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What is a Failsafe SD-WAN

A failsafe, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) delivers high network availability and predictable application performance with exceptional quality of experience (QoE).

Failsafe SD-WAN Technology

Oracle’s patented SD-WAN technology contains a number of key capabilities necessary to tame the public internet and deliver a failsafe SD-WAN over a multilink WAN fabric that can include internet connections. It starts with the ability to do continuous unidirectional measurement of packet loss, latency, jitter, and bandwidth utilization on all possible paths between any pair of locations, which enables subsecond response to adapt to network events.

A truly failsafe SD-WAN technology offering provides the following capabilities:

  • Continuous unidirectional measurement of packet loss, latency, jitter, and bandwidth utilization
  • Per-packet forwarding decisions and subsecond response to adapt to network issues
  • Intelligent link aggregation, including the ability to use all bandwidth across multiple disparate links, even for a single high-bandwidth flow
  • Optional packet replication for real-time traffic, delivering platinum-quality support for real-time applications
  • Inbound multisource quality of service (QoS) with inbound congestion avoidance, providing 90+ percent sustained utilization on shared links without negatively impacting QoE
  • Centralized orchestration/analytics offering unprecedented WAN and application performance visibility
Failsafe SD-WAN Technology
Read the data sheet (PDF)

Why Implement an SD-WAN?

While private MPLS WANs served the enterprise well for a very long time, they are inflexible, expensive, and don’t do cloud. MPLS doesn’t offer connectivity to public cloud computing and SaaS, locks IT into a single service provider, and costs 50 to 400 times more per Mbps for branch sites than higher bandwidth internet connections. By contrast, SD-WANs offer agility, flexibility, reduced OpEx (both bandwidth and management costs), and multiple consumption models.

Why Implement an SD-WAN?

SD-WAN Architecture

SD-WANs offer significant agility, flexibility, and cost advantages over traditional MPLS-only WANs. An SD-WAN provides:

  • A secure, flexible, virtual WAN overlay fabric supporting multiple WAN links, including lower-cost internet links
  • A centralized controller architecture with centralized management, reporting, and policy control
  • Branch office simplification abilities, including zero-touch provisioning (ZTP)
  • Superior access to cloud and SaaS
  • Choice of physical or virtual appliances

In addition to the above, a failsafe SD-WAN tames the public internet and delivers reliability, high availability, and predictable QoE not offered by competing SD-WAN solutions.

SD-WAN Architecture

Dynamic Path Selection

Dynamic path selection is a core component of most SD-WAN offerings. It works with locations that have multiple WAN connections (MPLS plus internet/wireless or even entirely internet connections). Lesser SD-WAN offerings require administrators to premap applications to specific WAN connections and have them failover to a different WAN circuit when a packet loss or latency threshold is reached. Or the link fails and can frequently see dropped calls or application sessions fail, even if the network remains up for new sessions. More advanced SD-WAN technology, such as Oracle failsafe SD-WAN, utilizes continuous unidirectional measurement of all WAN paths and provides the ability to make per-packet rather than only per-session forwarding decisions. As a result, traffic will always be sent on the correct path based on current network conditions and the SD-WAN will react subsecond to network problems, avoiding session failures and delivering exceptional QoE.

Dynamic Path Selection

SD-WAN Traffic Shaping

SD-WAN traffic shaping manipulates and prioritizes network traffic. Administrators use this to prioritize certain network traffic so that bulk, high-bandwidth—but not time-sensitive applications—do not impact real-time or latency-sensitive highly interactive applications. This is useful when real-time traffic (like voice or videoconferencing) needs to be given priority over traffic that is less time-sensitive (think general browser traffic or email). Lesser SD-WAN solutions force administrators to map applications to WAN connections, set thresholds, etc., and do QoS traffic shaping only for the outbound WAN link at a location. Oracle’s failsafe SD-WAN technology allows administrators to set high-level policies across the bundle of WAN connections and delivers end-to-end traffic shaping ensuring exceptional QoE for real-time and interactive applications, even over shared internet connections.

SD-WAN Traffic Shaping

SD-WAN Full Mesh

SD-WAN Full Mesh is a network modeled around fully integrated communication and allows traffic to travel directly between all locations in the network. Enterprise site communication works like an interconnected web, where users can connect directly from any branch in the network to any other location. This also allows for branch-to-branch connections to be established for more efficient peer-to-peer applications (videoconferencing, for example). This is a more resource-intensive model that can be harder to manage for very large networks.

SD-WAN Full Mesh

SD-WAN Hub and Spoke

SD-WAN Hub and Spoke, also referred to as a wagon wheel network, utilizes a single site that operates as the hub or central site to create a WAN. All sites connect directly to the main hub(s). These remote branches each communicate through the central hub site(s) to reach other spokes.

Hub and Spoke networks are easier to design and manage and typically cost less. All security services can be located in the centralized hub, allowing all traffic to be inspected and secured at a single point in the network. A single hub site can be a limiting factor as networks get larger.

SD-WAN Hub and Spoke

SD-WAN Regional Hub Model

An SD-WAN Regional Hub is a network model that combines the best of the hub and spoke and the full mesh architecture to improve performance and security, simplify provisioning, and extend connectivity. It organizes branches into logical regions which connect back to a central hub within a region—like a system of distributed and organized hub and spoke sites. Advanced SD-WAN offerings even support dynamic direct connections between branches when application traffic dictates.

Security and network services exist at the Regional Hub for efficient backhauling over a short distance. The most notable benefit, in line with the cost savings associated with SD-WAN, is the ability to minimize changes to the network security architecture, while providing significant flexibility for future WAN changes.

SD-WAN Regional Hub Model
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