Talari WAN solutions bring Internet economics to corporate WANs by aggregating and transforming broadband and other affordable Internet links to deliver business-class reliability and performance predictability at consumer prices.
Nearly every growing enterprise quickly finds that legacy WAN deployments are unable to fulfill the requirements for today's multi-cloud world. The analogy of using a steam engine to power a modern jetliner comes to mind. In part 1 of the blog, we examined why SD-WANs have become an integral requirement for enterprises seeking reliable multi-cloud upgrades from traditional MPLS-only WANs. Optimized for cloud connectivity and designed for much easier management, provisioning and SaaS access, a hybrid WAN powered by SD-WAN aggregates more network power while delivering far greater agility and flexibility.
The SD-WAN engine alone does not always live up to its potential. That's because most SD-WAN solutions lack essential failsafe technology to ensure MPLS-class high availability and predictable performance for TCP and real-time apps. A truly failsafe SD-WAN will deliver superior Quality of Experience (QoE) whether it is deployed with a hybrid MPLS/Internet infrastructure, or a WAN built entirely on top of Internet connections. Let's look at how this works in practice.
Why Failsafe SD-WANs Enable Predictable QoE
SD-WANs are noted as a critical upgrade to the enterprise network. With many enterprises combining MPLS with broadband and LTE/5G connectivity, hybrid WANs based on offerings from vendors lacking failsafe SD-WAN technology are too often a downgrade when it comes to the QoE end users attain from critical applications. Failsafe SD-WANs increase network capacity, improve reliability, and deliver higher quality-of-experience that businesses require to ensure their network is robust and functioning at peak performance.
Absent failsafe SD-WAN technology, when augmenting or replacing costly MPLS services with higher bandwidth, lower cost Internet links, enterprises may unknowingly exchange the former's failsafe-esque capabilities for the latter's agility and cost-effectiveness. The easier deployment and network management that most SD-WANs deliver does little to provide any assurance that real-time or other business-critical cloud services will perform predictably across the WAN. The "works pretty well most of the time" unaided public Internet, due to its nature as a network-of-networks, will have at least sporadic bouts of "brownout" conditions caused by congestion-based packet loss and jitter, resulting in arbitrarily bad performance for the applications using those connections.
For IT to ensure that a multi-cloud initiative succeed, an enterprise SD-WAN must enable a network experience like what users have come to expect from their private data center-based applications accessed via MPLS. Delivering a failsafe SD-WAN to enable multi-cloud migration, combining cost-effective connectivity with assured performance, requires not just "basic" SD-WAN features like centralized orchestration, Zero Touch Provisioning and branch device consolidation, but also the aforementioned continuous unidirectional measurement and sub-second response, plus intelligent link aggregation, optional packet replication and Inbound Multisource QoS capabilities as well. Most SD-WAN vendors think just offering the basics will be enough to support multi-cloud; they are dangerously mistaken.
Five years ago, it was an open question whether most businesses would adopt cloud computing or stick with a traditional IT setup, due to the latter's perceived advantages in security and control as well as its general familiarity. Today, the pressing questions are more along the lines of "how many clouds apps and SaaS options have enterprises already adopted?" and "what workloads are they eyeing for eventual cloud migration?"
While on-prem data centers still process over half of all workloads in 2018, they're on the verge of a sharp decline as public and hybrid cloud deployments are set to exceed 60 percent of the market by 2022. In fact, 2019 is shaping up to be the year cloud finally takes the top spot. This ongoing digital transformation means big changes at the network edge. Enterprise WANs must now morph to match this new reality.
SD-WAN Evolution and the Journey to a Multi-Cloud Enterprise
The case for SD-WAN is often presented solely as the need to upgrade from MPLS. The driving business need is clearly demonstrated when enterprise's need to connect with customers as part of their digital engagement (e.g. Banking) story, though: While MPLS is increasingly mixed with SD-WAN in a hybrid WAN, the limitations of older WANs go beyond the fact that MPLS doesn't "do" cloud. MPLS WANs with Internet links simply added at each site for cloud access still have many challenges: they're hard to manage and not very automated, do not efficiently use multiple bandwidth options and fail to deliver the Quality of Experience (QoE) end users expect as cloud-based services become more mission-critical to their business workflows.
