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Ensuring Connectivity In The Age Of SD-WAN

The Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) market is rapidly expanding, becoming the standard in enterprise deployments.  According to MarketsandMarkets1, the global SD-WAN market size is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2018 to $ 4 billion by 2023.

In just the past year alone, we’ve seen a considerable trend when it comes to choosing to deploy SD-WAN and for many reasons. Allowing traffic to be routed over the most cost-effective services, such as broadband, an SD-WAN network can manage multiple types of connections including LTE, broadband and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) links. Services that require high quality, such as video or voice, or high security, with sensitive information, can still be routed over remaining MPLS lines, although many enterprises are freeing themselves of MPLS entirely, allowing them to invest in Smart Out-of-Band with the savings. Because of this flexibility, SD-WANs can dramatically lessen the cost and minimise the complexity of traditional WANs. However, despite it’s gaining popularity, with deployments in data centers and at the edge, it still needs an alternative path of access to the network in the event of an outage.

SD-WAN Points Of Failure

In traditional branch networking, branch routers can go for years without needing any intervention like configuration changes or firmware updates. But SD-WAN routers are more sophisticated and run a larger software stack. Firmware updates are common which means that there are many more opportunities for things to go wrong. Updates can leave organizations vulnerable to potential downtime; and visibility blind spots can decrease the effectiveness of deployments, creating security challenges.

SD-WAN also needs additional security offerings to protect an enterprise. The primary SD-WAN connection must be secure and must be added to any other security solution being deployed. These devices are usually fully meshed which means that compromising one device can give attackers visibility into the traffic flow from across the enterprise.

The Smart Solution

Smart out-of-band management by Opengear allows enterprises to bypass these common limitations. Not only does it provide an alternative path to devices located at remote sites when the primary network is down, helping mitigate the risk that SD-WAN can bring, it can also help facilitate access to edge infrastructure to ensure business continuity.

Attaching Opengear to SD-WAN deployments:

Diagnoses the issue: If a disruption occurs and the internet link isn’t connected, outages are detected immediately. Paired with Lighthouse Centralized Management, administrators are able to identify issues and remediate them remotely without having to roll a truck out to a site.

Allows for always-on access: Failover to Cellular paired with Smart Out-of-Band ensures uninterrupted availability for remote networks with 4G LTE. This allows organizations to continue business as usual while the primary internet connection is down.

Decrease costs: A Smart Out-of-Band solution costs less to deploy and operate. A truck roll and a few hours offline can cost an organization thousands of dollars.

Designed to provide the needed resilience at the edge, Smart Out-of-Band by Opengear is scalable, providing the ability to manage infrastructure at distributed sites. Troubleshooting and remediation at the network’s edge enables organizations to detect faults before they become failures which minimizes downtime and operating costs.

Providing organizations with always-on connectivity and increased resilience in the event of an SD-WAN network failure, Smart Out-of-Band is able to ensure that infrastructure is accessible from anywhere during an outage. This resilient backup connectivity allows enterprises to reduce the time-consuming nature of dispatching engineers to data centre sites to make configuration changes and trouble-shoot issues for business continuity. Smart Out-of-Band and Failover to Cellular™ ensures that SD-WAN continues to operate when all other circuits are unavailable, providing the always-on access needed at the edge. So the next time you’re deploying SD-WAN, remember to attach Smart Out-of-Band.

1 https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/software-defined-wan-market-53110642.html

SD-WAN & Out-of-Band: A Smart Solution (White Paper)

Modern networks are utilizing Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) to increase flexibility, reduce costs and secure connections of standard broadband. Providing the ability to dynamically choose the most efficient traffic route, SD-WAN routers are more sophisticated requiring more firmware updates which can create more opportunities for challenges to arise.

This whitepaper delves into the benefits and challenges of SD-WAN and how Smart Out-of-Band (Smart OOB™) can be used to minimize truck rolls, decrease disruptions and address points of failure to provide organizations with enterprise-grade WAN.

