-WAN in place, network disruptions and other problems at branch locations have been eliminated. Now, when and if an issue takes place, the IT team can work calmly with the bank’s service provider to repair the problem while the SD-WAN reroutes traffic and ensures continual performance.
- Partner With The Best Solution Provider: When it comes to your business’ SD-WAN solution, you want to be sure that you’re partnering with the very best provider out there. During the vetting process, it’s important to consider how long a vendor has been in the networking space, how satisfied its client base is and how many life cycles its primary product has gone through. If a particular solution has evolved across a number of iterations over the years, that’s a good indicator that the vendor is committed to improving its offerings and giving its clientele the best solution possible.