As businesses continue to migrate from expensive and inflexible MPLS network architectures, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) has emerged as a key technology for managing application and network load over the public internet. It’s particularly good for businesses with a large number of remote locations. But SD-WAN fails at providing application context. Its limited view of performance monitoring is optimized for routing, not apps.
Organizations are deploying SD-WAN to pair multiple cheaper public internet connections, or pair a public internet connection with existing MPLS connectivity, to lower costs and add network reliability. SD-WAN isn’t new—load balancers for multiple internet connections have existed for some time. But SD-WAN technology allows IT Ops groups to prioritize traffic. You can send VoIP and other critical application traffic over a higher-quality connection, while moving recreational application usage to a lower-QoS connection.
Comparing IPSec VPNs in an SD-WAN deployment for capacity, jitter and latency metrics
While SD-WAN technology can help improve the reliability of connectivity, it provides limited information on the performance of applications across a wire. So while SD-WAN can tell you that Connection A is operating faster than Connection B, it cannot tell you if the performance of your Point of Sale application is poor. Or that your network is unable to support VoIP. Or that the performance of your application over WiFi has degraded due to WAN connectivity.
AppNeta lets you contextualize application performance with your SD-WAN deployment. By monitoring both apps and the network paths they are traversing, AppNeta shows you the real-time status and performance of the dynamic routing your SD-WAN provides. This comes in handy in a few particular situations.
AppNeta monitors through and around your SD-WAN provider to provide a real-time comparison
By design, your users see applications, not dynamic routes. Seeing performance from their perspective is crucial to reduce issues and improve response time. SD-WAN solves routing issues, but it doesn’t give the real-time performance information you need to solve issues faster.
If you’re relying on multiple ISP connections to serve employee or customer locations, you’re likely not getting the real-time visibility into what network you’re using. AppNeta can monitor traffic over directed links as well as send traffic over the public internet. You can benchmark and compare your services for SLA validation, issue mitigation and proactive alerting.
SD-WAN functionality usually stops once it gets to your WiFi router. In retail spaces, many companies are deploying public WiFi as a benefit for their customers and to serve in-store offers and understand consumer foot traffic. In this new retail world, WiFi for the customers moves from being a cost center to being a source of revenue. It’s critical to provide fantastic network performance to keep customers on the WiFi while in store.