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Now that Network Virtualization and Software Defined Network are becoming mainstream, there is a new trend in networking: Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).

What is SD-WAN? SD-WAN is best defined as traffic monitoring and management from physical devices to the application itself, capitalizing on flexibility and agility. This intelligent routing is abstracted into a virtual overlay, enabling a secured pooling of both private and public connections allowing for automation, centralized network control and real-time management across multiple links. 

Common features across SD-WAN platforms are:

  • Route across open Internet
  • Provide WAN performance optimization across multiple circuits
  • Prioritize traffic providing QoS style prioritization on commodity Internet
  • Network analytics and measurements

In December 2017, VMware acquired VeloCloud, the market leader in cloud-delivered SD-WAN that enables enterprises and service providers to deploy flexible, secure WAN connectivity. Velocloud offer has been rebranded in VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud.

It’s not NSX (not the NSX-v or NSX-T), but it’s still related to networking and its virtualization, so the same brand named has been used.

VMware NSX® SD-WAN by VeloCloud™ enables you to support application growth, network agility and simplified branch implementations while delivering optimized access to cloud datacenters and applications simultaneously over both ordinary broadband Internet and private links.

The vast majority of branch office WAN traffic is carried over expensive leased lines (private MPLS circuits) or unpredictable Internet connections (DSL, Cable, LTE) — neither of which is ideal on its own. Deploying leased lines for all bandwidth needs could be cost prohibitive and time-consuming, while adopting the public Internet — with its lack of uptime, reliability and performance guarantees — may result in a poor user experience.

NSX SD-WAN combines the economics and flexibility of a hybrid WAN with the deployment speed and low maintenance of a cloud-based service. It includes policy based network-wide application performance, visibility and control while dramatically simplifying the WAN by delivering virtualized services from the cloud to branch offices.

The VMware NSX® SD-WAN Edge by VeloCloud™ appliance is a compact, thin edge device that is zero-touch provisioned from the cloud for secure, optimized connectivity to applications and data.

The NSX SD-WAN Edge is also available as a VNF (virtual network function) for instantiation on a virtual CPE platform. The NSX SD-WAN Edge with Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization (DMPO) and deep application recognition aggregates multiple links (e.g. Private, Cable, DSL, 4G-LTE) and steers traffic over the optimal links to other on-premises NSX SD-WAN Edges in branch offices, private data centers, campuses, and headquarters. The NSX SD-WAN Edge can also optionally connect to the system of global VMware NSX® SD-WAN Gateway by VeloCloud™ as shown in Figure 2 to provide performance, security, and visibility for cloud services (SaaS, IaaS, B2B Internet).

Most important, using NSX SD-WAN’s zero-touch deployment capability, NSX SD-WAN can be quickly installed. The NSX SD-WAN Edge is shipped to the branch office where a nontechnical person simply plugs in power and a few cables. Activation, configuration, and ongoing management are all handled in the cloud.

For sure SD-WAN will be another important trend in the transformation and evolution of the networking.

To learn more about SD-WAN there is also a new VMware’s book titled “SD-WAN – The Networking Blueprint for Modern Businesses”.

This book walks the readers through the basics of SD-WAN and then takes a closer look at how VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud delivers real-world benefits for enterprises. The book covers a wide range of industries ranging from retail to healthcare to IoT and will cover key capabilities and features relevant for each of these industries.

The book is now available on Amazon! Order it today!

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2906 Posts)

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-18. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-18. Nutanix NTC 2014-18. PernixPro 2014-16. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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