A WAN composed of MPLS and one or more broadband links – a hybrid WAN – is increasingly common in today’s enterprise. Usually the MPLS circuit, with its inherent reliability and QoS, carries WAN traffic and the public broadband link is used for Cloud plus Internet traffic and as a backup to MPLS. But this configuration has some downsides, including inefficient use of bandwidth and session drop on failover.
With Talari, all circuits are active so WAN locations have access to the full aggregated amount of bandwidth at all times. Policies can be put in place to have real-time quality sensitive applications such as VoIP get highest priority and be transmitted over the network links with the lowest packet loss and latency – whether the link is MPLS or broadband – so the applications run over the best possible network with the highest quality. At the same time, applications that are less latency sensitive such as intranet traffic and bulk file transfers can use the aggregated link capacity of all available circuits, again, including both the MPLS link and the broadband links, delivering the maximum possible capacity for hybrid WANs.
With traditional network configurations that use MPLS as the primary circuit and broadband as a standby backup, it can be necessary to overbuy expensive MPLS bandwidth to accommodate traffic spikes. With Talari’s active hybrid WAN solution, all traffic has access to the combined capacity of all available links, including broadband, so expensive MPLS purchases can be avoided, taking advantage of the high capacity and less expensive broadband.
MPLS comes with a guarantee from the service provider, but no SLA can prevent occasional outages or quality issues that can affect applications. With Talari’s hybrid WAN solution, every path is constantly measured and assessed for packet loss, latency, jitter, and availability which means if an occasional quality issue occurs, critical traffic can be shifted to the better quality link, preventing the issue from having any negative impact on applications or the end-users of the apps.
When one link fails and the remaining links are used, there will always be less available bandwidth than before. And if the remaining links become congested, Talari will enforce company priorities to ensure that critical application traffic isn’t pushed off by lower priority traffic. With hybrid WAN architecture, congestion at the far end is detected and communicated so that traffic is held at the source when possible, reducing overall stress on the network.
Talari includes 128- or 256-bit AES encryption as well as other security features to prevent packets on a public Internet circuit from being read or modified. So intranet traffic sent across a broadband connection is secure, without the necessity for a separate VPN.
By adding the optional Talari Aware management system to the Talari solution, performance and quality measurements from across the network are aggregated in a central database. Talari Aware features an analytics capability that provides current and historical information about the quality of every link at every location in the network and includes standard and custom reports, that can help IT staff determine whether they’re receiving the bandwidth and quality promised from their service providers. Applications take and the estimated MOS-score for the each path
Hybrid WANs are a way to not only reduce network spend immediately but also in the future. Because broadband links such as DSL, cable, and Metro Ethernet cost so much less than proprietary MPLS yet provide dramatically larger bandwidth, they can be used to inexpensively add significant bandwidth to a company’s network, eliminating the need to add additional MPLS capacity. This will also help hold down future spend in hybrid WAN architectures as bandwidth demand continues to grow, allowing the business to do more for less.