SD-WAN solutions manage your WAN connections. With the change of era, IT is gaining more advancement and moving from traditional SD-WAN to Viptela SD-WAN or advanced SD-WAN is compulsory. As businesses are using Software-as-a-service and Infrastructure-as-a-service, there is a need for new WAN connections or advancement in the traditional WAN.
In this blog, we will cover SD-WAN from basics to advanced. Also, we will cover the importance, need, and benefits of Viptela SD-WAN.
If you are thinking of learning more about SD-WAN, keep reading!
What is SD-WAN?
Gartner was the inventor of SD-WAN. SD-WAN was created for a commercial product category to determine how Enterprises can purchase SDN services from service providers and vendors.
SD-WAN is a software-defined WAN that helps to manage WAN. SD-WAN is functional for those companies whose network is facing fluctuation and need to rid of this fluctuation. SD-WAN allows users to connect to applications securely as it is a virtual WAN architecture allowing enterprises to grip combinations of transport services, including MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services. Due to its virtual WAN ability, it can abstract software into hardware.
What are the pre-requirements for SD-WAN?
The fundamental demand for SD-WAN solutions is application awareness, visibility, and performance. Here are the pre-requirements for SD-WAN solutions:
- It requires multiple connection types- MPLs, Internet, LTE, ADSL, etc.
- It guards site-to-site connectivity.
- An in-built interface for monitoring WAN connections is mandatory.
- It should have the capability to use available uplink paths.
- It should possess the ability to maximize the use of WAN connections to save costs.
- It should own an application-aware performance tracking over WAN links.
Why do we need SD-WAN?
SD-WAN can help IT sectors to deliver routing, protection from threats, offloading expensive circuits, and simplifying WAN network management. There are various business benefits of SD-WAN. Let us discuss these:
- It delivers high availability and predictable service for all critical Enterprise applications.
- It provides multiple hybrid active links for all network scenarios.
- It replaces expensive MPLs with affordable broadband.
- It has application-aware policies along with end-to-end segmentation.
- It has the integration of threat protection.
- It manages to safeguard the traffic across broadband and the cloud.
- It scatters remote endpoints with NGFW, DNS security, NGAV and branch security.
- It extends WAN to multiple public clouds.
- It enhances performance for Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and other major SaaS applications.
- It better the cloud platforms workflows such as AWS Azure and Microsoft Azure.
- It provides management of WAN, Cloud, and security with a single and centralized dashboard.
- It offers zero-touch furnishing for branches, the cloud, and the campus.
- It analyzes business and forecasts bandwidth bt detailing WAN performance.
How does traditional WAN work?
Traditional WAN works with hardware networks that rely on MPLs or Multi-Protocol Label Switching to maintain the traffic flow. This method installs various hardware devices and proprietary circuits to direct IP services to the clients. This setup contains a lot of hardware layers, and it was difficult for the IT teams to manage it. Scaling this traditional WAN setup was difficult as it requires pre-planned infrastructure.
An old WAN connects many LANs and VPNs. It restricts enterprises, branches, and data centres. It permits you to prioritize your data, voice, and video traffic on a network. The old version of WAN does not have proper management of security. The setup was so big that it cost so much, and adding new sites or enhancing the bandwidth was a back-breaking task. It was not the task of everyone to maintain this traditional WAN person with special skills can only manage traditional WAN networks.
What are the challenges of traditional WAN?
Although there are many challenges in a traditional WAN, here is a list of the top five challenges of traditional WAN.
- One must switch to a standby server or system if their existing application turns down. For this process, one must depend on routing protocol re-convergence. It may result in multiple seconds of outage and lost video or phone calls.
- The configuration has a compound arrangement, although it is available on each router.
- There is no personal touch from the administrator to each device.
- There is a lack of project coordination and change management.
What are the benefits of a modern SD-WAN?
As the term modern depicts, it is more beneficial than the traditional WAN. SD-WAN secured its position in 2019, replacing the old version of SD-WAN. So, here are the benefits of a modern SD-WAN:
- Traditional WANs were using MPLs for connectivity, and the cost of MPLs was four times the cost of SD-WAN. SD-WAN is contributing to fewer expenses. Hence, it is better than traditional SD-WAN.
- MPLs does not meet the demands of cloud and mobile, and they produce a trombone effect that pushes the segregated organization to use one exit point. The modern SD-WAN use policy-based routing [PbR], allowing the best transport method and removing the trombone effect. It is suitable for cloud and mobile services.
- SD-WAN ensures maximum flexibility and prowess as it reduces the mobile and cloud workload.
- With the removal of MPLs, WAN management has become simple. Introduction to cloud-based SD-WAN provides an integrated and centralized view of the network.
- SD-WAN allows a fair transport method and provides high availability of WANs.
What is SD-WAN Architecture?
SD-WAN expands SDN, Software-defined Network into WAN. The architecture has four parts: data, control, management, and orchestration plane.
