Before we talk about the misunderstanding of SD-WAN, let’s take a brief look at what SD-WAN is. SD-WAN, a wide-area software-defined network, is a service formed by applying SDN technology to a wide-area network scenario. This service is used to connect enterprise networks, data centers, Internet applications, and cloud services across a wide geographic area.It is designed to help users reduce their wide area network (WAN) expenses and increase network connectivity flexibility.
SD-WAN is more than just a buzzword, it is already bringing benefits to early adopters.The first word about SD-WAN appeared in the public view was published in networkcomputing in September 2014, But in fact, the concept of SD-WAN comes from the earlier emergence of Hybrid WAN, which is to solve the game problem like unstable Internet interconnection in the enterprise market and expensive MPLS VPN.At the same time, in the ONUG Open Network User Forum in 2014, many enterprise users unanimously proposed such application requirements.
“SD-WAN is a service that is used to apply SDN technology to a wide area network scenario. This service is used to connect a wide range of enterprise networks, including branch offices and data centers.”Although in many consulting reports or vendor solutions, SD-WAN is often limited to the networking scenarios where enterprise branch offices are interconnected.However, based on the definition of SD-WAN, the application scenarios of SD-WAN can be summarized into three categories: enterprise interconnection, data center interconnection and cloud interconnection scenarios.
But we still have a lot of misunderstandings about SD-WAN, let’s take a look:
1. SD-WAN will replace MPLS:
For the time being, MPLS still occupies a prominent position in the market, but SD-WAN has also eroded a part of the city. In an application, MPLS and Virtual WAN are usually deployed together. The most important scenario is still hybrid networking.For high-priority traffic of enterprise users, the MPLS network connection is still used, and the traffic of the backbone network is controlled by Traffic Engineering to ensure the network quality of data transmission;Some branch offices and remote users, choosing to use the SD-WAN Internet connection, can reduce cost and flexible creation. SD-WAN can reduce the company’s reliance on MPLS, but it cannot be eliminated.
2. The only benefit of SD-WAN compared to MPLS is the cost:
SD-WAN can be used as a SaaS, which is relatively inexpensive compared to custom DIY settings. The plug-and-play concept of edge devices and the point-and-click configuration of services are huge advantages.Compared to MPLS, everything is centralized, GUI-based, and easier to work with.Overall, SD-WAN can save 30% of the cost per year compared to MPLS in the same proportion of bandwidth. SD-WAN is not only cheap, it is easier to manage, operate and maintain.
3. SD-WAN can guarantee QoS:
This is only a misunderstanding caused by vendor marketing, SD-WAN can measure and compensate for packet loss, jitter and latency.The loss of packets can be compensated for by using techniques such as forward error correction. Compensation for delays from distance is not possible for the same path.Jitter can be compensated for by using buffers, but this can create delays and can disrupt QoS for real-time applications such as voice and video.Therefore, SD-WAN can detect and measure delay, packet jitter and loss. It compensates for packet loss, but it cannot be used for jitter and latency. It can switch the best path in the available path, and if all the paths are not good, QoS is not guaranteed.
4. Think of SD-WAN as an independent solution:
D-WAN technology needs to follow the same strict security standards as other IT infrastructure elements. In particular, pay special attention to the use of branch routers in the SD-WAN process.Although for traditional branch router deployments, it may not be necessary to check the hardware device once it is installed, but this does not apply to SD-WAN routers.
Because for SD-WAN routers, it is important to use the latest security patches to ensure device firmware updates.Even with some SD-WAN routers with intelligent auto-repair, you can’t change the fact that you need to change the security configuration at any time according to the application environment.
SD-WAN is a very good technology and has great prospects, but if we only look at it from marketing, it will be a lot misleading.
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