Failsafe SD-WAN: The Key to Enabling Reliable Multi-Cloud Connectivity: Part 2

Our Top 3 considerations for Part 1 of this article were:

  • Enterprise Multi-Cloud Migration Timing
  • QoE Requirements
  • Failsafe SD-WAN components

Nearly every growing enterprise quickly finds that legacy WAN deployments are unable to fulfill the requirements for today's multi-cloud world.  The analogy of using a steam engine to power a modern jetliner comes to mind.  In part 1 of the blog, we examined why SD-WANs have become an integral requirement for enterprises seeking reliable multi-cloud upgrades from traditional MPLS-only WANs. Optimized for cloud connectivity and designed for much easier management, provisioning and SaaS access, a hybrid WAN powered by SD-WAN aggregates more network power while delivering far greater agility and flexibility.

The SD-WAN engine alone does not always live up to its potential. That's because most SD-WAN solutions lack essential failsafe technology to ensure MPLS-class high availability and predictable performance for TCP and real-time apps.  A truly failsafe SD-WAN will deliver superior Quality of Experience (QoE) whether it is deployed with a hybrid MPLS/Internet infrastructure, or a WAN built entirely on top of Internet connections. Let's look at how this works in practice.

Why Failsafe SD-WANs Enable Predictable QoE

SD-WANs are noted as a critical upgrade to the enterprise network.  With many enterprises combining MPLS with broadband and LTE/5G connectivity, hybrid WANs based on offerings from vendors lacking failsafe SD-WAN technology are too often a downgrade when it comes to the QoE end users attain from critical applications.  Failsafe SD-WANs increase network capacity, improve reliability, and deliver higher quality-of-experience that businesses require to ensure their network is robust and functioning at peak performance.

Absent failsafe SD-WAN technology, when augmenting or replacing costly MPLS services with higher bandwidth, lower cost Internet links, enterprises may unknowingly exchange the former's failsafe-esque capabilities for the latter's agility and cost-effectiveness.  The easier deployment and network management that most SD-WANs deliver does little to provide any assurance that real-time or other business-critical cloud services will perform predictably across the WAN. The "works pretty well most of the time" unaided public Internet, due to its nature as a network-of-networks, will have at least sporadic bouts of "brownout" conditions caused by congestion-based packet loss and jitter, resulting in arbitrarily bad performance for the applications using those connections.

To avoid these user QoE issues, Oracle customers like the SI Group are leveraging the best features of MPLS and Internet connectivity, thanks to a dynamic SD-WAN platform that continuously measures and adjusts to evolving network conditions in real-time.  Many other SD-WAN customers including Driscoll, Meritrust Credit and Essex County Fire and Rescue benefit from continuous unidirectional measurement of jitter, latency, packet loss and bandwidth utilization that enables sub-second response to any problems that are detected on the WAN, Oracle's failsafe SD-WAN eliminates the risk of adding commodity Internet links to the enterprise's WAN mix, enabling the better ROI cloud migrations offer, as well as improved QoE and performance.

For IT to ensure that a multi-cloud initiative succeed, an enterprise SD-WAN must enable a network experience like what users have come to expect from their private data center-based applications accessed via MPLS.  Delivering a failsafe SD-WAN to enable multi-cloud migration, combining cost-effective connectivity with assured performance, requires not just "basic" SD-WAN features like centralized orchestration, Zero Touch Provisioning and branch device consolidation, but also the aforementioned continuous unidirectional measurement and sub-second response, plus intelligent link aggregation, optional packet replication and Inbound Multisource QoS capabilities as well. Most SD-WAN vendors think just offering the basics will be enough to support multi-cloud; they are dangerously mistaken.

Failsafe capabilities are the key differentiators of SD-WAN solutions, especially for IT groups looking to safely migrate applications to the cloud.  SD-WAN offerings often appear broadly similar from a distance, but in truth have many important differences.  In addition to looking for failsafe technology, business should also evaluate that each solution enables secure, carrier-agnostic connectivity, rather than locking them in to a vendor seeking to maintain high MPLS margins.

Starting June 1, Oracle SD-WAN content will be located under the "SD-WAN" category of the Oracle Communications site.  Please visit us there and tap the subscribe button for all customer, product and relevant industry updates.

For the next SD-WAN blog, we'll highlight a new white paper on failsafe SD-WAN technology produced as part of a special collaboration between Oracle and ZK Research.  If you are interested in learning more about Oracle's Talari SD-WAN offerings, please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers failsafe SD-WANs.

Categories: WAN to Cloud

Tags: ,