Every year or few years there is a new set of “buzzwords” that the industry is all abuzz about. One of these “hot topics” recently has been about SD-WAN. The idea behind SD-WAN is that you will have a large network, expanding over the WAN to connect multiple offices. There are many different topologies that this could cover including a full mesh of multiple offices as well as a more traditional hub and spoke design. One specific vendor that I will include as an example from the field is TELoIP (http://www.teloip.com/). One of their selling points that they offer to clients is a new way to optimize and better utilize their WAN connections.
Redundancy and Optimization
There are two main reasons that people really look to the SD-WAN solutions that are out there: redundancy and optimization. Redundancy is obviously key in a business environment since you want to make sure that each site is online at all times. 1,000 different products can offer you network redundancy, down to a basic router though. Optimization is another thing that SD-WAN solutions always talk about. For this specific example, I am focusing on optimization of ISP connections. Anyone can have a standby circuit for redundancy purposes. True optimization will make the most of all available circuits at all times. By doing this, there is no failover “blip” when a specific circuit fails, since all links are already being utilized. Things like voice calls can continue on without complete interruption.
TELoIP has a large focus on utilizing all available circuits to allow each branch location to run at the best speeds possible. This covers multiple different types of circuits and connections as well as shown below.
Every company in the SD-WAN field has a different way of allowing clients to connect to their network. TELoIP for instance has a specific piece of hardware that is connected at each location. This can be just a single device or multiple, depending on the scope of the setup. Multiple devices can be used for another layer of redundancy as well. Some vendors on the other hand even allow clients to use IPsec tunnels to connect to the SD-WAN network. It all depends on which vendor you decide to go with.
SD-WAN providers provide the services that they do, by having robust networks on the backend. This can include multiple interconnected locations connected by 10, 40, or 100Gb links. TELoIP has a network health tool on their website for their VINO product. This allows users to see the performance of the backend network. That graphic demonstrates how their network interconnects the country, nationwide.
Network Field Day 15 Presentation: TELoIP
I recently attended Network Field Day 15 and was able to hear from two representatives from TELoIP about their VINO SD-WAN solution. Their names were Pat Saavedra and Kevin F.R. Suitor, Founder(and CTO) and Chief Marketing Officer respectively. They were very excited to be able to demonstrate the capabilities and performance of their product. They took the time to walk through and explain each of the patented features that they have baked into their product. I specifically was focusing on the feature of utilizing all available circuits in a logical “bundle” of network connections. In the video of this demo below, watch how they demonstrate this and show the statistics of each circuit throughout the testing too. Bottom line, if a company is paying for internet circuits, the TELoIP VINO product ensures they are all used to their max potential.
Overall though, I myself, am a novice in the SD-WAN field. From the limited research I have of the major vendors in this area, I really think they all tout nearly the same features, but go about offering those features in unique ways. I see SD-WAN as a way to provide a strongly networked solution over the web, in a secure manner and in an easy to manage platform.
TELoIP has clearly put years of work into their product and I encourage you to watch the Network Field Day videos below to hear what they are all about. They might just be exactly the solution to help your company. If you have any questions, comment below and I will try to get you an answer.
Disclaimer: Gestalt IT, organizers of Network Field Day was responsible for my travel expenses to attend Network Field Day. I do not receive any cash compensation as a delegate from either Gestalt It or any of the mentioned vendors. All opinions are my own.