These shortcomings are why the traditional WAN is ripe for an overhaul to meet the real-time, always available network needs of the multi-cloud world. In contrast, SD-WANs solidify the enterprise WAN, helping it meet current requirements for security, agility, cost through features including:
Streamlined, zero-touch provisioning.
Better SaaS performance through secure direct-to-cloud connections.
Compatibility with broadband, cellular and satellite in addition to MPLS.
Centralized orchestration and policy control.
Improved app availability via bandwidth aggregation and multi-path technology.
These capabilities set an enterprise SD-WAN worlds apart from a conventional MPLS WAN. However, most SD-WAN solutions still can't guarantee high QoE when using Internet links to augment, let alone replace, MPLS. Users expect predictable application performance across both TCP and real-time apps: everything from email and CRM to voice and video should "just work" when accessing cloud-based applications. Unfortunately, most SD-WAN solutions, despite their other benefits, don't actually deliver this.
Enter failsafe SD-WAN technology. A failsafe SD-WAN like the Oracle's Talari offering ensures MPLS-class availability and predictable application performance (a.k.a. QoE) for all applications regardless of the underlying transport.
In the second part of this series, we will examine failsafe SD-WAN tech in more detail. Be sure to check out our FAQ or request a demo of the Oracle's Talari SD-WAN in the meantime. Also, stay tuned for a new white paper collaboration between Oracle and ZK Research expanding upon the business need for failsafe SD-WANs.
According to Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, only 10,000 female students graduated with a CS degree in 2017. Girls Who Code is a non-profit committed to computer science gender parity by 2027. As of 2019, the organization claims to have reached 90,000 girls through its initiatives, including an immersive summer program and a university-level alumni network.
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics helps put these numbers into context: Women accounted for only 18 percent of all computer science credentials conferred during the 2014-2015 academic year, despite attaining 57 percent of degrees across all disciplines and constituting the majority of graduates in STEM fields such as biology.
Moreover, the percent of female CS experts has been on the decline for decades. It was as high as 34 percent in the 1980s, but has since distantly trailed that of male students regardless of the boom-bust cycles in the technology sector. Such gender imbalance leads to far-reaching consequences on the availability of fast-growing, high-paying tech jobs to workers, as well as on the continued development of innovation technologies such as SD-WAN solutions.
G2 Crowd and Girls Who Code: Closing the Gender Gap in CS Via Community Donations
Contributions from major technology vendors and organizations including G2 are vital to the mission of Girls Who Code since its inception. For example, Walmart recently provided $3 million in grants. Through the G2 Crowd review network, companies extend their giving to Girls Who Code and by doing so advance the overall cause of gender balance in computer science.
Here's how it works: G2 Crowd offers user-based business IT reviews akin to TripAdvisor or Glassdoor. Instead of restaurants, hotels or workplaces, confirmed reviewers submit their hands-on experience about B2B technology offerings including CRM, security software, SD-WAN platforms and much more. As of March 2019, the site had collected more than 665,000 reviews.
Through its G2 Gives program, G2 Crowd empowers reviewers to turn their words into direct donations to Girls Who Code. As a reviewer, here are the 4 easy steps:
Use your active LinkedIn account to verify identity, or a valid business email address.
Spend just a few minutes (G2 Crowd estimates about 7) on your review.
Submit it for moderation and publication.
After you're done, G2 Crowd makes a $10 donation to Girls Who Code. It's a quick and easy way to contribute to an important cause, plus you're helping thousands of businesses make more informed decisions about leading business IT purchases. Oracle and Talari Networks have a G2 Crowd page up and running with a goal for contributions to Girls Who Code. You can visit it here, please take a minute to contribute a review.
If you are interested in learning more about Oracle's Talari SD-WAN solution, please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers failsafe SD-WAN.
Enterprise Connect is one of the premier annual events in business communications and collaboration. A vast, vender-neutral forum, it's the perfect setting to acquire in-depth insights necessary for making informed decisions about IT investments and enterprise operations. This year's conference featured several sessions and panels from Oracle executives around software-defined WANs (SD-WANs).
What Oracle demonstrated Enterprise Connect 2019
Oracle discussed the general theme of the Oracle Communications S.A.F.E. (Security, Analytics, Flexibility and Extensibility) architecture and how it helps to secure, stabilize and scale mission-critical applications such as unified communications suites. A recent Oracle survey, "Enterprise Networks in Transition: Taming Chaos", highlights S.A.F.E. and details how IT leaders cited security, fraud and complexity due to network diversity and insecure Internet connections as top concerns. A dedicated S.A.F.E. demo helped visitors understand how the corresponding benefits of a Talari failsafe SD-WAN platform works in that context. The SD-WAN portion details how Oracle now ensures MPLS-class reliability using Internet services for real-time traffic flows. Oracle is the only major cloud vendor with a dedicated SD-WAN offering.
