Organizations are just beginning to reap the benefits of software defined networking (SDN) as real-world, usable products have come to market and adoption is becoming more widespread.
Software-Defined WAN, Defined
In plain old English, SD-WANs learn about what applications your organization uses and how they use them, as well as about the network path(s) underneath and how they perform. The SD-WAN then matches up the applications and the pathways based on various metrics.
Now for the techies…
Software-Defined WANs (SD-WANs) simplify and enhance branch and remote office connectivity. SD-WANs use a central controller to enforce policies and direct specific application flows (not just packets) across the most appropriate connection as defined by administrator criteria, including performance and cost.
An encrypted overlay creates a unified fabric from a physical underlay that can include private circuits, low-cost Internet broadband, and even LTE. This gives engineers more physical connectivity choices and can speed deployments.
Finally, SD-WANs combine application awareness and analytics enabling the controller to respond to changing traffic conditions within the fabric to meet application requirements. They also provide real-time and historical performance data to help administrators manage the WAN, identify and address service issues, and meet business demands.
An SD-WAN is not technology for technology’s sake. It provides meaningful, measurable benefits to both IT and the business.
Four SDN Elements Critical to an SD-WAN Solution
SD-WANs treat the WAN as a unified fabric — one massive entity that can be managed centrally. Network operators use the policy manager software to define traffic classes, security parameters, QoS characteristics, and other settings that are applied to the WAN fabric.
The controller software acts as a unified network control plane. In SD-WAN, the controller tells the forwarders how to forward traffic.
Traditional WANs terminate long-distance circuits with routers. In SD-WAN, a forwarder does the work of a router, sending traffic across the WAN.
SD-WAN reacts to changing network topology, link load, and circuit performance in real time. In addition, forwarders are aware of the applications flowing through them. The controller and an analytics engine use this data for reporting and to make real-time changes in WAN fabric forwarding.
How Cloud Genix Works
CloudGenix™ ION is a whole new way of building your WAN—defined by software instead of hardware. The CloudGenix SD-WAN replaces the fragmentation of current networking. Instead, it builds a centralized control plane, or brain, and couples that intelligence with its policy-based language.
The result? A lightweight instant-on network with reduced costs, elasticity, and vendor independence. What’s more, CloudGenix can be deployed incrementally, layering the SD-WAN on top of your existing network and switching over at your own pace.
Use the Best Data Path Every Time
With CloudGenix, enterprises can “pool” all available WAN capacity — MPLS, internet, satellite, or 4G/LTE — to reign in WAN connectivity costs and deliver higher bandwidth applications to end users. CloudGenix learns the available pathways and constantly monitors their status and performance.
The Result: CloudGenix ensures each application takes the best available path at the lowest cost. Routing decisions are based on application-specific performance metrics, such as application response time for transactional applications including Office365, Exchange or SAP; or CODEC-specific requirements for collaborative applications such as WebEx.
Pool several lower cost resources, leverage CloudGenix, get increased performance all the time with no changes to the underlying network topology required!
Leverage Cloud-Based Applications with Maximum Performance
As companies license more and more applications in the cloud, location of these applications can change without notice or consent, resulting in performance degradation or increased cost. IT organizations need dynamic WAN topologies to provide reliable, high performance, low cost connectivity to the cloud provider…automatically…without re-engineering the WAN each time something changes.
CloudGenix’s SDN WAN Controller automatically monitors all available paths from user locations to any given application and dynamically selects the optimal path based on performance and security requirements.
No changes are required to underlying carrier network configurations.
Learn More About CloudGenix Solutions
- A whitepaper by Ethan Banks and Drew Conry-Murray