SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Networking) refers to the networking solutions that are deployed primarily by multi-office enterprises and by Service Providers, to provide connectivity and additional cloud based services to branch office end-points. The SD-WAN architectures utilize cloud based SDN (Software Defined Networking) design concepts whereby the networking appliances at the edges can be easily configured, monitored and managed.
Single transport based connectivity is unpredictable by the nature of reliance on single path. Potential blackouts, brownouts caused by service provider issues, cross-traffic, or static QoS (Quality of Service) and priority management can cause loss or degradation of connectivity. The multi-WAN nature of SD-WAN solution implements intelligent mechanisms to monitor and react in real-time to mitigate those type of networking problems.
Single WAN based inter-office connectivity (MPLS or VPN based) alone can create relatively static connectivity between end-points that cannot react to performance fluctuations in the transport. SD-WAN takes BGP or OSPF based routing mechanism to the next level where packets can be steered around network problems in real-time without requiring slow route updates. Special application centric VNFs (Virtual Network Functions) are leveraged to optimize paths on a per-packet basis.
Historically, networking gears have been difficult to install, manage and monitor, usually requiring “smart-hands” at the end-point location (i.e. having a qualified IT personnel at the office that the appliance resides). Utilizing software defined techniques, we can separate the control plane and the data plane, and therefore create a centralized, cloud based controller that manages the end-points. This significantly simplifies large scale deployments of SD-WAN appliances.
Layer 2 transports such as MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) have been the “go-to” transport and method to connect geographically distributed end-points, such as branch offices. However, the high cost per bit of MPLS and limitations of centralized management of end-points, make SD-WAN an ideal alternative or in some scenarios add-on augmentation, instead of an expensive MPLS upgrade.
Mushroom’s SD-WAN framework utilizes overlay IP tunnels that are distributed VNFs (Virtual Network Functions) that can monitor, remember, calculate and react in real-time to shield network problems from the application layer. Services such as live video, VOIP, UC (Unified Communications), chatty applications, file transfer or any other type of specialized service can be deployed based on advanced algorithms with only a few clicks. Reliability and predictability of the connections that these services rely on will be improved by orders of magnitude.
Intelligence from performance data and logs collected with legacy monitoring methods are usually not actionable. VNF overlays deployed with SD-WAN provides very powerful in-depth time-series data to be collected and processed in the background. Some of the intelligence to optimize application performance are designed in into the VNFs, however, depending on the metrics that are targeted, monitoring probes can be included both as in-band or out-band mechanisms to provide real-time, actionable intelligence from the network
SD-WAN is an ideal networking solution to connect business offices to each other and to the public Internet. The capabilities built-in enables easy grooming and traffic management of branch office traffic and optimizes cost and performance. SD-WAN is suitable both for mid-sized and large enterprises for upgrading their branch networks or lighting up new branches. Smaller businesses with single offices can also benefit from SD-WAN serviced by a Mushroom Networks service provider partner or Mushroom Networks directly. Enterprises who want to manage the controllers in their own data-centers can accomplish this by installing a physical or virtual appliance.
Internet Service providers now have the ability to bring SD-WAN services to their end-clients, large or small by simply installing the controller in their POP / data center or by leveraging Mushroom’s worldwide infrastructure. The self-healing and autopilot features of the solution means urgent support tickets will be eliminated or converted to non-urgent tickets, that will save cost and increase customer satisfaction.
SD-WAN is the ideal framework to deliver cloud based applications. ITSPs (Internet Telephone Service Providers) that provide SIP trunking, hosted IP-PBX or UC (Unified Communications) can add performance boost and unbreakable multi-WAN connectivity from client location to their POP. SD-WAN tunnels such as VOIP Armor can create an overlay from the client location to the service provider POP that has the ability to monitor and react in real-time to optimize with respect to the metrics that matter for the application at hand, in this case, MOS (Mean Opinion Score) for VOIP / SIP applications. Similarly other real-time or non-real-time applications can be delivered over Mushroom’s SD-WAN to optimize for specific application types.
SD-WAN is not only limited to wired transports. 3G, 4G, LTE or even satellite connections can be managed with Mushroom’s cellular based SD-WAN appliances, creating a mobile connectivity end-point that can be centrally monitored and managed. These mobile devices have the ability to run Mushrooms’ application centric bonding tunnels, combining 2 or more 3G, 4G, LTE connections for highly predictable and highly optimized connections on the go for vehicular, portable or temporary use cases.
Mushroom’s SD-WAN technology has an application centric technology at the core. This means flows can be identified and treated via the overlay tunnels that are designed to optimize that specific application. Since application needs for QoS (Quality of Service) differs from throughput, packet-loss, latency, jitter and many others including historic performance, highly advanced tunnels are leveraged to optimize the flows.
Mushroom’s SD-WAN solutions have been deployed world-wide with the widest and largest portfolio of clients and use-cases in the sector, from large enterprises, to service providers for branch office connectivity to broadcasters, to trains for optimized connectivity over 3G, 4G, LTE wireless. Mushroom’s solutions embed technologies that are perfected over the years with unique know-how and in-the-field experience that is unique in the industry.
One of the added values of SD-WAN architectures is based on automating the configuration and management of the end-points. However, being able to automate problem mitigation via setting the WAN networks on autopilot is unique to Mushroom’s SD-WAN, whereby advanced tunnels can automatically detect network conditions that can negatively effect a specific flow type and accordingly implement measures to router around the network problem in real-time without dropping on-going sessions.
Mushroom’s SD-WAN solutions come with built-in library of VNFs. However, for service providers and enterprises that would like to customize their overlay networks, Mushroom’s VNF Design Studio offers a drag-and-drop based UI to build or modify tunnels with ease. This shrinks the new service development and rollout cycle by orders of magnitude.
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