What problems are the S.A.F.E. architecture meant to address? Start with the pressure enterprise users face around the ongoing adoption of video and voice applications and corresponding usage pressure on costly WAN links. Add in rapidly growing volumes of mobile voice content and distributed workforces further stretches WAN connections.
These overlapping trends mean enterprise networks now must deliver three important capabilities:
Exceptional Quality of Experience (QoE) to dispersed end users who rely on both on-premise and cloud-based apps for their essential communications and collaboration.
High resilience, so that these same real-time applications (e.g. UCaaS) are always available and enable everyone's productivity even as overall network demand increases and bottlenecks arise.
Robust security across the many new network connections between the WAN edge, the cloud and the PSTN.
S.A.F.E. addresses each of these requirements, delivering an end-to-end experience across an enterprise-grade network. Let's focus on the QoE and resilience angles in more depth, as it is the common thread between two of the main Enterprise Connect demos, including the SD-WAN offering.
Network resilience: SD-WAN to the rescue
Network administrators have long stuck with MPLS and leased lines because while expensive, at least they ensure reliability and predictable QoE, unlike what Internet connections deliver natively. But with IT budget constraints combined with new bandwidth-hungry applications making increased in MPLS bandwidth cost-prohibitive, WAN or voice managers looking to augment or replace MPLS with pretty good but ultimately "chaotic" public Internet links were forced into the unappealing tradeoff between cost, bandwidth and QoE.
The failsafe SD-WAN technology that is a key part of the S.A.F.E. architecture offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to this fundamental problem. Oracle's SD-WAN solution delivers MPLS-class reliability and QoE for both TCP and real-time apps over any transport that can deliver IP packets, including MPLS, broadband, cellular and satellite links.
A failsafe SD-WAN adapts in real time to changing conditions across the network, ensuring that enough bandwidth is available for the highest-priority traffic and that QoE for real-time and latency-sensitive interactive applications does not suffer. Oracle's failsafe SD-WAN is particularly well-suited to supporting UC platforms – both on-premise as well as UCaaS.
There's more to cover about both SD-WAN's contribution to the S.A.F.E. architecture and other topics covered at Enterprise Connect 2019. Check back soon for a follow-up post on this topic. Want to learn more about SD-WAN and S.A.F.E. in the meantime? Please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers failsafe SD-WAN.
In the first half of our series on how a Failsafe SD-WAN enables superior Quality of Experience (QoE), we highlighted five specific benefits of failsafe SD-WAN technology. Each of those five SD-WAN capabilities contributes to better real-time experiences for enterprise end users:
Enabling MPLS-class failsafe technology.
Facilitating better access to SaaS.
Leveraging techniques for more intelligent routing.
Synergy with Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solutions.
Combination of QoE with Network Quality of Service.
There's still plenty of ground to cover on the different ways an SD-WAN solution powers the real-time enterprise. Let's go right into the next five entries on our list, starting with the most talked-about QoE benefits of all: SD-WAN's real-time impact on voice and video.
6. Traffic shaping for videoconferencing
By the early 2020s, video will constitute a supermajority of all network traffic, up from the already-considerable share it accounted for during the 2010s. Unlike TCP apps, enterprise videoconferencing services are real-time applications requiring significant bandwidth and strict requirements in terms of minimal packet loss and jitter. Failsafe SD-WAN technology allows network managers to augment or replace low-bandwidth, expensive MPLS circuits with high-bandwidth inexpensive Internet links, and all while delivering the necessary technology for network bandwidth management via techniques like traffic/packet shaping, packet replication and Inbound Multisource QoS. This means video is prioritized and runs successfully, without adversely affecting QoE for other applications that share the same WAN.
