SMOAD Networks

May 31, 2023

Building a hybrid WAN infrastructure with SMOAD SD-WAN

Hybrid WAN combines two or more network connections transmitting traffic between branches, headquarters, and remote offices. SD-WAN is not the same as Hybrid WAN but can be called symbiotic. The SD-WAN is a refinement of hybrid WAN with additional features like packet steering, link performance, and dynamic path optimisation. Modern organisations greatly depend on cloud solutions, and legacy MPLS solutions cannot satisfy your enterprise requirements. Investing in SD-WAN is a significant decision to expand your business.

Define Hybrid WAN
Hybrid WAN sews broadband to MPLS for Cloud access. One of the primary functions of Hybrid WAN includes dynamic path selection. The business-critical traffic is restricted to MPLS, while the less critical traffic is to the internet VPN. Hybrid WAN works with SD-WAN to direct traffic according to the enterprise requirement.

Why do you need Hybrid WAN?
Redundancy is a significant drawback in enterprise WAN; this can be set right with various MPLS networks using different physical connections at the site location. But it is an expensive proposition and may not work with SMEs. A feasible alternative is to use affordable public internet at the site if MPLS connectivity fails. Though this works, it may be disruptive, resulting in paying more for a substitute connection that can be used only during emergencies.

In some cases, the organisation routes specific traffic through a backup line. But this, again, can be tough to configure, and you cannot be confident that the bandwidth is being used proficiently, and failover can be disruptive.

Hybrid WAN as a solution
The challenges are addressed effectively by SMOAD SD-WAN solutions by offering unified failover and using the bandwidth efficiently and at the same time offering excellent control over traffic for the administrators to tackle network and security issues. In SD-WAN solutions, the testing is conducted between sites across different paths exposing the outage that can be detected quickly. The traffic is automatically re-routed across the remaining paths. The traffic is encrypted and encapsulated over a public circuit, then de-encrypted and de-encapsulated. There will be no change in the traffic as it appears the same as in the MPLS path.

The right behaviour would be to load balance the data transmission based on the packet across several WAN connections, thereby efficiently using the bandwidth across sites than allowing specific traffic to take a preferred route by default. Another technique is to duplicate specific traffic across multiple connections. This can be enabled against a specific traffic type, simultaneously sending packets across multiple connections. Only the first packet is accepted, and any duplicates are discarded. This results in seamless failover and optimises VoIP, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or UCaaS performance. On the contrary, the first packet is accepted across the best path possible.

Advantages of Hybrid WAN

  1. MPLS connections are costly, and having redundant connections for uptime is not practicable.
  2. Supplementing MPLS connection with public broadband can give scope for more bandwidth
  3. You are assured of the highest quality at all times when it comes to controlling traffic at many levels.
  4. It helps achieve uptime at all times without worrying about expenses.

Disadvantages of Hybrid WAN

  1. In the case of duplicate traffic, there is no load balancing
  2. The user must be specific with their approach, whether single, load balance or duplicated.

Hybrid WAN offers a great user experience and zero/less downtime. If your enterprise wants to move to SD-WAN, it is best to start with Hybrid WAN.

SMOAD educate customers on SD-WAN and help them make informed decisions.

Call us for a demo!