Maximize Application Performance and Uptime with a Talari SD-WAN

WAN networks are inherently dumb. It’s a permissive environment where anyone can send a packet regardless of what is happening on the receiving side. Also, traditional WAN infrastructures based on MPLS are expensive. While many companies would like to leverage Internet links to support their WAN needs due to lower costs vs. MPLS, concerns regarding performance guarantees and availability are typical barriers to Internet WAN adoption.

Enter Talari, with products that are architected for one purpose; to deliver a scalable, resilient SD-WAN infrastructure. A Talari SD-WAN can support hundreds of virtual or physical appliance where each device decides how to send traffic based on the feedback from the receiver on the other side of the network. From a connectivity perspective, each endpoint will have two or more connections that typically leverage a combination of an MPLS network and Internet links. When it comes to management, Talari is a centrally managed and provisioned solution that utilizes a deploy-a-network, instead of a deploy-a-node, approach to simplify and scale an SD-WAN deployment. By leveraging this type of architecture, a robust SD-WAN can be implemented which ensures:

  • Traffic is balanced for performance and availability purposes across all paths
  • Mission-critical and streaming applications have the best chance of successful traffic transmission
  • A device never sends more traffic than the receiver can handle
  • Rapid and easy deployment, monitoring and reporting of the SD-WAN infrastructure

This blog is the first of a series that discusses how a Talari SD-WAN addresses these topics. Today, we will focus on traffic balancing; reviewing how it works and some of the benefits that it offers.

The first question is why balance traffic? The answer is simple; the state of the network is dynamic with changes being introduced from a variety of sources including:

  • Modifications in application usage levels
  • Network infrastructure adjustments caused by link challenges (i.e. failed or degraded links)
  • The mobile user who adjust how and where they access an application

Before we get into the specifics of the capabilities that Talari delivers to support this dynamic application environment, let’s review some details regarding how traffic is forwarded between Talari nodes. Talari nodes send traffic encapsulated in a Talari Conduit or tunnel and tagged with information to allow for sequence and time information to be measured by the receiver. With these measurements, a Talari SD-WAN can track:

  • Latency – Time it took for packets to go from the sender to the receiver
  • Jitter – Variations in time between packets
  • Loss – Any missing packets

By monitoring this detailed flow information, a Talari SD-WAN can deliver two capabilities to maintain application availability and performance; intelligent load balancing and failover without session interruption:

Intelligent load balancing

Talari’s intelligent load balancing spreads a single session across multiple links only when the result is improved performance. It also adapts to changing conditions and moves packets off links as quality degrades or links fail. This approach ensures all available bandwidth is used, resulting in a reduction in congestion and a corresponding improvement in application performance, regardless of the type of underlying links and the application mix. Quality-sensitive applications remain on high-quality paths, and bulk transfers complete faster by using aggregated link capacity without displacing high priority traffic.

Failover without session interruption

Failing over to a backup link when a primary WAN link fails is baseline functionality in many products. With Talari, the link failure is detected within a fraction of a second and traffic is moved to the remaining live links without any interruption to active sessions. Talari appliances don’t require a complete failure to initiate traffic changes – even high latency, packet loss, and jitter will result in Talari proactively steering packets around the problem. If the remaining links don’t have enough bandwidth, traffic is prioritized and cached according to company policies and prioritization so that mission critical applications continue to function.

By leveraging both of these techniques, a Talari SD-WAN can deliver the best performance possible with increased WAN uptime to support your applications.

To learn more about Talari’s SD-WAN offering, review our Solution Brochure and visit our Products page.

In the next blog of this series, I will discuss how Talari ensures that streaming applications, such as VoIP and video conferencing, can achieve high-quality performance over a not so high-quality infrastructure.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Application Performance/Application Quality