Certifying a Software Defined WAN

The SD-WAN Working Group, part of the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), brought together end users, networking experts and vendors to create a description of a Software Defined WAN that would remain true to the architectural goals of Software Defined Networking (SDN) while accomplishing the business goals of enterprises to modernize their Wide Area Networks. The results of this effort were laid out in ONUG Software-Defined WAN Use Case, October 2014 available at www.opennetworkingusergroup.com.

The group then distilled the contents of the paper into 10 key requirements of an SD-WAN. The paper and the top ten requirements served a dual purpose – to give vendors confidence that the products they built would satisfy the needs of business and to give businesses guidance and knowledge they could use when selecting an SD-WAN solution.

The next step in this process was testing the viability of the definition and top ten requirements. Could vendors create products that satisfied the details laid out in the Use Case? After all, the solution description and requirements were only a wish list unless real products were available that met that standard. Talari tested its Software Defined THINKING WAN against eight of those requirements, and in the course of testing proved that it could meet and exceed what was expected.

The high-level result summary is that Talari demonstrated:

• An SD-WAN composed of Talari physical and virtual appliances
• The ability to direct traffic across Hybrid WANs according to company policy and application type
• The ability to detect loss on an individual link failure and move traffic to remaining links without creating a new session, with negligible jitter, with no out of order packets and with zero loss
• Enforcement of application prioritization defined by network-wide policies within a congested network
• Line, flow and application-level graphical dashboards
• Seamless integration with Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols

Review additional details in the Open Networking User Group SD-WAN Requirements Demonstration – Talari Test Results document.

As the process continues, the next logical step for most vendors is to validate that the certified solutions meet the actual needs of real businesses running real application over real networks. Lab tests serve a purpose and provide a basis for comparison, but as any IT manager will tell you, a working network is not a lab and real users are more demanding than certification bodies. Talari doesn’t need to wait for this step. We’ve helped hundreds of companies in over 35 countries create a better WAN, one that proactively adapts to changing application requirements and underlying network conditions, applying centrally defined business policies to real-time network traffic to create a THINKING WAN that frees IT and employees alike to be more productive so the entire company can be brilliant.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)