For the organization of these four planes, there are four crucial components. These are:
- Cisco vManage: In the management plane, Cisco vManage plays the part of the user interface. Cisco vManage offers both a single-tenant dashboard and a multi-tenant dashboard for the service provider arrangement. The role of the configuration, troubleshooting, and managing activities is of network administrators and operators.
- Cisco vBond: Cisco vBond plays a role in the orchestration plane. vBond determines the construction of the network and shares it with other components. The zero-touch provisioning process, first-line authentication, control/management information distribution, and facilitation of Network Address Translation (NAT) traversal are also the duties of Cisco vBond.
- Cisco vSmart: Cisco vSmart works with the control plane. It is the brain of solutions. vManage creates the policies, and vSmart enforces these policies in the centre. The exchange of routing information is via the vSmart controller and not directly with other branches.
- Cisco WAN edge routers: Cisco WAN edge routers help to transfer network traffic and establish the network fabric. Cisco WAN Edge routers have numerous forms. The forms that come in use depend on the connectivity and functional needs of the site.
What is a Network function virtualization?
Network function virtualization, or NFV, is an architecture that specifies how to run SDN functions without any hardware platform. They are the infrastructure platform that produces VNFs. It decouples the functions like a firewall or encryption and converts them from hardware to virtual servers. It reduces costs and rev service deployment for network operators.
What are Cloud infrastructure and its components?
Cloud Computing is an amalgamation of hardware and software elements like storage, networking, computing power, and virtualization resources to enable cloud computing. Cloud infrastructure uses User Interface or UI to manage the virtual resources.
There are three components of the cloud infrastructure. Let us discuss these in detail:
- IaaS cloud computing: IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-service is a component of cloud infrastructure. IaaS uses all the IT resources to gain profits. It helps to decline the Data Centres expenses. IaaS cloud computing offers small to large illustrations to meet the workload necessity.
- PaaS cloud computing: Platform-as-a-service helps create and employ network assistance that, in turn, allows eluding and creating software licenses. PaaS uses public, private or hybrid cloud computing services and provides access to diverse applications or tools to manage the business well.
- SaaS cloud computing: Software-as-a-service is also known as an on-demand service. It opens access to cloud applications to all users and permits distribution. Large companies use SaaS cloud networking to promise network distribution on their device, database, and server.
What are the components of SD-WAN solutions?
- Orchestration plane: Cisco vBond is the orchestration plane. It transforms the onboarding process for new non-configured devices to the SD-WAN fabric. It also establishes and block lists the vEdge routers and control/management information distribution.
- Management plane: The management system of the SD-WAN system is vManage. It drives the system’s user interface. It collects network telemetry data, manages analytics, and alerts on SD-WAN fabric events.
- Control plane: The control plane permits the path of the data management, its operation of routing, and processing. It manages the worker nodes and the pods of the cluster.
- Data plane: The data plane is also known as the user plane, bearer plane, forwarding plane, or carrier plane. It is part of a network that takes user traffic. The data plane transfers actual data packets within the network devices.
How to do SD-WAN deployment?
Here are the steps to deploy the Cisco SD-WAN deployment.
- Evaluate your readiness for cloud-based SD-WAN.
- Choose network policies that meet your requirements.
- Grasp policies to automate the composition of the AWS network.
- Modify your policies to enhance interpretation, streamline management, and bolster security.
What are the Cisco SD-WAN Security features?
Cisco SD-WAN has various Security features. Here is a list of some of the security features of Cisco SD-WAN Solutions.
- From branches to SaaS, it provides constant security from all internal and external dangers.
- It improves user experience by safeguarding direct internet and cloud access.
- With micro-segmentation and identity-based policy, management raises overall network efficiency and reliability.
- It gives condensed authority and visibility for all internal, inbound, and outbound traffic.
- SD-WAN uses one product for networking, cloud, and security that help reduce costs and complex setups.
- It provides user-identity verification for safety.
- It keeps visibility into every device.
- It offers adaptive policy enforcement with a zero-trust procedure.
How to monitor SD-WAN?
Monitoring SD-WAN helps us to guarantee optimal enactment, safety, and steadfast SD-WAN. By observing network infrastructure, administrators can glance into network behaviour, implementation metrics, and security events. With proper visibility, one can address issues, check network resources, mend problems, and ensure adherence to industry standards.
Here are the steps to monitor SD-WAN:
- Position a network monitoring tool for SD-WAN networks: Monitoring networks won’t be possible with the traditional method. There is a need for modern methods or modern tools to detect SD-WAN networks. These tools will provide monitoring sessions that measure the network between two points. Also, these tools offer performance metrics, dynamic thresholds, proactive alerts, and notifications.
- Install network monitoring agents in every corner of the SD-WAN network: To install network agents, you need one local agent per network location and three public monitoring agents. After that, you can install it in the customer LAN. These agents build monitoring sessions that interchange synthetic UDP packets between every two packs of agents. This interchange helps in computing performance metrics and signals when a threat is around.
- Detect the SD-WAN network and service provider: To detect the SD-WAN network, monitor performance from an end-user perspective and underlay connections.
