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SD WAN Overview

SD WAN definition

What are the characteristics of an SD WAN CPE solution?

If we accept that when we are talking about SD WAN we are talking about the management and the CPE function itself then we would say that an SD WAN Solution has the following five main characteristics;

• Must support Hybrid Networking and multiple access types at the same time – Internet, MPLS, VPLS, LTE etc

• Can do Dynamic Path Selection – connectivity must act in an Active/Active state with application specific SLA’s determining which access traffic uses.

• Simple management interface – supports Zero Touch Deployments where devices call home to obtain their configuration, along with device monitoring, alerting and reporting.

• Multiple CPE functions – routing, firewall, WAN Optimisation, WiFi, caching etc

• CPE can be either physical or virtual – vCPE can be deployed as software only, residing on a standard X86 Server.

A more complete SD WAN service

Although the term ‘SD WAN’ is grabbing all the marketing headlines (with Hybrid Networking also getting some column inches), we at SAS believe they are not the only elements required for an optimal future network.

A complete SD WAN solution will include;

• SD WAN CPE – whether physical (device and its software) or virtual (just the software);

• Hybrid Networks – multiple access technologies and network types from multiple carriers;

• End to End Application Performance Monitoring including End User Experience Monitoring;

• The digital integration of all of the quoting, provisioning, management, fault ticketing and billing systems to support the above;

• Professional Services to advise, set-up and optimise the solution;

• Flexible In-life Managed Services to dovetail into existing suppliers and resolver groups.

The SD WAN CPE solutions have created the market and now carriers are looking at how they bundle the connectivity and enhanced performance together to create a more complete solution. This second major evolution is still in its early stages with solutions likely to be separate components until digital integration of multiple systems from multiple vendors can be achieved.