sd-wan performance monitoring

SD-WAN is slowly but surely taking its place in the enterprise network landscape. Succeeding IPsec and MPLS, SD-WAN is intended to provide configuration flexibility, lower costs, and take advantage of the properties of each link. Does this infrastructure deliver the right performance for the job? 

1. SD-WAN, SaaS, and mobility

Office365, Google Suite, or even web CRM are the flagship of a new kind of application distribution. We talk about SaaS (Software as a Service) to designate these solutions hosted in the cloud, with improved accessibility.

Meanwhile, and this is even more relevant since the 2020 events, the end-user’s habits are growing and he expects from his professional digital experience an availability close to 100%, both on site and at home. Mobility is an issue. The organization is no longer evaluated on application performance only, but also on its ability to provide a fluid and fast user experience.

The impact of these collaborative SaaS tools on bandwidth is significant: use of Internet resources has never been as high as in 2020, and will continue to increase in coming years. Because performance and security are essential, it is crucial for organizations to optimize distribution of resources, and therefore to better manage network capacity and bandwidth.

2. SD-WAN implementation

Even if SD-WAN has been expanding recently, its name and framework have been defined since 2014 by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG).

The implementation of SD-WAN relies on software and cloud technologies to implement network overlay mechanisms. A virtual overlay, on top of network links, which allows a more detailed control of channels used.

The goal is to optimize bandwidth distribution across each type of link (ADSL, fiber, 4G, 5G), and thus ensure the best possible delivery to the organization’s strategic activities.

3. Benefits of SD-WAN

SD-WAN involves one or more stakeholders, on both physical and virtual layers, enabling flexibility and change management to keep pace with the increasing needs of businesses.

These mechanisms and flexibility facilitate WAN operations, enabling IT managers and CIOs to deploy simple, reliable, and secure connectivity.

By simplifying asset management and ensuring consistent levels of performance, SD-WAN provides an optimal network solution, generating region-specific cost savings and ease of configuration.

However, there are disadvantages, notably due to its lack of maturity, and the complexity of managing several suppliers.

4. SD-WAN performance measurement

SD-WAN providers usually offer integrated monitoring. Because metrics stop at device availability, it’s hard for IT teams to get a clear picture of performance in detail. This is especially true if the organization is using multiple solutions, and ends up with disparate dashboards.

Also, SD-WAN technology is not yet standardized. This means that players in this technology provide monitoring with criteria and thresholds that vary from one to another. Availability feedback from integrated monitoring is therefore not truly relevant and difficult to use.

Some questions emerge:

  • How do you ensure that availability and performance are always delivered to end users?
  • How do you track performance with multiple measurement tools?
  • How can you trust metrics reported by SD-WAN providers if there is no standardization?

External monitoring is the key to gather reliable and complete metrics. Some IT supervision solution editors offer a brick allowing measurement of SD-WAN deployments.

Maltem Insight Performance, thanks to its MIP Solution, offers personalized support adapted to company’s architecture. IT teams are only interested in analyzing results using dashboards, or more detailed graphs if needed.


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