I recently read a great article in Computer Weekly by Christian Annesley. The article effectively outlines the SD-WAN requirements for a multi-cloud environment. Annesley points out that when an enterprise adopts a multi-cloud strategy, careful consideration has to be given to whether their SD-WAN technology choice is helping or hindering that strategy.
The article lays out a set of incisive questions for an enterprise to ask when evaluating SD-WAN:
- Is the solution flexible and supplier-agnostic?
- How does your SD-WAN provider work with the public Internet?
- Does the SD-WAN solution partner with your IaaS providers to offer better access?
- Do you have Internet circuits with enough bandwidth?
- How will your SD-WAN solution support microsegmentation?
It’s no coincidence that Teridion’s cloud WAN service enables the enterprise to answer these questions confidently and deliver a network that is optimized for your multi-cloud strategy. We designed our service from the ground up so that we could effectively support a multi-cloud infrastructure. Even better, we make multi-cloud infrastructures perform great no matter what SD-WAN solution the enterprise deploys.
Let’s break these questions down one by one and detail how we do it.
A Flexible And Supplier-Agnostic Solution
Flexible and supplier-agnostic are a couple of adjectives that apply at a fundamental level to Teridion’s cloud WAN service.
Our service is a robust orchestration system that leverages over 25 public cloud providers worldwide. Thousands of sensors deployed around the world in each of those providers collect real-time Internet performance and reachability data. Our orchestrator ties all those provider networks together and uses the collected data to deploy virtual routers on the fly that route traffic across the fastest possible routes. Whether that route spans a single cloud provider or multiple providers doesn’t matter. We always find the best route.
Maintenance or downtime in specific cloud providers has a negligible influence of our network. There are always alternative cloud providers that Teridion’s automatic route orchestration can harness on the fly.
One of the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy for the enterprise is that it reduces dependence on a single provider. That, in turn, limits the impact of a provider outage. We’ve realized the same advantages in our network design.
We’ve seen several unforgettable cases where one or another major cloud provider was facing a severe network outage, affecting thousands of customers and millions of users. But while this was going on, it was business as usual for Teridion customers. Their traffic was smoothly and automatically routed through other cloud providers to the destination, completely transparently to them.
Working With The Public Internet
In most cases, the answer to “how does my SD-WAN solution work with the public Internet?” is simply “it connects to it”. Sure, many SD-WAN solutions offer an array of WAN optimization techniques. But they still only have two points at which to optimize: the ingress point and the egress point. In between, the data is still subject to the uncertain performance and reliability of the Internet.
Take any SD-WAN solution and add Teridion’s cloud WAN service to the picture, and you have end-to-end performance and control. SD-WAN devices manage and optimize the edge. Teridion maximizes throughput and minimizes loss and latency across the Internet middle mile. The final result is private circuit-like performance and Teridion SLA-backed reliability across broadband. Now that’s working with the public Internet!
Partnering With IaaS Providers For Better Access
Global and multinational enterprises in particular should be concerned with how close their locations are to their cloud workloads. The less distance your data has to travel across the Internet, the better your performance is going to be. In order to get better performance, you can reduce your cloud provider candidates to only those who have PoPs in close proximity to your locations. But that limits the benefits you get from your multi-cloud strategy.
Many SD-WAN providers are partnering with and integrating to particular IaaS providers in order to deliver enhanced cloud onramp capabilities through their hardware. While this is admirable, it can limit you to one or two cloud providers who may not fit well with the business drivers for your multi-cloud strategy.
Teridion’s public cloud based approach means that we are always able to offload your traffic right by the cloud providers that you use. We can do that universally: we are where they are. Our network, by definition, has a wider cloud presence than AWS, Azure, or Google. This is because we have virtual PoPs in all their locations, and we complement that massive network with a host of second tier cloud providers. Many of these smaller providers fill particular geographic niches to make our coverage truly global.
For instance, many of our customers have sites in China that need to connect to Europe and the US. In some cases, site performance across the public Internet is so poor that users just think the network is down. Our unique “everywhere the cloud is” presence, and our routing capabilities between cloud vendors, makes all the difference in performance in hard-to-serve areas.
What About Bandwidth?
I think the real question here is a little different than what Annesley asked. Sure, bandwidth is a consideration, but whether that bandwidth is being used efficiently is even more important.
Whatever your first and last mile broadband speeds are, you can forget about those being honored across the Internet. It can be frustrating for businesses to upgrade to Gig broadband only to find that their site-to-site performance remains poor. That’s where Teridion’s ability to optimize the big Internet middle mile comes in.
Our deep-learning driven network orchestrator tunes and tweaks routing and TCP parameters across the Teridion network based on the actual measured performance of the Internet. We effectively avoid outages and congestion. We squeeze every bit of performance from each network hop. Throughput is increased worldwide by 2x to 15x vs regular public internet performance.
Enterprises can have complex structures, tight security constraints, organizationally specific policies and disparate applications. Teridion’s network was designed to enable micro-segmentation across the WAN.
Teridion customers have full control to allow or disallow connectivity between any two sites. It’s a flexible approach that can combine hub-spoke and mesh topologies with the click of a mouse.
Beyond that, Teridion can apply specific protocol optimization and route selection techniques based on the traffic protocol. For example, we optimize TCP traffic for throughput while we polish UDP traffic for the lowest possible loss, latency and jitter.