Why SD-WAN is Like the Autobahn, Only Better

By Sreekanth Kannan
Director of Product Marketing, VeloCloud
October 22, 2015

The German Autobahn is one of the most famous highway systems in the world with 7,500 miles of speedway in Germany. It’s the world’s third largest superhighway and is known for having no general speed limit. What makes it possible for drivers to travel the Autobahn at unlimited speeds is the attention that was paid to its design, from well-placed guard rails that divide the highway for safety to limiting the grade of the roads to 4 percent to using freeze-resistant concrete for winter use. Plus constant maintenance keeps the Autobahn in excellent shape, allowing drivers to travel at high speeds year around. You could say that the Autobahn was designed with great controls that enable unlimited speed.

This is not unlike the new disruptive WAN technology, SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Networking), because it too was designed with performance (speed, quality and reliability) in mind. With more control, enterprise application traffic can be given exponentially better performance.

But what if the Germans could control everything along the Autobahn, including the traffic that slows down drivers? They could then guarantee that drivers could always enjoy the Autobahn’s unlimited speed limits from start to finish. Unfortunately, despite all the Autobahn controls in place, nothing can be done about traffic jams and so drivers can’t always drive fast.

SD-WAN uses every type of wired and wireless link including Internet (ordinary broadband) and private circuits to deliver applications. That means across these different links speed, performance and quality can vary greatly based on type of link and the time of day as can be seen in the VeloCloud IQR report.

SD-WAN like Autobahn, only better

Like traffic on the Autobahn, performance across these links can easily degrade due to network congestion (traffic jams), latency (potholes) and jitter (crazy drivers). But unlike traffic on a highway like the Autobahn, a well-designed SD-WAN can intelligently steer traffic across the available links and mitigate any congestion. And it’s all transparent to the end user and the application being sent.

In other words, with SD-WAN technologies from VeloCloud, performance (speed, quality and reliability) is always possible—no matter the route (private or public broadband link) and mitigates the traffic jams when they occur (forward error correction, jitter buffer). That’s because well-designed SD-WAN technology can control the entire route, and knows, in real-time, all the time, which lines are free to use the fastest available link to route applications from start to finish.

If only the Autobahn had a way to do the same. Then drivers could count on unlimited speed anytime, all the time.

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