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SD-WAN: Software-Defined WAN | FatPipe Networks

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN)

Simplify deployment and management of connectivity at remote sites. FatPipe Orchestrator™ easily controls and manages your WAN.

Modern networks are being pushed to their limits. Network Managers are managing a greater number of applications in the wide area network than ever before. Increased business usage of network heavy applications like VoIP and video are saturating WAN bandwidth.

Bigger pipes are not the answer. According to Gartner, bandwidth requirements in the network are increasing at a rate of 29% per year. Conversely, the cost of bandwidth is only decreasing at a rate of 10% a year. Furthermore, new application models such as "as-a-service" and cloud hosted applications are making traditional "star" or "hub and spoke" network models inefficient.

FatPipe's software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), hybrid networking products provide solutions to these new network needs. A company can easily add cost effective direct Internet access at a branch to increase available bandwidth. FatPipe's advanced policy management allows cloud destined applications to be routed directly out of the local Internet connection while maintaining corporate security policies.

FatPipe Orchestrator is a single point of management that allows for rapid, zero-touch provisioning of branches. Orchestrator enhances FatPipe MPSec technology with open API's for network integration and central policy management.

What is SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) ?

SD-WAN is similar to software-defined networking in that is decouples the wide area network from the underlying transport network. Companies use SD-WAN to create a software-defined overlay network that is independent from the carrier or physical underlying network. This network overlay is often used to improve network performance and reliability. Additionally, because an SD-WAN is independent of the underlying network, remote sites can quickly and easily be provisioned using the locally available bandwidth. Companies deploying an SD-WAN overlay typically see a significant decrease in the overall cost of the wide area network

The Need for SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN)

Using traditional techniques bringing a new branch on to the network can be challenging to say the least. Often scheduled are stalled due to provisioning delays at a company’s carrier. Provisioning of a T1 connections from an MPLS provider can take from 30 to 90 days even if company pays for expedite fees. In some cases an MPLS connection might not be available or cost prohibitive at a branch leaving the company with the only choice being to create one-off VPN connected branches. SD-WAN solves these issues by providing a centrally orchestrated overlay network that allows a company to choose the best available network underlay per location.

Additionally, modern IT is becoming more and more dependent on wide area network connectivity. Companies that once viewed loosing WAN connectivity as an inconvenience are now seeing a loss of connection as costing them money. More and more business critical applications are running over the WAN such as VoIP, video conferences, and ERP systems. Traditional techniques create a single point of network failure in the last mile. SD-WAN addresses this concern by allowing a company to use multiple last mile connections for network redundancy. An SD-WAN can improve network up time to 99.99988% and above.

Applications are migrating from a data center to the cloud. Software as a service is becoming the norm. Companies are using Saleforce.com, Office 365, and other cloud based applications on a regular basis. A traditional WAN hub and spoke or star architecture is not the optimal choice for cloud based applications. With a traditional MPLS architecture, cloud destined data must first cross an expensive MPLS access before routing to the Internet either through a data center or direct MPLS POP. SD-WAN technology allows more efficient routing of cloud destined traffic. Network administrators can set and propagate policies using SD-WAN to send cloud destined traffic directly to the Internet using a local access. This direct routing of traffic allows the MPLS to operate more efficiently and improves performance on the cloud-based application.

The most common use case for Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is migration from a private network to a hybrid, public/private network for branch connectivity. Companies have been reluctant to migrate to a hybrid network because network manager have wanted to keep a single physical security parameter to the Internet. SD-WAN's flexibility lies in policies and deployments allowing companies to customize their network according to their security requirements. One SD-WAN deployment mode has all branch traffic returning to the data center either via the private network or an IPSec VPN before heading to the Internet, this allows a company to maintain their existing single, secure gateway into their network. Another SD-WAN deployment mode has all Internet traffic route to a cloud based firewall, security hub or secure web gateway (SWG) before routing to the Internet. This allows for a company to reduce the load on their data center while maintaining a single security parameter. A third SD-WAN deployment option is to allow traffic to specific trusted sites to route directly to those site while passing other traffic through additional security. This option again reduces the load on the security device. SD-WAN policies can easily be deployed across specific site or across an entire network. This means a company can easily migrate their security parameter to which ever deployment mode they are comfortable with using SD-WAN.