7. Crisper, more reliable VoIP quality
On paper, VoIP seems like a must-have for any organization wanting to leave behind its costly and inflexible PBX system. Enterprises also want to ensure high-quality voice support for their increasingly distributed teams. In practice, though, there are often barriers to success, including inconsistent service from the locally available ISPs, which can lead to choppy call quality. A proper Failsafe SD-WAN implementation constantly measures path quality and sends performance-sensitive traffic like VoIP and video down the best links available at any given moment. It will even offer replication of VoIP calls on two different paths to ensure platinum-quality voice even in the face of network problems on more than one connection. Failsafe SD-WAN technology turns problematic VoIP implementations into a reliable real-time communications offering, in a way that SD-WAN solutions lacking such technology simply cannot.
8. Streamlined WAN management
SD-WAN delivers a better experience not only for end users of services like video and VoIP but also for the administrators who configure and manage the network. Features such as zero-touch provisioning (ZTP), centralized management and web-based consoles allow administrators to make changes to global network configurations with just a few clicks. Easier management reduces the chances of configuration errors that cause problems with the WAN. A Failsafe SD-WAN goes a step further, making the network fault-tolerant even to configuration errors elsewhere on the network. The automated processes and ease-of-use of managing SD-WAN tools are big improvements from the days of more manual network operations.
9. Cloud-based network security
In MPLS WANs, creating a secure connection to the cloud often came at the cost of QoE. Backhauling traffic to a data center or HQ across thin MPLS links created a noticeable hit to network and application performance. Additionally, fully distributing NGFW (Next-Generation FireWall) network security functionality to all locations proved expensive in terms of both CapEx and OpEx. SD-WANs solve these problems through integrations with cloud-based network security services such as Zscaler and Palo Alto GlobalProtect. Beyond providing a robust security stack within a direct-to-cloud gateway, cloud security gains the elasticity, flexibility, ease of management and ability to add new security services that cloud-based network security-as-a-service offers.
10.QoS + QoE, revisited
We'll end this post like we ended part one, with a look at QoE vs QoS. The QoS capabilities of an SD-WAN, as ZK Research founder and principal analyst Zeus Kerravala points out, are about more than the prioritization of real-time traffic. If delivered with Failsafe SD-WAN technology, they also enable features such as Inbound Multisource QoS that enables bandwidth reservation and ensures more predictable and reliable performance of both TCP and real-time traffic. That is true even with shared inbound Internet links, which allows enterprise to safely leverage Internet links for real-time and mission-critical interactive traffic.
Want to learn more about SD-WAN and QoE? Please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers Failsafe SD-WAN.
A few years ago, SD-WANs were innovative technical concepts with limited adoption. Not anymore. Growth of SD-WAN solutions is now escalating along a hockey stick-shaped trajectory. Initially slow trial-balloon enterprise adoption has been followed by a rapid increase in investment.
That said, not all SD-WAN solutions are created equally. Many are just better network management tools. Only a tiny number offer failsafe SD-WAN technology, helping get your traffic where you want it to go. With that in mind, let's focus on a main reason for choosing SD-WAN: better support for real-time operations across the enterprise. The notion of the real-time enterprise dates back to the early 2000s, when Gartner defined it as an organization that used up-to-date information to streamline its business functions. Real-time technologies like VoIP, videoconferencing and UCaaS, as well as other mission-critical enterprise applications, have helped turned this concept into a reality.
End-users have high expectations for instantaneous application service and responsiveness. An unreliable network connection to an echoing VoIP call or interactive application – whether that application is SaaS, hosted in the cloud or at a private data center – will not only feel out-of-place, it will drive them away and lower productivity. Real-time customer experiences require the superior Quality of Experience (QoE) that a failsafe SD-WAN solution delivers.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the top ways a failsafe SD-WAN platform boosts QoE across the network, starting with these five to whet your appetite, and then five more in a subsequent post:
1. MPLS-class high availability and QoE
MPLS has long been the go-to option as the WAN architecture that delivers high availability together with predictable application performance (a.k.a. QoE). A failsafe SD-WAN provides these same benefits and many others, whether augmenting or replacing MPLS with inexpensive Internet connections, with a more cost-effective, flexible and carrier-agnostic solution. A failsafe SD-WAN harnesses the full aggregated bandwidth of the network and leverage multiple types of transport, including broadband, while also making real-time experiences more reliable.
2. Superior Cloud and SaaS access
Cloud access and SaaS applications are integral to real-time experiences such as document collaboration among internal users, or chat-based call center engagement with external customers. MPLS WANs never excelled at cloud access, but failsafe SD-WANs do, through more varied connectivity options and the ability to connect to the cloud points of presence and SaaS using the same failsafe technology connecting private locations.
