Nov 5, 2015

Software-defined WAN and route optimization


Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is generating a lot of buzz these days as a way to simplify network management. The growing demand for WAN optimization is driven in part by emerging applications with a low tolerance for latency. Data-intensive applications such as big data and analytics workloads require high read/write speeds and more powerful compute capabilities, making increased network performance and reliability more important than ever.

At Internap, we view software-defined networking (SDN) as the ability to automate standardized network engineering tasks and maintain that automation through an entire networking system. As a subset of software-defined networking, software-defined WAN means using software to make decisions on routing across a wide area network.

Challenges of BGP

MIRO Controller
View the Infographic: Does every second really count?
Route optimization is a core component of an overall SD-WAN framework. Fundamentally, both approaches share the common goal of maximizing network reliability, availability and performance.

It’s no secret that BGP wasn’t designed for performance. In the early days of the Internet, the pragmatic decision was made to choose reliability and availability over speed. Route optimization solutions offer the ability to solve for performance measures that BGP does not consider. Learn more about the challenges of BGP.

Network engineers are tasked with finding the delicate balance between rates and commits across providers to keep costs low while maintaining the required performance levels. Multi-homing is often used to increase availability and eliminate single point of failure issues by connecting applications to multiple upstream ISPs. If the connection from one provider is lost, traffic is routed to backup carriers so that mission-critical applications remain online. But managing traffic volume, latency and cost in a multi-homed network is a manual process, and when multiple ISPs are involved, diagnosing and troubleshooting problems and implementing solutions can be difficult and time consuming.

Maximizing performance with route control

At Internap, we consider our on-premise Managed Internet Route OptimizerTM (MIRO) Controller to be an extension of SD-WAN. Backed by our patented MIRO technology, MIRO Controller improves performance and reduces costs for multi-homed networks.

While BGP only looks at AS path length, MIRO Controller offers visibility into latency, packet loss, congestion and other considerations that can impact network performance. Aside from taking the burden off your network engineers, MIRO Controller automatically reroutes traffic based on your specified performance metrics and cost saving considerations, or a combination of both. As a result, traffic is routed along the optimal path at any given time. With advanced reporting and a comprehensive dashboard, MIRO Controller offers visibility into outbound traffic, average latency, average packet loss, optimizations made and route changes.

For almost 20 years, Internap has been using software to optimize the WAN and overcome performance challenges.

Learn more about how MIRO Controller improves performance for multi-homed networks.

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