Talari Difference

It can be hard to differentiate one SD-WAN product from another. Link aggregation, load balancing, path control, traffic steering and fail-over solutions are offered in different forms from different SD-WAN vendors. When assessing these offerings, it's important to understand the failsafe difference that separates Talari from the crowd.

Failsafe SD-WAN Technology

Failsafe WANs means both high network availability and reliable, predictable application Quality of Experience (QoE). Yet Few SD-WAN implementations have focused on failsafe WANs. The tantalizing benefits the cloud and SD-WANs might promise notwithstanding, enterprise IT disdains “two steps forward, one step back” solutions for good reason. Even the most aggressive, leading-edge enterprises want failsafe WANs, given the high cost of downtime, limited IT resources available at most remote locations, and limited visibility into the WAN.

Most other SD-WAN offerings include policy-based routing and allow administrators to map applications to specific predetermined WAN paths based on assumptions about bandwidth or latency. But real-world WANs don’t always conform to predefined assumptions. Talari failsafe SD-WAN technology combines overall WAN policies with up to the millisecond knowledge of the actual network performance, delivering an Intent-based Networking solution that gets your traffic to where it needs to go based on how all WAN paths are currently performing.

What does this mean?

It's the difference between saying "put my VoIP traffic on my MPLS link because it ought to be better" and "treat my VoIP as high priority and do whatever you need to do to make sure that my calls are always clear, never drop, and are never crowded out by lower priority applications, or high bandwidth downloads from other WAN locations." Rather than requiring administrators to map applications to WAN connections, IT can set high-level application policies and let the SD-WAN deliver, with Talari technology optimizing the multi-layer WAN fabric for all applications and deliver that traffic where it needs to go based on those policies and the current state of the WAN."

Continuous, Unidirectional Measurement of all WAN Paths

The linchpin to Talari failsafe SD-WAN technology is measurement of the current state of the multi-network WAN fabric. Talari technology performs continuous measurement of each packet on the WAN, as opposed to measurement via occasional round-trip test packets. The measurements are unidirectional, not simply round-trip, since just as on roads and highways, traffic jams are usually in one direction but not the other, and since unidirectional information is essential for real-time traffic. The measurements are done across all paths, that can be used across the network-of-networks that is the Internet, substantially increasing reliability and QoE in the face of congestion-based loss and jitter/latency that occur on shared TCP/IP networks like the public Internet.

What does this mean?

Applications with unidirectional traffic such as VoIP, or asymmetric traffic such as VDI can actually perform worse by being sent on a link that looks good when only round-trip latency is considered. With Talari, users will experience responsive application performance without the lag that leads to complaints, session disconnects, and lost productivity.

Sub-second Response

This precise, real-time measurement enables unprecedented WAN visibility and sub-second response to adapt to network issues, both hard link/device failures as well as "soft outages" from network congestion-based packet loss and jitter. It is this sub-second response that is the critical component to delivering a truly failsafe SD-WAN.

End-to-end algorithms match the state of the network with the needs of different traffic types and adapt using real-time traffic engineering. Even though packets can follow any number of paths to the destination, the connection between two locations appears as a single highly reliable connection. The sub-second response delivered by Talari APN technology is more than fast enough to handle any application that can run on an MPLS WAN. Consequently, it delivers as good—and usually better — reliability and predictable application QoE as an enterprise can achieve with a single-vendor MPLS WAN.

What does this mean?

Users won't notice outages. Business will continue without interruption. And corrective actions with a service provider can be undertaken after the fact and without it being a crisis. A Talari failsafe SD-WAN doesn’t simply failover after problems occur, application performance is compromised and sessions are lost, but fixes problems sub-second so that application QoE and user satisfaction remain high.

Intelligent Link Aggregation

Load balancing designed to make better use of available bandwidth is a key element in WAN design. But not all load balancing is created equal. The most simplistic load balancing assigns individual sessions to a path, often without regard to link characteristics and application requirements. More sophisticated approaches balance by the packet. But both of these approaches can result in poor application quality in cases with dissimilar links. Packet load balancing without intelligence can result in out of order packets and the resulting retransmits can cause worse performance than no load balancing at all.

Because Talari APN technology makes intelligent forwarding decisions based on session, path and WAN link information, rather than doing simple per-flow steering, it can deliver far better link aggregation capabilities than competing approaches. It is able to use all available bandwidth at any location, across even widely disparate links, even for a single large flow – something not possible to do in a reliable, predictable fashion with other technologies when leveraging multiple WAN connections with differing latencies and varying loss and jitter characteristics.

What does this mean?

With Talari, all available bandwidth is used, resulting in improved application performance, regardless of the type of underlying links and regardless of the application mix. A single large flow, such as a backup file transfer, can use all of the bandwidth across all links, and yet new time-sensitive flows that may begin afterwards will still get their appropriate priority when needed. With a Talari SD-WAN, IT gets to use all of the bandwidth almost all of the time, and do so in an automatic, failsafe manner.

Packet Replication for "Platinum Quality" Real-Time Support

For real-time applications like VoIP and videoconferencing, Talari’s failsafe SD-WAN technology can deliver ultra-reliable, cost-effective support, choosing network paths with the least packet loss and lowest jitter for such high-priority traffic, and switching sub-second to a better path in the face of high loss or jitter. Where sufficient bandwidth is available, it can provide still greater flow reliability by optionally replicating real-time traffic flows along a second path, suppressing duplicates at the receiving end, and so delivering “perfect” platinum-quality sound and voice quality even in the face of failures or massive congestion on one of the connections.

Competing Forward Error Correction (FEC) technologies purport to provide similar benefits, but while they provide benefit when used with links that have relatively uniform loss (as, e.g. some wireless connections), given that by definition they send the traffic over the very network path having issues, they are of little benefit when dealing with the occasional bouts of high loss and high jitter that occur on shared networks like the public Internet, and of essentially no benefit in these instances to real-time applications like VoIP or videoconferencing.

What does this mean?

Enterprises can use less expensive and abundant Internet bandwidth and still be assured of excellent application quality for the highest priority applications. When high voice quality or responsive VDI application performance is a business necessity, Talari's WAN solution with packet replication will help achieve it, in part by leveraging additional, inexpensive bandwidth to deliver high QoE, predictable application performance.

Inbound Multisource QoS

Like all good intermediate network devices, Talari SD-WAN appliances implement QoS and use the class of service information and any other configured policy rules associated with each flow as part of the path selection criteria. Unlike other offerings that implement QoS and can only prioritize which traffic goes out on the local link first, Talari technology uses this QoS information to choose the path that gets the packet to the destination at the other end of the WAN int he shortest possible time - which is what ultimately matters most for delivering application QoE. This end-to-end QoS is only possible because of the detailed unidirectional measurement information.

Talari failsafe technology leverages the latency and bandwidth utilization information it gathers to ensure that even inbound links are used efficiently and not congested. This ability to both inform and then negotiate with far side edge devices about available access to their last mile interface is sometimes referred to as bandwidth reservation, but the technology is more sophisticated than prior bandwidth reservation technologies for packet-based networks.

What does this mean?

APN’s patented technology is able to provide highly efficient bandwidth utilization – delivering 90% - 97% sustained utilization on shared outbound and inbound links without negatively impacting QoE, and can safely run real-time applications like VoIP and videoconferencing, and time-sensitive applications like VDI, over shared links accessing multiple data source on the Internet – something not possible with SD-WAN solutions lacking this key technology.