3. Truly intelligent traffic forwarding
As WANs evolve, ensuring reliable performance for real-time applications like VoIP and video will sometimes require forwarding traffic across dissimilar link types. For example, a failsafe SD-WAN can instantly determine when it's OK to split a session across multiple links, delivering predictable, superior performance. Failsafe SD-WANs move far beyond limitations of simple load balancing that often lead to poor QoE thanks issues like excessive out-of-order packets and TCP retransmissions.
4. Real UCaaS
Unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS) achieved liftoff in the late 2010s as many organizations transitioned from their premises-based phone systems, ditching costly PBXes for more feature-rich hosted and cloud-based alternatives. RingCentral/Oracle customer RTI discussed this migration in a recent webinar. UCaaS is a particularly great vehicle for enhanced customer care and remote team collaboration. A failsafe SD-WAN is the perfect complement to UCaaS thanks to multi-link connectivity with high QoE.
5.QoE with bi-directional, end-to-end QoS
QoE and Quality of Service (QoS) go hand in hand. Whereas QoE is what the end user actually feels, QoS is the behind-the-scenes real-time network counterpart, referring to the performance of packet flows across the WAN. Routers and WAN Optimization devices have always been able to do outbound QoS on a WAN link Failsafe SD-WAN technology performs continuous, unidirectional measurement of all traffic between locations, measures latency, jitter and packet loss and enables not merely outbound QoS, but end-to-end QoS, including otherwise almost-impossible to achieve QoS on shared inbound WAN links, and thus can enables policies to ensure that QoS enforcement align with real-time requirements.
Stay tuned for part two of this series where we'll cover five more ways a failsafe SD-WAN delivers real-time QoE. In the meantime, please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers failsafe SD-WANs.
By now, you may have already read a few takes on the road ahead for SD-WAN in 2019, and how that squares with what happened in 2018. We're going to take a slightly different approach to this annual tradition. It is February already after all. In this article, instead of making predictions – which are difficult and rarely age well – here are 3 questions and observations about SD-WAN solutions. Based on customer input, we'll expand on these possibilities for how they might evolve from 2018 to 2019 and beyond.
1. Is 2019 the year that MPLS erosion finally sets in?
Every year, pundits offer fresh predictions about the impending decline of MPLS. The fact that they happen like clockwork brings to mind the Mark Twain quip that "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." If MPLS were visibly collapsing, no one would need to keep predicting it. Is this year different, though?
In 2019, analysts and customers are discussing two distinct possibilities for MPLS:
MPLS could continue to expand, albeit at a fairly slow pace – 7 percent compound annual growth from 2018 to 2023 is Research And Markets' forecast. In this case, MPLS remains a viable option for failsafe connectivity for years to come, likely together with SD-WAN for augmenting it with inexpensive Internet connections in many implementations.
A precipitous drop thanks to the low service costs of multi-link broadband and 4G LTE. Many organizations are intent on ditching or reducing MPLS investments. Between 2017 and 2018, enterprise MPLS footprints the pace of enterprises considering alternative approaches jumped from 23 to 41 percent, according to Nemertes Research. Of course, those enterprises that don't want to sacrifice MPLS-class high availability and QoE in such a move will require failsafe SD-WAN technology – something that most SD-WAN vendors have not developed.
A joint Oracle/Talari & RingCentral customer RTI noted on a UCaaS Realities webinar earlier this month it was dropping its MPLS service due to cost thanks to the more-than-capable failsafe SD-WAN QoE it has attained for its dozens of branch locations. Other customers are taking a hybrid approach and keeping a smaller MPLS footprint while adding multiple broadband connections to their SD-WAN instance.
2. Will the SD-WAN vendor market consolidate or diversify?
Would you believe us if we said the answer might be "both"? Consolidation of the SD-WAN vendor landscape has already begun as major enterprise and networking vendors have sought a presence in a rapidly growing market. Look no further than Oracle acquiring Talari, with Oracle becoming the only major cloud provider with a SD-WAN offering. That trend should continue in 2019, since the number of stand-alone SD-WAN companies is fairly high, creating many acquisition opportunities.
