Michael Davis from Macquarie Telecom Group has published a rather interesting blog post about the shift from MPLS to SD-WAN, focusing on the core areas of SD-WAN, including multiple links, application management, business-ready solutions, and security.
As the shift from MPLS to SD-WAN has been underway, there are certain elements of the SD-WAN that need to be considered and while it might work for some companies, there are certain complications as well as certain aspects that might not work for some companies. In any case, SD-WAN can be considered as a smarter way to build and run a network, ending with a network that is quick to deploy, simple to manage and deliver unparalleled visibility.
According to the blog post published by Michael Davies, Director Sales and Emerging Technology at Macquarie Telecom Group, there are four core areas that organizations need to be focused when weighing up whether SD-WAN is an option, including multiple links, application management, business-ready solutions, and security.
One of the key benefits of SD-WAN is certainly the Multi-Path technology which uses two or more standard links and combines them into one data pipe, providing both network stability and resilience as well as redundancy when one link is down, and lowered costs, especially with regional and international sites.
The link steering is similar to multi-path technology although it is focused on applications. The path selection is a step above link steering where it determines which is the best link for an application when a session is triggered. There is also packet steering, which is the ultimate in dynamic flexibility Dynamic Multi-Path Optimisation steers packets to the optimal link based on performance metrics, application requirements and priority, and link cost. There is also a question of application management versus QoS, which also need to be considered when switching to SD-WAN.
The so-called business ready solutions as there are a lot of SD-WAN suppliers to choose from and offering different options. Some things that need to be considered is own or shared gateways, redundancy, and if the provider uses both hybrid (MPLS and SD-WAN) and native SD-WAN networks.
The security is probably one of the biggest aspects of considering SD-WAN, and while some say that it is not as safe as a traditional network, it all depends on how the vendor manage security. The best option is obvious a layer 2 security with centralized firewalls but it all comes down to the needs of a certain company.