Aruba EdgeConnect: Ruggedize First Mile Connectivity


Ruggedize First Mile Connectivity with Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise Solution

Today, let’s talk about how Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise Solution (Aruba SD-WAN) helps enterprises to ruggedize the first mile.

Enterprise applications have traditionally been hosted in centralized Data Centers, and depend on private premium links like MPLS and P2P to connect users in the branches. Application traffic from the branch was first routed to the data center before being routed to the other locations (Public Clouds).

As enterprises are moving their applications to the cloud (SaaS and IaaS), backhauling cloud-destined traffic to the data center is not appropriate. It impairs the application performance and user experience and productivity. 

Multi-cloud architecture and SaaS & IaaS cloud adoption are key drivers that influence the WAN transformation strategies and rapid adoption of SD-WAN. It has been observed that major application and performance issues due to the first-mile connection. “First Mile – is the path between the branch office and the local service provider. The network can introduce significant latency, packet loss, and jitter during congestions from the branch location.  

When we say “Ruggedize your First Mile” we are talking about improving the quality, performance, and reliability of the underlay WAN link to achieve high availability, and performance. This ruggedized first mile ensure applications perform to service levels and users are productive while performing their work using the network. Ruggedized last mile can also incorporate optional WAN Optimization to further accelerate performance-sensitive applications.

Why so much focus on First Mile?

According to analysts the growth of cloud services is surprisingly high and will remain high as businesses are spending billions on SaaS services. Some of the most popular services include office 365, Salesforce, collaboration services such as UCaaS, and video conferencing services like ZOOM, WebEx, and Teams.

Collaboration services are sensitive to network latency, jitter, and packet loss. They require high bandwidth and excellent network quality to deliver the highest quality of experience to end users. An impaired first-mile connection can reduce end-user productivity and satisfaction.

Enterprises are utilizing the commodity circuits to enable direct, local internet breakout access to these cloud-hosted applications and expect a ruggedized first mile to support – 1. consistent applications performance over a transport-independent network; 2. Reduce the impact of packet loss without retransmission; 3. Self-healing network where application traffic moved in sub-seconds; 4. Ability to improve the application performance for both on-prem and cloud-hosted applications.

Aruba EdgeConnect Ruggedized First Mile Solution Brief  

Aruba EdgeConnect Ruggedize First Mile solution with a virtual appliance instance in the IaaS cloud with corporate sites with physical appliance assure the highest SaaS performance even when the underlay link experience a brownout or degraded performance.

Figure 1: Aruba EdgeConnect Ruggedized First Mile Solution Architecture

In this solution architecture, two EdgeConnect appliances work together. This architecture extends the SD-WAN routing & security features to the cloud. Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution improves the performance and reliability of traffic in the first mile between a branch and the IaaS cloud platform. A high-speed backbone network in the cloud improves the network quality and performance in the last mile between the IaaS platform and the UCaaS DC/SaaS Applications.

Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN core features like Path Conditioning, Load Balancing, WAN Optimization, and Sub-second failover improve the first-mile infrastructure. Let’s discuss some of the core features that make this happen –

1.       Path Conditioning – consists of multiple features one of them is Forward Error Correction which recovers the lost packets from the parity packet during transmission. It eliminates the retransmission over WAN and saves bandwidth. Considering the fact sites are using multiple links with different bandwidth and latency, the packet may arrive at the destination out-of-order which may cause unnecessary re-transmission – Packet Order Correct another feature in Patch Conditioning Technique buffers the packets and arrange them in order and send them to the destination. This is a native feature of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

2.       Tunnel Bonding – as the name suggests bundles multiple links in a pool and treats them as a single logical circuit. The result is a high bandwidth highway for bandwidth-greedy applications and high availability for real-time applications. This is a native feature of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

3.       Dynamic Path Control – monitors the available links’ to ensure the traffic is forwarded to the healthy and reliable link for SaaS application dynamically without any human intervention. This is a native feature of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

4.       Load Balancing – utilize all the available circuits between the sites and IaaS on Per Packet basis to make more room for application traffic over the network. This is a native feature of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

5.       Sub-second Failover – reduces the impact of diverting traffic from one circuit to another circuit without terminating the session. This is a native feature of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

6.       WAN Optimization – accelerate the traffic forwarding for performance-sensitive applications. It also saves WAN bandwidth by eliminating the repetitive data transfer between sites for large data applications. It is an optional feature that comes with the BOOST license. But there is a difference, it is a pool of licenses (BOOST bandwidth) that can be enabled anytime and anywhere across the sites where it is required through a centralized orchestrator. No hardware or software change is required available across all platforms.

It would be unfair to conclude this article without the benefits customer realizes with Ruggedized Last Mile with Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution. Cost Saving: Now customers can augment the branch connectivity with low-cost commodity circuits like 3G/4G, Broadband connections without sacrificing the Quality of Experience for voice and other business-critical applications. Business Agility: Now with commodity links, new locations can be easily set up with less time compared to procuring premium links at remote sites. It significantly reduces the Time to Market for businesses to roll out new sites and service offerings to market.

In short, we can conclude that the journey to the cloud-first organization starts with an SD-WAN solution that can ruggedize the first-mile connectivity. This not only guarantees the success of cloud adoption for business but also guarantees the improved quality of experience and enhanced end-user productivity which is key to any organization.