GroupA Solutions

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  • Discovery
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  • Implementation
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What is SD-WAN?

(Software Defined – Wide Area Networking). SD-WAN products are physical appliances or virtual appliances deployed in remote and branch offices, data centers and cloud platforms; fixing many of the challenges of a Traditional WAN such as network congestion, latency, increasing Bandwidth needs, Network Management, Application awareness routing, etc…

What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

  • Improve WAN Performance
  • Simplify your WAN
  • Automated reliable WAN based on real time metrics
  • WAN circuit aggregation
  • 40%+ median cost savings
  • Improve deployment speed
  • Improve Capacity, Performance and Manageability
  • Application awareness/visibility and routing
  • Application based routing
  • Reduce or Eliminate MPLS
  • Reduce MPLS bloating
  • Templatize deployments
  • Global management

Common WAN problems solved by SD-WAN

  • My WAN is too slow
  • SD-WAN solves WAN speed performance by aggregating your current WAN infrastructure, load balancing between any number of circuits based on end to end performance
  • MPLS is too expensive
  • Traditional WAN hardware is too expensive
  • DMVPN is unreliable
  • My users complain about application performance
  • It’s too difficult and it takes too long to add new locations
  • I don’t know what my WAN looks like

Additional Benefits and Summary

Vendor independent hardware. Most SD-WAN Vendors offer independent hardware solutions. Some SD-WAN solutions allow for Whitebox deployment. Your hardware is not married to your vendor’s solution. Changing vendors is a matter of changing software and licensing, NOT hardware.

SD-WAN allows for WAN aggregation for load balancing and cost savings. Dynamic performance-based failover and Application aware routing. How it works…SD-WAN combines WAN circuits of any type to achieve full mesh, partial mesh, and hub-and-spoke architectures. If you were to combine a 20M MPLS circuit, 100M internet, and 10M LTE, you have an effective 130M link. You can loadshare across any of these links based on actual, real time performance. SD-WAN can measure end to end traffic statistics by each individual application. If voice has issues, for example, but O365 is working fine, O365 will continue to route over the link while voice will seamlessly transition. The reason the transition is seamless for voice is that although it is normally very sensitive traffic, the voice conversation can be duplicated over a secondary link configured to failover if the first link fails. For example if the 100M internet link reports negative statistics out of compliance with your voice profile, the receiving devices will swap over to the secondary connection.

Reduce MPLS footprint and costs. The reason we can do this is because the only advantage MPLS has over internet is it has a high SLA, high reliability. Companies purchased MPLS in a time when internet was extremely unreliable, and absolutely could not be counted on for sensitive traffic. This was over 10 years ago, and internet security and reliability has improved dramatically. The reason that SD-WAN makes the Internet so much more powerful is that 1) it’s cheaper, so you can load it up with bandwidth and 2) the end to end metrics discussed above means that even if there was an issue with reliability, you can have 2 internet circuits for about the same price, and increase the bandwidth significantly. The odds of two internet circuits failing at the same time from different providers is almost zero. Due to the fact that all circuits can be used, as if they were one, and can be failed over from one to the other, the value of MPLS’ high SLA is minimized, and the cost can no longer be justified.

Replace aging WAN edge equipment. For most enterprises, traditional network gear can be completely replaced on the edge with SD-WAN appliances. The big deal here is that due to our ability to provide clarity on those ~30 vendors, means we can likely find an SD-WAN solution that can replace your current edge infrastructure for a lower price.

Accelerate and simplify adding and removing sites. Template creation and standardization makes SD-WAN deployments very easy. All you need is connectivity to the internet and the template can be pushed down to the appliance. Most SD-WAN vendors have a way to check and make sure that the configurations synched correctly.

Accelerate and simplify adding and removing services. Application visibility into the WAN including application performance means you know what’s going through your network, how, when, and why. Half of the battle for adding or removing services is the lack of visibility, SD-WAN solves that by giving robust data on usage. CIOs, directors, etc will be able to understand what’s being used by their company. Extremely valuable.

Enable migration to off-prem services. SD-WAN provides highly resilient and intelligent transport to the public services which companies are now migrating to (AWS, Azure, Google cloud, etc). Everyone is moving to the cloud, and MPLS is tough to take with you. Usually very expensive. Application visibility is also huge here, it provides insight into how much your cloud is actually being used by your employees, and makes dynamic scaling in AWS a lot easier.

Ease of migration to quickly obtain ROI; enable migration to Virtualization. Many SD-WAN vendors provide solutions in which you can virtualize several components. WANOP, Firewall, SD-WAN, Routing, sometimes switching and short range wireless.

GUI routing configuration and templates simplifying operations and deployment. Dramatically increases simplicity and visibility to those who do not necessarily understand CLI, which is most mortals. This extends even to engineers who are in IT but not necessarily networking personnel. It’s possible that a Storage Area Network Engineer or Cloud Architect or Applications Engineer could understand what’s on the appliance, as well. This can really reduce disagreements and speed up time to remediation helping both Networking and Application teams.

Why SD-WAN with GroupA?

  • GroupA has been studying the technology since its inception and we’ve had the opportunity to work with Early Adopters and many of the approximately 30 SD-WAN vendors in the market today.
  • Our Engineers can evaluate your infrastructure and Advise on the best solution, including a recommendation on which Vendor solution is best for you. (This recommendation is not partial to any Vendor as GroupA is completely Agnostic)
  • Unbiased Vendor Evaluation
  • Solutions based on YOUR goals

There are many reasons to implement SD-WAN. The main question today is “What is the Best SD-WAN solution for you?”

Why SD-WAN with GroupA?…We’re an experienced SD-WAN deployment ‘team’, We’re vendor-neutral to sort out the ~30 vendors, We can take on the entire project ourselves or supplement the current team, We bring relationships with vendors. All these things combined also allow us to deliver much faster, provide the right solution, and get the best prices.

What SD-WAN Adoption looks like vs. traditional deployment

Traditional deployment

  • Hardware acquired from large vendor
  • Network engineer makes their best guess on circuit bandwidth
  • Hardware shipped to the HQ
  • Hardware configured at HQ
  • Hardware or engineer sent to remote site
  • Cabled according to instructions
  • Cross your fingers

Deployment time: 14-60 days

SD-WAN Deployment

  • Hardware acquired from SD-WAN vendor
  • Network engineer makes precise decisions on circuit bandwidth using SD-WAN metrics
  • Hardware is shipped directly to remote site
  • Cabled according to instructions
  • Configuration is either pre-configured, or configured by simply connecting to the WAN and pushing down template(s)
  • Verify connectivity with SD-WAN dashboard and metrics

Deployment time:  7-14 days