SD-WAN: Performance Over any Transport!

 SD-WAN: Performance Over any Transport

Does your SD-WAN solution allow you to use any connectivity media for connecting remote locations or does it allow you to run any application over these links even if the link is lossy? To some it may look the same but, in this article, we going to explain this – these two claims by SD-WAN vendors are not the same.

We have heard the term “Transport Independence” whenever we talk about SD-WAN top features. Transport independence allows organizations to use any feasible link (MPLS, Point to Point, LTE, 3G/4G, Broadband, etc.) at the remote site to securely connect to Data Centre/Central Site. This link is then utilized for data transfer – most of the time secured by IPsec/GRE tunnels.

Customers appreciate this Transport Independence feature as it promises to save cost on connecting links. Now customers can utilize commodity circuits like broadband and Internet for connection or a hybrid approach with MPLS link to meet SLAs for critical applications.

But what happens when the link starts experiencing the common issues? Does the SD-WAN solution still use that circuit or does the solution switchover the traffic to another healthy link automatically? To some customers, it may give relief as there is no need to do manual routing changes to switch over traffic to another link. The second approach (taking out degraded links from traffic forwarding) effectively reduces the overall throughput of the network (less traffic will be sent over the WAN). It means during the problems like high Loss, Latency, and Jitter, the affected link is out of the picture.

Now let’s explain how “Performance over any Circuit” can solve the Loss, Latency & Jitter problems in the network? Performance over any circuit can be achieved if the solution employs techniques that can to some extent mitigate the effect of loss, latency, and jitter; provide more bandwidth over links by sending less traffic or reducing the retransmits, or expediting acknowledgment for TCP applications.

After evaluating multiple OEM SD-WAN solutions Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise (formally known as Silver Peak SD-WAN Solution) comes up as a winner when we talk about performance over any transport claim. What makes the Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise recipe so special? Well, there are not one but three reasons for it.

1.       Path Conditioning

a.       Packet Order Correction (PC)

b.       Forward Error Correction (FEC)

2.       Boost (WAN Optimization)

a.       TCP Acceleration

b.       Network Memory

                                                               i.      Packet Deduplication

                                                             ii.      LZ-Compression

3.       Dynamic Path Control

a.       Link bonding

With this set of technologies in place, the Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise solution shows great performance over any circuits. To support this claim there is a public-facing performance test report available. There are set of tests performed by Miercom and the key findings were –

1.       Strong Connections despite the high loss

2.       Quality service with even 55% packet loss

3.       Low-loss high availability

Please find the report here. I believe it is clear now that both the claims are not the same and you will evaluate vendors based on the core technologies that ensure “performance over any circuit”.

Hope you find this informative, in our next article try to cover these technologies in more detail.