Martello BLOG

Network Performance Management 101: Building Rock-Solid Networks with SD-WAN

At Martello, we always look at September and the return of school as the perfect time to take stock, brush up on some of our skills or gain a better understanding of a subject that we feel a little uncertain of. Maybe you feel the same as we do and have had some questions about SD-WAN and the BIG impact that it can have on your network. Below we have given you a primer on SD-WAN and what it can mean for your UC solution.

The reality is, if you are in the networking space, you already know that delivering reliable network performance is difficult and costly to achieve. The cloud is creating increased network complexity and carrier networks and WAN connectivity haven’t kept pace with the exploding demand for bandwidth. Real-time services are complicating everything because rich media, streaming and UC require costly bandwidth for good performance. Buying the ‘Rolls Royce’ of bandwidth doesn’t help either because it can leave you dependent on just one Internet service provider (ISP) which can leave you vulnerable to outages. How do you manage costs and deliver the service quality users demand?

Software Defined-WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions make the task of managing and optimizing competing network traffic simple and cost effective. With SD-WAN, you control your current bandwidth needs through established policies and prioritizations allowing you to diversify providers, links and technologies to add flexibility – optimizing your network performance.

What does that mean for your UC solution:

Uptime… All the Time
Carrying your network using a single ISP is risky and can get expensive. Using multiple concurrent ISP links though without the proper technology in place is a gamble you shouldn’t take. Using SD-WAN, you can take advantage of carrier diversity because it balances and maximizes the use of costly private circuits by running multiple SIP trunks on multiple ISPs, and dynamic failover ensures you’re not impacted by carrier outages.

Ample Bandwidth for UC – at a Lower Cost
SD-WAN reduces your outlay on bandwidth. Many smaller companies delay the deployment of a UC solution that would improve their business because of the high cost of dedicated MPLS circuits. SD-WAN solutions make it possible to lower bandwidth costs while achieving better results. The freedom to mix and match network technologies and ISPs gives you more control over your costs as well — you’re not dependent on one provider.

Prioritizing UC
Your network is strained by user activity around the clock, and it can be hard to prioritize bandwidth to mission critical applications. Imagine an office where one employee is streaming a FIFA soccer game while customer support is fielding a call from a customer. SD-WAN gives you control over how bandwidth is used, by setting policies that establish prioritization. Policies allow you to identify which applications get a higher bandwidth priority without compromise. SD-WAN solutions can divert less bandwidth-intensive applications to lower-cost DSL circuits so that higher-bandwidth applications, like UC, can operate smoothly.

Always Optimizing for the Best Experience
Taking advantage of ISP diversity keeps costs in check and decreases downtime. SD-WAN behaves according to the policies you’ve set for your organization, but it is flexible so can also make smart and quick decisions on the fly, choosing which packets take priority and which don’t. A resilient infrastructure with managed SD-WAN services can monitor the health of each ISP and distribute the required bandwidth accordingly. If a link fails to respond appropriately, it is removed from the available list – being tested until it is ready.

Delivering reliable network performance is a constant challenge, but with our primer you’ll know how to build a scalable, flexible, and affordable network infrastructure to position your business for success. When it comes to building an agile network, investing in SD-WAN is an obvious choice.