Architecture Matters – With SD-WAN, it’s So Much Simpler!

By Michael Wood
Vice President of Marketing, VeloCloud
July 25, 2016

Years ago a colleague developed UC features for an airline call center and they didn’t want the phones to ring—no, they said quite confidently, just make it dead simple and have the software auto-answer the next call immediately when the previous one disconnects. A ringing call wastes the customer’s and the agent’s time. Shaving just a few seconds off each call compounded into literally annual savings of millions for the airline.

So what’s with all this fuss about SD-WAN architecture? You really want it just to be quicker, easier, simpler, less headache, no truck rolls. No logging individually into thousands of sites and using arcane text commands no-one over a certain age can remember, and everyone under that same age has never known. Just to get the CPE to do something.

WAN architecture matters in how it eases the installation and management of your many branch offices. Stream-lining, abstracting, centralizing, policy setting, enterprise-level views, templates, downloading, analytics, visual and graphic control—lots of capabilities—all with the singular purpose of making it simpler for the users. It saves you time,  saves you money, and it makes your business more agile. It enables you to do things with your network you couldn’t do before; it simplifies the things you could already do; it obviates the need for you to do anything at all about a number of things that should “just happen.” If the network knows what the right thing to do is, why doesn’t it just do it? SD-WANs often do. Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN leaps ahead on this: leveraging cloud-based equipment and NV services, such as gateways to aggregate VPN traffic, enforce security, direct traffic optimally to SaaS sites, with just a few clicks on the orchestration platform.

Steve Woo talks specifics in the SD-WAN Architectural Choices Deep Dive webinar. Simplicity and Manageability are two of the most important dimensions and evaluation points of a SD-WAN. A few highlights:

  • Zero-touch deployment: The small form factor CPE gets there by mail, installs with a single click while you’re doing more important things. Or maybe it’s virtual and gets installed (yes, remotely) on a VM platform already at the site.
  • No more configuration per branch: Cloud-based centralized configuration via templates; changes automatically applied to all sites using the template.
  • Automatic link detection: Bandwidth and performance continuously monitored and measured; traffic automatically steered across links in sub second fashion—or with the needed remediation over a single link—based on enterprise-level application performance policies.
  • No more configuring matching two-ended optimization appliances: Get optimization and path control automatically via the combined capabilities of branch VNF and headend cloud-based gateways (yours, or IaaS) to SaaS application locations.
  • Transport independence: No need to wait for long-lead-time and expensive MPLS circuits to each location. Use broadband, LTE, whatever is available (and add others when they become available, if desired), and let the “any-link-any-application” SD-WAN architecture—in conjunction with snazzy steering on per packet basis and remediation capabilities to ensure enterprise-class QoS—do the right thing.
  • VPN nightmare: Wake up and hear the birds sing. No more split tunneling. No more migraines over meshes and hop delays. Let the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN architecture build VPN tunnels when and where needed. Those cloud gateways do this too, they aggregate all this stuff and get it seamlessly to the cloud application sites.

Yes, architecture matters!

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