Competitive Comparison: Talari Networks’ SD-WAN And Cisco’s IWAN

In recent years, SD-WAN solutions have become incredibly popular as enterprises begin to realize benefits like top-notch performance of critical applications and seamless failover.

As more businesses seek out SD-WAN solutions, the market has seen explosive growth. According to a report from IDC, the sector is expected to expand at a 90 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020. While the market was valued at only $225 million in 2015, it could reach $6 billion over the next four years.

Increased adoption of this technology has also tempted more providers to wade into the industry. Now, there are more than a few choices for companies seeking to establish a smart wide area network. However, these solutions aren’t one and the same.

Today, we’ll take a look at a few of the similarities as well as the distinct differences between two of the market’s top solutions, Talari Networks’ SD-WAN and Cisco’s Intelligent WAN.

Solution construction

First, it’s important for businesses to consider how each technology was initially established. Although Cisco’s IWAN does function as an SD-WAN product, it isn’t a purpose-built solution like Talari Networks’. In fact, the Cisco IWAN is comprised of several separate router-based systems that weren’t designed to operate as an integrated technology from the start.

Talari Networks’ SD-WAN was created specifically for delivering feature-rich visibility and control over a company’s wide area network. No disparate technologies involved here – Talari Networks’ SD-WAN is a completely integrated solution that provides seamless network support and traffic prioritization.

Talari Networks provides the best SD-WAN solution in the industry.
Talari Networks provides the best SD-WAN solution in the industry.

Drawing parallels: Solution similarities

There are a few baseline functionalities that Talari Networks and Cisco have in common with their SD-WAN solutions. These include:

  • Quality of Service support, as well as traffic shaping capabilities.
  • Enabling local internet access for branch locations.
  • Simplified solution configuration.
  • WAN link failover as well as high network availability and dynamic routing support.
  • Specialized security features.

At the same time, there are a few important areas here where Talari Networks’ solution excels. While both offer reduced configuration overhead, only Talari’s SD-WAN can be completely configured centrally, whereas only certain elements of Cisco’s IWAN can be centrally configured. In addition, Talari’s technology offers sub-second WAN link failover at less than 200 milliseconds. Cisco’s solution can take up to three seconds to failover, meaning there is a short period where network-dependent resources are left without support. What’s more, Talari Networks’ SD-WAN includes optional AES 128- or 256-bit encryption as well as IPsec to ensure the security of data packets, whereas Cisco’s only provides IPsec across network paths.

Key differences: Where Talari Networks SD-WAN shines

Besides these distinctions, there are a few other critical differences that exist between these two technologies:

Delivery over links: Talari’s SD-WAN provides excellent delivery, supported by measurements of key benchmarks like packet loss, availability, latency and jitter for each and every packet traveling across the network. In this way, Talari Networks is able to reliably guarantee the delivery of packets across nearly any type of link – including MPLS or broadband – without an SLA.

The IWAN can only route traffic away when a problem on the network exists. In other words, where Talari Networks’ technology can proactively measure network performance indicators and reroute traffic, the IWAN can make no such guarantees as packet loss is indiscriminate over internet links.

Network traffic congestion control – Last mile: Talari’s solution is able to prevent network congestion from the company headquarters and through each branch location – even at last mile connectivity. In this way, packet loss is prevented even at the most geographically isolated sites.

Cisco’s IWAN does not provide last mile congestion control.

“Talari Networks’ SD-WAN is a completely integrated solution that provides seamless network support.”

Infrastructure investments and changes: As many companies do not want to take a rip-and-replace approach when it comes to their existing infrastructure, it’s important for providers to support these options. Talari Networks provides an overlay solution, which means little to no changes are required. This keeps the cost of deployment low, and can also help speed installation.

The IWAN, however, requires considerable infrastructure changes to support deployment, including major adjustments to existing routers as well as the possible need for other new hardware. In addition, Cisco’s IWAN also needs new IOS XE software and other licenses in order to function.

Cloud support: Talari Networks also excels when it comes to cloud support. As the cloud is a more critical asset for businesses than ever, Talari’s SD-WAN ensures that IT teams have visibility and control of these environments. Talari’s technology can support the top cloud platforms, including Azure and AWS.

Cisco’s IWAN does not currently provide cloud support.

The choice is clear

From this comparison, it’s easy to see that Talari Networks’ SD-WAN solution has much more to offer today’s enterprises. From intelligent, proactive measurement and packet routing to support for an array of network links, Talari’s SD-WAN is the complete, seamless solution that addresses the critical needs of businesses of all sizes.

In addition to these advantages, Talari also offers the Talari Aware, a component that compliments the Talari Networks’ SD-WAN. The Talari Aware enables IT staff to remotely monitor, configure and analyze activity taking place within their SD-WAN in real time. In this way, the IT team has the best possible oversight and management of the network. Other providers don’t offer this, making Talari Networks an even better network partner.

To find out more, contact Talari Networks for a custom demonstration of our SD-WAN solution today.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges, WAN to Cloud, Network Reliability


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