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Software Defined WAN provides a bulletproof, outage-proof internet and WAN connection strategy

Secure Access Service Edge combines the best of SDWAN and unbreakable security, together in one service

SDWAN is a now "must have" not a "nice to have" and is the critical element to a bulletproof, outage-proof solution. But many businesses are still uncertain of what SDWAN actually does. Simply put, it’s an appliance that sits at your site(s) and a cloud service that work together (please note SDWAN IS NOT just a firewall appliance with multiple WAN ports!!!). SDWAN stands between your LAN and two or more internet connections. Plug it all in, and what you have is a solution that understands all the packets flowing through it and which packets need the fastest and best route (e.g. voice packets need the best route, not necessarily the fastest). SDWAN makes a decision on which ISP to use in real-time using the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) and other information on each connection. MOS is the de facto standard measurement(s) for bandwidth integrity and is the accumulated score of latency, jitter, delay, packet loss etc. If MOS is poor on one of the connections, the SDWAN seamlessly moves traffic over to the next best connection which is used until the traffic jam clears up. Most real SDWAN solutions will constantly and continuously use all of the connections when MOS is high and even aggregate the multiple connections into one larger connection. So instead of your firewall or router thinking you have two 100Mbps connections, a real SDWAN solution will actually give you one 200Mbps connection! All of this is done moment by moment, packet by packet, in real-time. This type of "traffic-management" is especially useful in many of today's sensitive applications such as VoIP, video, critical cloud services, and hypersensitive VPN connections. Businesses with multiple locations and SDWAN at each one get a built-in, site-to-site private network, eliminating the need for expensive MPLS and Point-to-Point connections. 

a simple SDWAN explanation

Important questions when considering SDWAN:

  • How important is constant uptime to your business?

  • Do you have a failover/backup connection currently?

  • Do you have the right bandwidth to support your current/future cloud applications?  (More doesn't always mean better. With SDWAN you'll get better bandwidth)

  • What are your business-critical applications?

  • Where do your applications live today?

  • Do all of your applications perform consistently and reliably?

  • What applications are limited due to your current WAN constraints?

  • What happens to your business when the Internet goes down? 

  • What is the cost of downtime?

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The Old Way

Firewalls won’t cut it—Firewalls are great for security, and they should stick to what they know. Some Dual-WAN firewalls can control traffic, but only one way; outbound only. When they do failover to the backup ISP, its linear, clunky, and IP addresses change. This causes dropped packets, reconnects, lost VPNs, and worst of all dropped VoIP calls. They also have simple software that only has limited visibility of Internet problems.

Load Balancers fall short—Load-balancers boast of much but are full of caveats and too often fall far short of expectations. These devices provide inbound-failover but it’s DNS-based, so unless you’re hosting a website in your office, they aren’t any better than a basic firewall. Their failover isn’t seamless for IP specific traffic, so users have to reconnect; and QoS only works for outbound traffic (if at all), not inbound, so VoIP is choppy and other apps suffer.

BGP, too expensive—BGP is a great. The Internet is built on it. However, it’s limited, expensive, and very complex. BGP-capable routers are also completely unaware of Internet performance so it balances traffic blindly and only in a “hard” outage. 

The New Way

Quality Access—SDWAN solves the problems of QoS over the open internet. Automated QoS features detect and respond to changes in throughput when sensitive traffic could be affected, and controls both outbound and inbound traffic.

Truly Seamless Failover—SDWAN handles public IP addressing in the cloud, so all applications, even active calls, stay connected when a circuit fails. IP Addresses are also portable so if you move offices or change ISPs just plug it in a go. 

Intelligent Load Balancing—SDWAN has built in management and in-depth monitoring that adapts and changes to fluctuations in the internet and your circuits, in real-time, on-demand, packet by packet.

Enterprise-grade WAN—SDWAN can augment or completely replace MPLS, Point-to-Point and site-to-site VPNs while maintaining a private, always-on, and secure connection with much better performance.

Get fiber performance with SD-WAN and never go down again! 

SDWAN Sample Diagram

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