 

This whitepaper discusses:
  • Reducing downtime by using Smart OOB access to detect outages immediately allowing staff to bring the network back up as soon as possible.
  • Allowing for always-on access by Smart OOB to rapidly identify and remediate issues between dispersed internet-connected devices and remote infrastructure.
  • Providing cellular OOB with a connection independent of the data path.

The Tale Of Two SD-WAN Deployments

Smart Support For SD-WAN Deployments

Smart Support For SD-WAN Deployments

SD-WAN is quickly becoming the standard in enterprise deployments because of its many benefits. However, before deploying, enterprises must understand points of failure that can occur with SD-WAN. Watch this video to learn how Smart Out-of-Band by Opengear ensures network resilience in the event of a disruption. Smart deployments start with Opengear.

To learn more visit: https://opengear.com/sd-wan

SD-WAN Deployments in Finance


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There has been a widespread move towards SD-WAN in the financial sector. An industry that embraced features such as online banking and mobile apps, is continuing the tech forward mindset by using technology to improve network performance, communications and speed. IoT and mobile devices are just a few applications that have increased customer expectations and to continue to meet these, financial institutions must build their online engagement model. As more are added to the network, performance can suffer and onsite technicians distributed sites are few and far between. Providing improved security, reliability and performance, SD-WAN ensures a more streamlined solution with less need for a technician onsite. Additional benefits of SD-WAN for financial institutions include:

Bandwidth Optimization

More than 36% of organizations have chosen to move to SD-WAN because of the optimization of bandwidth.1 Providing the ability to utilize a variety of connectivity options, most jump at the chance to eliminate expensive MPLS circuits, it continually searches for the best path as it carries packets across the network. This is an immediate benefit, as other most other solutions have little capability to actually prioritize the data being carried.

This allows financial organizations to use lower priced bandwidth products, without sacrificing quality or consistency. It also provides consistent communications – with the amount of transactions being processed in finance this is a necessity. Now these organizations like credit unions and banks, with distributed locations, can also switch to lower data packages allowing them to reduce costs and improve communications.

WAN Integration

Finance has a variety of business distribution models – each with challenging network needs. Requiring an always-on network, any small disruptions can quickly escalate. In fact, 28% of organizations indicate that the ability to use existing architecture in an aging network is a major concern. SD-WAN provides organizations with greater control over solution used across each network.

Automation at Distributed Sites

Financial institutions have distributed locations and without the proper solution, functioning as a cohesive unit can be a challenge and if not properly managed, it can become a source of operational and financial inefficiency. This makes SD-WAN a perfect fit for these distributed organizations. More than 28% of organizations state a need for improved automation and self provisioning for their network.2 This would allow financial institutions to manage and view the WAN as one entity, instead of treating each endpoint as a standalone resource.

SD-WAN has a variety of benefits, but it does have points of failure. To learn about adding Smart Out-of-Band to your next deployment for always-on access, see our storygraphic.

1 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44203118

2 https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2018/10/25/sd–wan-survey.aspx

SD-WAN Deployments in Retail

For retailers, meeting growing customer demands can be challenging when factoring in ever-increasing network complexities. Connecting stores, distribution centers and warehouses is a necessity in order to provide improved customer experiences. To enable this, many retailers are turning towards SD-WAN – soon to become the standard deployment for enterprise networks.1

Benefits include:

Better network security

Many legacy WANs don’t have standard security features built-in, so they can’t adequately protect the network. SD-WAN encrypts network traffic which increases security when sending sensitive customer information to dispersed locations.

More flexibility

Bandwidth and network updates can be adjusted depending on needs. This allows retailers to add services at different sites without using any legacy systems or sending a person to the location.

Reduced maintenance

SD-wan reduces the amount of on-premise hardware which decreases the cost of maintenance and downtime.