- Check your SD-WAN performance from historical data: Analyzing SD-WAN historical data is beneficial as it can help us in the establishment of a baseline, comparing performance, spotting performance patterns, furbishing issues, analyzing root causes, optimizing performance, planning capacity, reporting performance, and making a decision.
- Recognizing network problems: Use all the collected data to identify network problems and can resolve the issues occurring. There may be issues like packet loss, latency, unstable links, erratic packets, Variation in pouch delay [Jitter], security threats, variation in application performance, ordering errors, vendor interaction, and management intricacy.
- Burshelling SD-WAN problems: Collect data and use it to troubleshoot the SD-WAN problem. Collecting data and using it to solve the problem is a better idea.
In your SD-WAN network, you should check WAN links, application performance, network traffic and bandwidth usage, QoS policies, SD-WAN device health and performance, and service level agreement [SLA] compliance.
What is Viptela SD-WAN?
Cisco Viptela SD-WAN is an advanced- SD-WAN. Viptela SD-WAN terminates WAN from the physical connectivity providing lamination over the complete network. Organizations opt for Viptela SD-WAN because it delivers high security and network segregation. Companies with complex requirements and crucial data seek Viptela SD-WAN.
What is the Importance of Viptela SD-WAN?
Viptela SD-WAN is in high demand for businesses. There are many benefits to choosing Viptela SD-WAN. Here is a list of all the benefits of Viptela SD-WAN.
- Viptela SD-WAN works globally. It fulfils the requirements of hybrid networks where the provisioning of numerous underlay takes place. It meets the demands of more intricate networks by deep packet scrutinization to determine policies against traffic profiles.
- Viptela SD-WAN creates reporting of the network with coarse packet inspection.
- Viptela SD-WAN works without removing physical hardware like Cisco ISRs or vEdge.
- Viptela supports 4G or 5G connectivity and more than two ISP/MPLs. It helps business organizations to sustain failover. With the help of traffic segmentation, various topologies can travel freely and can ensure flexibility.
- Viptela SD-WAN helps the IT industry to wedge a service into the existing VPN.
- Architectures can download SD-WAN within the data centre or in the office with Viptela SD-WAN.
- Viptela has a component known as WAAS, WAN optimization. Viptela algorithms calculate specific paths which prioritize SaaS applications.
What are the components of Viptela SD-WAN?
There are five components of Viptela SD-WAN. Let us know about them in brief:
- vSmart controller: It is a single portal that manages network segmentation, routing, security and authentication.
- vManage: As the name suggests, vManage is the central point of management. It also includes configuration.
- vEdge routers: It is the IP routing that supplies typical support for BGP, OSPF, ACLs, QoS, and various routing policies.
- Support for NFV: NFV support is for chosen devices or virtual instances.
- vBond orchestrator: Correlation of every element into the network and the procedure of connecting services.
What is the Cisco SD-WAN template configuration?
Cisco SD-WAN template configuration is possible with three methods: manually, using CLI, or by vManage GUI using a template engine. The best option among these three is using vManage. The benefit of using a template engine is the appliance of a rollback feature when any human error occurs. These configurations allow the network administrator to pre-configure the device inside the vManage controller.
vManage automatically lays the template on the device after detecting it. WAN Edge mount plug-n-play [PNP] and Zero Touch Provisioning [ZTP] to make the device online. vManage template usage gives less error and automates recovery.
What are the benefits of the SD-WAN template?
There are various benefits to using the SD-WAN template. That’s why the SD-WAN template is in high demand among business persons, especially IT.
- Using templates, the time of arrangement downsizes.
- SD-WAN can remove mistakes while deploying.
- SD-WAN segregates different skill levels that reduce expenditure.
- SD-WAN assures consistency while deploying.
- SD-WAN eliminates the preference for different engineer designs.
- An engineer does not have to install SD-WAN. It is possible within the SD-WAN system.
How to create a device template with different methods?
As mentioned earlier, a device template is possible with three methods: using GUI, manually, and CLI. Let us discuss the steps of pursuing these methods:
To create a template, click on configuration, then the template. Here are the next steps for creating the template via vManage controller GUI.
- Go to the configuration section.
- Select Features> Add template tab, and create features templates.
- Select the values [variables, global parameters, or the default parameter] and then allocate a name to the design.
- Attach the feature templates to their device template. Click the Device tab, then click on the Create template tab. There appear two options- CLI-based template or feature-based template. Select feature-based.
- Apply the desired feature template to the device.
- Now attach the created device template to the devices.
- Select the devices where you desire to apply the configuration.
Here are the steps to create a template by using CLI:
- Click the device tab>create template>CLI template.
- Select the device.
- Choose the name of the template.
- Enter the description for the device template.
- In the CLI configuration box, mention the configuration by typing, cutting, uploading, or pasting the file.
- Click on the Add button.
Note: To edit the CLI template, go to the device tab, select the template name, click on the more icon at the right and click edit and then update.
Viptela SD-WAN is known as advanced SD-WAN. It includes more advanced features than SD-WAN. But before you should know about Viptela SD-WAN, you must know SD-WAN, its importance, its benefits and the need for Viptela SD-WAN.