Achieving Unrivaled Control of Your WAN Connections
There is so much hype around software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) right now, but what does SD-WAN really mean, and do you actually need it? Before answering those questions, though, you first must define what your WAN is — or rather, what you want it to be.
- Is it simply all your branch locations connected — a traditional Intranet with faster links?
- What about your remote employees and mobile workforce?
- Are they part of your WAN strategy?
- Do you have any IoT projects or initiatives? How do they factor into your WAN strategy — how do you plan to secure these?
- What applications are critical to your business?
- Are you moving your apps to the cloud?
- How much of your traffic is destined for the Internet vs. Intranet, and how can you optimize its delivery?
- Are you taking a SaaS strategy with your day to day operations?
Answering these questions will help you decide what your WAN is, and with that knowledge you can plan how best to make it work for you.
- Maybe you need intelligent failover of underperforming circuits.
- It could be that you simply need redundant connectivity.
- If you’ve moved your applications to the cloud, you might just need basic link-balancing.
- If your workforce is primarily mobile, you could need always-on secure Internet access.
- Your need might be for a simple private overlay to connect your IoT devices.
- Perhaps you need a combination of these.
It easy to see that the WAN is about more than connecting your branch locations. It’s about connecting people, places, and things.
Cradlepoint is a leader in multi-WAN connectivity. Cradlepoint routers, powered by innovations such as Connection Manager and Smart WAN Selection (SWANS), give unrivaled control of your WAN connections whether they are Ethernet MPLS, cable, DSL, or LTE. With Cradlepoint hardware/software, even public WiFi becomes an option for secure WAN connectivity.
Wired & Wireless Broadband Connectivity
Bandwidth is needed to address the growing application requirements of remote and mobile employees, especially where real-time, bandwidth-intensive applications such as video and collaboration are elements of the strategy and are hosted from a cloud service provider. Advances in LTE and 5G mean wireless connectivity to the Internet is often faster and less expensive than the MPLS alternative. A combination of wired plus wireless broadband provides not only the bandwidth required but also day-zero deployments and path diversity.
Connection Managers gives administrators the ability to create profiles of the different WAN types that are available to them. These profiles allow them to prioritize links, control connection states, and dictate failover and failback conditions. With a few clicks, you can quickly implement a WAN strategy that is right for your specific needs.
Smart WAN Selection
Earlier, we mentioned the need for intelligent failover. What does that mean? It’s the idea that business needs should drive connection priorities. Isn’t that really what SD-WAN is about? Smart WAN Selection is a tool for administrators to set thresholds for what is and isn’t acceptable in their WAN connectivity.
Latency and jitter, for example, can have a huge impact on application performance. Also, in the world of LTE, data usage and signal strength are critical factors when deciding which connection to use at any given time. These metrics can be used to determine the best path for traffic in real time, ensuring your business is working with the best WAN possible.
One of the key problems that network administrators face when dealing with the WAN is management. When you have just a handful of sites, administration can be manageable. But what if you have dozens of locations? Or hundreds? Or thousands? Is it even possible to have a consistent and cohesive WAN strategy when dealing with that many locations and connections?
This is where centralized management, a key component of SD-WAN, comes into play. Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager (NCM), a service in the NetCloud platform, empowers administrators to deploy, configure, and monitor the WAN from a single pane of glass. Analytics such as uptime, data usage, and client reporting give administrators instant feedback on the health of the network, while group configurations allow for changes to hundreds or thousands of devices simultaneously.
With NCM, network administrators can spend more time planning and optimizing the next-generation WAN, and less time troubleshooting and configuring the current WAN.
These are just a few examples of how Cradlepoint can help solve the connectivity problems that many network administrators and engineers face daily.
Learn More About Smart WAN Selection
You can learn more about Smart WAN Selection, Client Analytics, other Cradlepoint product enhancements during a live webinar at 9am PDT/12pm EDT on March 21, 2017.