At the same time, SD-WAN has also become a "feature set" integrated into other network infrastructure offerings, not just a standalone solution. Many vendors are now claiming to be SD-WAN providers by virtue of weaving some rudimentary WAN aggregation functionality into their products; prospective customers should tread carefully, and will need to pay attention to whether these offerings can deliver the same level of reliability and application performance predictability that they have been used to with their MPLS-only WANs, as most simply cannot. Finally, rising demand for cloud-based managed SD-WAN service is also likely to bring some new faces into the marketplace.
3. What will UCaaS adoption look like in 2019?
UCaaS represents an important growth opportunity for SD-WAN vendors. Cloud-based delivery models are becoming more common and customers both large and small are migrating many of their communications to UCaaS platforms.
A Nemertes Research survey of 600 end-user organizations found 29 percent UCaaS adoption demonstrating large enterprise headroom for further uptake. The integration of SD-WAN services into UCaaS offerings, including Oracle SD-WAN partner RingCentral, has the potential to dramatically increase production deployment of SD-WAN and continue the strong adoption growth of the last two years. Maintaining voice and video call quality is another obvious area where having failsafe SD-WAN technology is critical for QoE and user satisfaction.
We'll be thinking about these questions and others throughout 2019. In the meantime, please review our FAQ, opt in for future Oracle SD-WAN updates or request a demo to learn more about how Oracle delivers failsafe SD-WAN.
During its early years, the value proposition for a failsafe SD-WAN solution – i.e. one the delivers MPLS-class high availability and predictable Quality of Experience (QoE) – such as Oracle's revolved around its ability to deliver MPLS-class performance at a fraction of the expense of actual MPLS, thanks to the ability to augment or replace MPLS with broadband transport options such as DSL, Cable and 4G LTE. Today, a failsafe SD-WAN is far more than a cost-cutting solution – it's also an engine offering improved application performance and an on-ramp to real-time and highly interactive applications based in the cloud, including valuable collaboration solutions like Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) suites.
How can you balance cost, complexity and performance in UCaaS deployments?
On paper, UCaaS makes life easier for enterprises by providing a streamlined communications platform built from the ground up for their mobile and highly-distributed workforces.
UCaaS seamlessly combines telephony, messaging, screen sharing, videoconferencing and more into a powerful cloud-based service that's both easy to scale and simple to manage. As an organization grows and evolves, its UCaaS deployment can scale to meet changing business and staff requirements without any of the complicated configurations or hardware management of a traditional PBX.
So what's the catch? Start with the Wide Area Connectivity (WAN) used to access UCaaS. When you shift all of your vital real-time communications to the cloud, the WAN must accommodate greatly increased demand and QoS requirements. Dedicated WAN connections from UCaaS providers can help, but are pricey, while broadband Internet links by themselves lack the built-in QoS, let alone end-to-end QoE, to ensure an optimal user experience.
Top 4 failsafe SD-WAN benefits
Failsafe SD-WAN solutions strike the right balance between cost, ease of management and performance when making the move to using widely available Internet connectivity and UCaaS:
Incorporation of inexpensive transport options like commodity Internet into a failsafe WAN capable of prioritizing and efficiently transporting demanding UCaaS traffic like VoIP and video
Preservation and leverage of existing MPLS circuits, without requiring a costly rip-and-replace.
Beyond the hard dollar cost savings versus WANs using only low-bandwidth, expensive private circuit WANs like MPLS, failsafe SD-WANs deliver cost reductions in the form of higher UCaaS reliability and lower downtime, which together boost company productivity.
Bundling carrier-agnostic SD-WANs directly with the UCaaS solution is a natural fit. By pairing them, UCaaS, SaaS and other communication service providers simplify their customers' journeys to the cloud and enable them to focus more on business-related matters than the technical aspects of their WANs.
Driving deeper into the SD-WAN-UCaaS connection
Oracle recently hosted a UCaaS & SD-WAN webinar featuring a joint customer – Riverside Transport Inc. – a senior executive from RingCentral, and technology analyst Lee Doyle. This interactive session detailed the synergies of UCaaS and failsafe SD-WANs, noting how to reliably deploy services such as VoIP and SIP trunking and the overall shape of the market for cloud-based communications. To listen/watch, visit this page.
In the meantime, please visit our FAQ or request an Oracle demo at www.oracle.com/sd-wan to learn more about the benefits of SD-WAN for UCaaS and other solutions.
Traditional WANs often have a lot in common with the legendary Gordian Knot. Tied from tree bark, it was so extensive and complicated not even the most skilled knot remover could tell exactly how it all connected, much less untangle it – until Alexander the Great pulled out the linchpin holding the knot in place, revealing its two ends and allowing it to be untied.
