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How to Choose a SD-WAN + Integrated Visibility Solution

Susan Hewitt
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SD-WAN + integrated visibility

Make every part of your SD-WAN visible

SD-WAN + integrated visibility could be your fast lane to the cloud. SD-WAN is a revolutionary approach to networking designed to simplify IT complexity and rapidly orchestrate branch and cloud connectivity to achieve business agility in response to rapid change. Bmaking your SD-WAN perform optimally and improving end user experience, integrated visibility into how your applications are using the network is a critical “must-have” for achieving the promise of SD-WAN. 

The SD-WAN opportunity, however, comes with challenges and questions:

  • Where do I start with SD-WAN?
  • How do I invest wisely and in what technologies?
  • How do I know which SD-WAN solution is right for my business?
  • How do I know the solution is working as expected?
  • What parts of the network should I be monitoring?
  • How do I gain control with the Cloud?

How do I start with SD-WAN  + integrated visibility?

Based on business need and vision, many companies are adopting a cloud-first strategy and jumping right into transforming networks and the digital experience for users. Other companies are preserving their investment in existing IT infrastructure— sometimes for security or compliance reasons. They are moving less critical parts of the business to the cloud and branch over software-defined networks. Many companies welcome a SD-WAN trial, piloting their infrastructure for now, especially branch and cloud environments, as a way of testing cost-savings, deployment scenarios, and cloud strategies.

In its March 2017 Market Guide to WAN Edge Infrastructure, Gartner provides some sage advice on what to do: Don’t just refresh existing router-based platforms. Go with SD-WAN. Gartner goes on to say: “Riverbed is a fit for all organizations seeking SD-WAN, WAN optimization or both within an integrated device.”

 How do I invest wisely and in what technologies?

With its SD-WAN solution, Riverbed is clear about one thing. Get the most you can from your SD-WAN choice. First, it must be simple yet powerful.  Look for WAN optimization, centralized management and orchestration of branch and cloud connectivity, business intent-based policies and zero-touch provisioning, with integrated visibility and security. The visibility approach should leverage existing rich network information—flow data, as well as application and end user analytics to establish clear metrics and insights for optimal performance and end user experience.

Delivering a great user experience is not easy for a business. It requires integrated visibility into performance that is both comprehensive in breadth and granular in depth, regardless of architecture.  Riverbed is leading the industry to provide customers with a truly integrated solution—to manage end-to-end performance and provide visibility, from the end user’s device, across the network, through the branch and cloud infrastructure, and deep into the applications that power today’s businesses.

How do I know Riverbed SD-WAN + integrated visibility is the right solution for my business?

Trust the experts. Riverbed is not new to the visibility marketplace. In fact, it is a leader in Network Performance Management with the richest set of visibility applications in the industry. Riverbed SteelCentral NPM platform was recognized four years in a row as a leader in end-to-end performance across networks and applications in the Gartner NPMD Magic Quadrant.  Riverbed SteelCentral NPM solutions make it easy to monitor, troubleshoot and analyze what’s happening across your enterprise network, infrastructure, SaaS cloud and UC environments. With end-to-end visibility and actionable insights, you can quickly and proactively resolve any performance issues within your environment.

How do I know my Riverbed SD-WAN is working as expected?

Today, Riverbed is offering SteelConnect SD-WAN  with end-to-end integrated visibility built on SteelCentral NPM know-how, reliability and leadership.

SteelConnect integrates with SteelCentral Insights for SteelConnect to provide visibility into what is occurring in SteelConnect’s software-defined LAN/WLAN, WAN, and cloud environments. SteelCentral Insights collects data from SteelConnect Manager securely using SteelFlow (a Riverbed-specific form of NetFlow) and REST APIs

SteelConnect with its end-to-end integrated visibility uses this data to provide insights into usage and availability about your overall network, specific sites, servers, applications, and users. With this information, network managers can make informed policy and deployment decisions, monitor and troubleshoot performance issues for large-scale software-defined infrastructures using detailed reports, and then plan for changes. For example, the Site Summary shows overlay and underlay views, QoS class breakdown of the traffic, top users and top site interactions.

SD-WAN & Integrated Visibility

SteelConnect Visibility: Site Summary

With Riverbed’s integrated visibility and reporting, you should be able to easily answer:

  • What’s happening on my network? What was the behavior in the last hour, day, or week?
  • Are there issues with uplinks? Which uplinks are handling the most traffic?
  • Which applications are used most often?
  • Who is using the network? What applications are they using?
  • What’s happening at site X? How is the traffic flowing out of the site? Is it in line with the policies? What is the QoS priority of the traffic?
  • What is the activity for a particular uplink? Are there any performance problems? What is affected?

How does Riverbed SD-WAN help gain control with the cloud?

Riverbed SteelConnect uniquely delivers these capabilities:

  • SD-WAN
  • Cloud Connectivity
  • Cloud Managed LAN
  • WAN Optimization
  • Cloud Visibility

SteelConnect’s single click cloud connectivity capabilities allow customers to automate cloud networking and accelerate cloud performance. SteelConnect offers elegant AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Azure VNET management and interconnects physical networks to VPCs in seconds with single click connectivity. It securely connects sites, branches, and users to AWS or Azure and delivers unified policy across regions and multiple clouds. Now you can add cloud optimization (app acceleration) with the click of a button.

All of this can be accomplished and controlled across LANs/WLANs, WANs, and clouds, using SteelConnect’s cloud-centric workflow, menu-driven network design of sites, zones, uplinks, and rules, and centralized network management  capabilities based on a single intent- and user-based global business policy and displayed in a “single pane of glass” in the management console.

Managed from the console, SteelConnect’s integrated visibility capabilities facilitate effective SD-WAN deployment and operation across the entire infrastructure, including branches and the cloud. The ability to validate policies are working as expected, troubleshoot problems quickly, and plan for changes can help ensure the success of your SD-WAN environment and improve your end user experience.

Riverbed’s SD-WAN + integrated visibility solution: SteelConnect + Insights

Riverbed SteelConnect with its own integrated firewall, encryption and end-to-end visibility plus single click connectivity and routing of Internet-bound traffic to Zscaler Cloud Security Platform is a complete SD-WAN solution for securely connecting users and businesses to the applications they need, wherever they reside—on a remote LAN/WLAN, in a data center, or in the cloud.

Want to save with SD-WAN? Estimate your cost savings with Riverbed SteelConnect.

Watch a demo of SteelCentral insight for SteelConnect below.

 

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