It looks like we’re going to have some SD-WAN goodness next week at Networking Field Day 13. I love the technology itself because of the real-world use case and practical benefits a good SD-WAN solution can offer. Many of the SDN-labeled offerings out there are still a little immature, but adding intelligence to the WAN edge is something that is already being adopted wholeheartedly in even small enterprises.
Managing the WAN through software means that serious intelligence can be added to path selection and link aggregation more than “legacy” routers have been able to do thus far. This also allows various devices such as routers, optimization appliances, and firewalls to be rolled into one device. A huge benefit is also the incredible cost savings a company can realize when eliminating expensive private MPLS circuits by aggregating inexpensive public internet circuits.
VeloCloud, a well-known name in the SD-WAN space, will be one of the presenting companies at Networking Field Day 13. I’ve heard of VeloCloud before, but I’ve never really dug into what they do much until recently. I’ve been looking at SD-WAN solutions for my day job and am very interested in how they do per packet and per flow load balancing across several aggregated WAN links. How do they provide a similar performance and end-user experience load balancing an application over both broadband and LTE links, for example?
The real goal here is to provide private circuit reliability, security, and performance for applications running over the public internet. VeloCloud does that using what they call “dynamic multi-path optimization” along with a proprietary form of link and path monitoring to check for bandwidth, quality, and reliability issues.
I have recent production experience with a different SD-WAN company that provides a similar solution, so I have a particular interest in what differentiates VeloCloud. I’d like to hear more specifically about their pay-as-you-go model because I know from experience that enterprises don’t normally migrate a global network in one big cutover. Starting small, maybe just a few branch offices, is how multi-site organizations are moving from a traditional WAN to an SD-WAN solution.
Reading through their website, I learned a little bit about their appliance, the VeloCloud Edge, that can be deployed very quickly at a branch office by pretty much anyone who knows how to plug in a cable. This is expected, so I’d like to hear more about their cloud network of distributed gateways. I think I understand what they’re doing, but I’m really not 100% sure based on what I’ve read online. Maybe that doesn’t really matter, but I think when looking at what’s going on in the backhaul of various SD-WAN solutions we can identify those indicators that differentiate one SD-WAN company from another.
This is really cool stuff to me, but what I really like is how SD-WAN is relevant today. I’m looking forward to meeting the folks at VeloCloud next week and hearing more about how they make the magic happen.