For the last couple of years, SD-WAN has been a very large topic in the networking community. Taking the task of providing one or multiple network connections to a site and then configuring the needed logical connections to other locations was the most basic use case for SD-WAN. That worked great for linking branch locations to a corporate campus, datacenters, etc for instance. It normally requires a specific edge networking device from an SD-WAN provider and then a quick, gui based setup (usually). That worked great for a lot of businesses for a long time now. There is one difference though lately. So many things are moving to the cloud that companies are now needing a way to bring the cloud into their SD-WAN environment. That’s where Aviatrix has placed some of their focus: path optimization for all of a business’ locations to their cloud resources; call it SD-Cloud.
Hardware in the Cloud?
As I mentioned, with a lot of SD-WAN providers, it requires placing a specific piece of hardware at the edge of your network. This will control the SD-WAN networking and which of your locations are able to talk to each other. The problem with bringing SD-WAN to the cloud is that you do not have the control and ability to drop a piece of hardware into that cloud network. Aviatrix has created what they call a virtual gateway to be used in major cloud provider configuration such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. This brings your cloud resources directly into your SD-WAN, and now SD-Cloud topology.
So why is using virtual gateways an advantage? My favorite reason: bandwidth. One of the ways around the need for these virtual gateways that companies have used for a while now is by creating an IPSEC tunnel between the corporate campus and the cloud and then allowing each branch location to reach these resources by traversing the SD-WAN network and then hair-pinning out this tunnel to the cloud. I have seen this in play more than a few times. Think about it though… ALL TRAFFIC from these branch locations will be consuming both upload and download bandwidth of the corporate campus’ uplink to get to the cloud.
Using the virtual gateways is something that appealed to me in a demo I received because of truly how simple it became. Creating these logical software defined network connections is still just a few clicks away, but now instead of just connecting physical locations, you have the same simple setup to connect to the cloud as well. Normally, designing and configuring these interconnections between locations is something reserved for the engineers. With the simple to use dashboard from Aviatrix, even the everyday network admins can handle this with ease.
More Details and a Demo
I mentioned the demo I received from Aviatrix and I wanted to share it as well. The videos below are led by Sherry Wei, founder and CTO of Aviatrix. If you are interested in use of virtual gateways and creating your own SD-Cloud give these videos a watch. Beyond that, comment below and I will be happy to answer any questions based off of what I learned about Aviatrix, or visit their website for Site-to-Cloud at https://www.aviatrix.com/solutions/site-to-cloud.php.