A failsafe SD-WAN simplifies network complexity on 5 important fronts:
1. Simpler day-to-day management, thanks to centralized configuration and orchestration eliminating the need to configure and update each branch office device separately.
2. Streamlines enforcement of WAN policies by automatically measuring traffic across all WAN links and identifying the best paths for real-time and TCP traffic, whether that's over broadband, MPLS, LTE or satellite.
3. Eliminates the risk involved with rip-and-replace approaches, instead slotting seamlessly into existing infrastructure and network security models.
4. At the enterprise's pace, offers the ability to do branch office consolidation, reduceing the number of devices to be managed at the branch, via the incorporation of routing, WAN Optimization and firewall capabilities
5. Demystifies WAN troubleshooting by resolving problems in fractions of a second and then notifying network administrators, instead of forcing them to manually track down and fix such issues themselves.
These advances revolutionize WAN performance, manageability and cost-effectiveness. At the same time, they create an ideal platform for the further implementation of cloud-based applications as well as outsourced management of network services.
Untying even more complexity with help from cloud providers and MSPs in SD-WANs
One of the predominant themes of 2010s-era IT has been staffing shortages, and this extends to WAN management teams. Smaller organizations otherwise lacking the manpower to modernize their WANs now gain operational efficiencies through implementing a failsafe SD-WAN and its partner ecosystem.
For example, solution providers help expedite enterprise digital transformation with migration to cloud services including Infrastructure or Platform as a Service options. SaaS, IaaS and PaaS options offer far less overhead than on-prem equivalents, and can be more efficiently accessed via an SD-WAN than a conventional MPLS-based network. With a failsafe SD-WAN in place, there is much less security, downtime, reliability and application Quality of Experience (QoE) risk than ever before in making the jump to cloud.
MSPs can also help by taking on more aspects of network management, removing a major burden from shorthanded IT departments and freeing them up to focus on more strategic efforts. As SD-WAN technology gains synergy with cloud services and becomes more widely adopted, there will be new opportunities for solutions providers and partners to enhance the experience.
High expectations surround Software-Defined WANs (SD-WANs). Since the technology first emerged, it's taken a while for actual adoption to live up to the billing. Between 2017 and 2018, uptake of SD-WAN solutions crossed the Rubicon, from the domain of early adopters to the territory of mainstream customers. Melding SD-WAN hard and soft dollar efficiencies using the Internet combined with existing MPLS services makes a powerful 1-2 combination for supporting real-time and TCP apps, whether enterprise site-to-site, or site-to-cloud.
A Dickens' view of SD-WAN past, present and future
In Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the protagonist is visited by a series of ghosts, each giving him a look at pivotal life moments in his past, present and future. Let's apply this storyline, but substitute the prospective SD-WAN buyer as the main character to see how adoption changes over time:
Gartner identified 2014 as the year when commercial SD-WAN technology first took clear shape, describing it as SDN hitting the WAN. Organizations in North America led the early movement, with particularly strong uptake among highly distributed companies in the finance and retail sectors. By 2017, Gartner estimated there were at least 6,000 paying SD-WAN customers and 4,000 production implementations.
The ongoing shift to cloud-based applications means the case for SD-WAN gets stronger every year. Failsafe SD-WAN solutions leveraging imperfect but inexpensive Internet links is ideal for handling the traffic flows of everything from Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365 to hosted VoIP and unified communications. These offerings are in stark contrast to the traditional branch architecture built predominantly around using low-bandwidth, expensive MPLS links.
In other words, failsafe SD-WANs are being adopted not only for the associated cost savings (primarily from leveraging inexpensive broadband to augment or replace MPLS connections) and easier network management benefits, but increasingly for the upgrade in network performance, predictability and QoE, too. Failsafe SD-WANs offer businesses fault-tolerance to ensure WAN uptime and QoE for SaaS and cloud services, delivering SD-WAN's benefits without having to compromise on quality of connectivity or end user experience.
More and more of our growing list of SD-WAN customers see reliable cloud connectivity, without compromise or hassle, as essential to the future of their organizations. Learning from past and present stages, and seeing the future, Talari Networks' failsafe SD-WAN solutions, provide that no-compromise secure site-to-site and site-to-cloud connectivity with high availability and high QoE. Learn more by requesting a demo.