Cellular wireless has become a common WAN link due to the increasing amount of bandwidth supported with 4G, Gigabit-Class LTE, and 5G,and because of its ability to reach hard-to-link areas and accelerate time to service Cellular broadband has historically served as a failover WAN, providing link diversity. However, increasingly it is being leveraged as a primary link or to providing bandwidth augmentation for existing connections.
Regardless of the use case, SD-WAN is an integral part of a well-functioning Wireless WAN to enhance application performance and reliability. But not every SD-WAN solution accommodates the unique needs of cellular wireless like Cradlepoint’s NetCloud edge routing and NetCloud Exchange SD-WAN solutions. These solutions provide critical adaptations to traditional SD-WAN technology so that it performs effectively across 5G WANs. These adaptations include:
Use NetCloud Manager to set up application-based policies, whether you are deploying SD-WAN at the edge only or end to end with NetCloud Exchange.
With NetCloud Exchange, more than 3,500 applications can be recognized and classified. Policies to steer certain applications to specific cellular service providers, WAN interfaces or groups of WAN interfaces can be set up quickly and easily and applied across the entire SD-WAN network with ease.
With Cradlepoint edge routers, more than 1,000 applications can be recognized and classified. Policies to steer certain applications to specific WAN interfaces or groups of WAN interfaces can be set up quickly and easily and applied to a specific device or to a device group with ease.
Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN solutions intelligently assess the health of each WAN link and its ability to run applications. IT teams can set traffic and failover policies based on high-level business intent, then rely on the routers to detect an outage or a deteriorated link and automatically failover.
Cradlepoint SD-WAN solutions offer capabilities to specifically optimize cellular links and protect customers’ data plans. This includes special insight into cellular WAN usage across each cellular provider both at an account level and an individual router or modem level. Administrators can also drill into what clients and what applications are driving data usage and then put policies into place to block non business-critical applications at certain sites or steer traffic away from links that are approaching a predefined data usage threshold (for example, 75% of their allotted data plan).
One of the most anticipated 5G features, that will emerge with the rollout of 5G standalone networks, is network slicing. This ability to support differentiated levels of service across cellular networks will accelerate the adoption of 5G for primary WAN connectivity and enable the migration of wired connections to cellular.
When considering the actual implementation of network slicing in the enterprise, there is a requirement for SD-WAN at the enterprise WAN edge to recognize the applications that the organization is using, classify them and then steer them to the appropriate network slice.
Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Exchange (NCX) allows organizations to create multiple modem WAN interfaces aligned to slice instances defined by 5G SA networks. Organizations can then apply application-based policies to steer traffic to unique network slices, whether it is a type of ultra-reliable low latency slice, an enhanced mobile broadband slice, a machine-to-machine slice, or a custom slice defined by the operator.