Going Above and Beyond Link Bonding and Failover Into SD-WAN Features

Recently, we came across a great post, Hybrid WAN or SD-WAN, on NetCraftsmen.

As the article’s author, Peter Welcher, explains there are a number of new offerings in the space. “As witnessed at Network Field Day 9, there is a hotbed of innovation occurring right now in the Hybrid WAN or SD-WAN space. I’m still trying to learn the players. In the hope that it helps, I will list those I know about and provide brief comments and some links.”

Listed under “vendors coming from the direction of link bonding,” here’s how Welcher describes Ecessa’s offering:

WANworX is claimed to virtualize the WAN (MPLS or Internet-based) using network intelligence controllers. (Routers by another name?) It sounds like they have to be sized and configured by someone and then communicate with cloud management. It’s a bit hard to tell whether Ecessa controls go enough above and beyond bonding and failover to qualify as SD-WAN.

Welcher’s right, it can be a bit hard to tell if the Ecessa products go above failover and qualify as SD-WAN. So, we wanted to dig into that a bit to answer any questions.

We believe they do—here’s why.

Welcher is correct, we did enter the SD-WAN space from a traditional link bonding and failover perspective. From our very first PowerLink product that was marketed as a DSL Aggregator, we have worked to make failover and uptime improvements for customers. Our new products have the ability to move traffic across different WAN lines without interruption and is, in my opinion, the essence of SDN—hence SD-WAN.

Our latest technology, WAN Virtualization within our WANworX product, enables users to take advantage of SD-WAN; specifically:

  • WAN Virtualization: our automated tunnel management system monitors and maintains the virtual tunnels that connect all WAN lines into one seamless connection; if a WAN line has performance issues (excessive loss, latency, or re-ordering) our SW will re-start the tunnel, alert the user, and automatically re-route traffic to avoid any data loss.
  • Policy Routing: we allow the user to tag and route specific traffic types to specific locations, either through a static route or through duplication, via configuration file, user interface, or command line interface; thus, virtually steering the traffic wherever the user wishes.
  • Quality of Service (QoS): we have the ability to set bandwidth limits and priorities for those different traffic types, allowing for more control over where and how that traffic flows across the multiple WAN connections. This is great for WAN lines that have specific speed limits or cost implications for usage (e.g., legacy DSL, 3G or 4G wireless connections).
  • Cloud View: our web-based management tool allows access and control of all Ecessa devices in your network; from basic config backup and change management, to network performance tools and alerts.

We appreciate that WAN Optimization (i.e. caching, compression, and filtering) and Virtualization (i.e. SD-WAN) are different things and they are both essential for making the most of any network. Our WANworX SD-Wan products work well with other optimization technologies, allowing the newly optimized WAN traffic to be securely transmitted across multiple WAN lines regardless of carrier performance issues or outages. We help to guarantee the traffic gets to where it needs to go, period.

We also agree with Welcher that innovation is imperative for making SD-WAN useful and relevant to network administrators and architects. Our angle is to make SD-WAN, or our WANworX products, easier and easier to use. Ideally, SD-WAN would be plug and play with minimal to no intervention by the users or administrators— we’re working hard to realize that vision. Our technology roadmap has many new features that we feel will lead the industry in ease-of-use.

If you’re interested in how this plays out for our customers, we have a number of case studies here.

We’d be happy to answer other questions, expand on specifics, or even provide a demo of our solutions; feel free to fill out the form below.
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