SD-WAN Points of Failure

SD-WAN does provide many benefits, however running on larger software stacks they require constant firmware updates which can introduce points of failure, leaving retail organizations vulnerable to potential downtime with each deployment. Smart Out-of-Band by Opengear supports SD-WAN deployments. Ensuring secondary access to the router to reflash or power cycle, NetOps staff are able to remotely get the network back up and running. Understanding that branch networks are critical piece to many retailers business strategies, Opengear ensures that if downtime does occur, POS, security systems and other in store devices continue to run seamlessly.

Adding Smart Out-of-Band during SD-WAN deployments:

Diagnoses the issue

If a disruption occurs and the internet link isn’t connected, outages are detected immediately. Lighthouse Centralized Management enables administrators to identify and manage the network remotely without having to roll a truck to a remote retail site.

Allows for always-on access

Failover to Cellular ensures uninterrupted availability for remote networks with 4G LTE. Retailers are able to continue business as usual while the primary internet connection is down.

Decreases costs

A Smart Out-of-Band solution costs less to deploy and operate. A truck roll and a few hours offline can cost a retail organization thousands of dollars.2

Trust your SD-WAN deployment to Opengear, ensure guaranteed access with Smart Out-of-Band.

1 https://techblog.comsoc.org/2017/11/19/gartner-group-sd-wan-early-findings-yield-surprises/
2 http://www.ihiji.com/whats-it-really-cost-to-roll-a-truck/

Deploying SD-WAN? What kind of day will you have?

Deploying SD-WAN? What kind of day will you have?

Learn more about SD-WAN and Out-of-Band.

Deploying SD-WAN has universal benefits which include reducing costs and ensuring secure connections however, it can create points of failure.

Steve and John have both deployed SD-WAN – but only one of these network engineers has Smart Out-of-Band by Opengear so in the event of an outage they’re prepared. Who will be rolling trucks and who will be enjoying a cool pina colada? Watch the video to find out.

Learn more about SD-WAN and Out-of-Band.

A Smart Solution For SD-WAN Deployments

Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) are being used by organizations to reduce costs and improve flexibility needed for bandwidth demands. Dynamically sharing network bandwidth across a variety of connections, traffic is able to be redirected to the most cost-effective route like broadband or LTE.

SD-WAN is more than just a buzzword, it’s become the standard in enterprise deployments. Projected to reach $8 billion¹ in market value by 2021, organizations are understanding the benefits of this low cost, agile alternative to traditional branch routers, it allows organizations to get rid of expensive MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) circuits and rely on 4G LTE. Despite it gaining popularity and being deployed in data centers and branch locations across all industries, it still needs an alternative path of entry to the network in the event of an outage.

Deploying SD-WAN, You Need Smart Out-of-Band

 

SD-WAN is quickly being adopted, because of its simple management and configuration although it does have some points of failure. In traditional branch networking, many times branch routers can go years without needing configuration changes or firmware updates. Cloud-based provisioning does allow for a simple configuration of the SD-WAN router, however this is still considered in-band management. The solution to ensuring that network events don’t become disruptions is Smart Out-of-Band management (Smart OOB™).

Smart Out-of-Band enables organizations to securely monitor and manage all devices within a data center or remote location without interrupting normal operations. Designed to meet the needs of hundreds of sites and thousands of devices at those sites, organizations are able to reduce costs using advanced troubleshooting and remediation at the network’s edge.

Smart Out-of-Band and the Edge

 

Why is it so important this is all completed at the network’s edge? The edge enables analytics and data gathering closer to the sources of that data. By identifying issues at the edge, network engineers are able to remediate the issue quickly, avoiding unnecessary costs that can occur from an outage. If during an SD-WAN deployment a network event does occur, Smart OOB will be able to get the network up and running remotely

Providing organizations always-on connectivity and increased resilience in the event of an SD-WAN network failure,  Smart OOB is able to ensure that infrastructure is accessible from anywhere during an outage. Opengear’s white paper on Enterprise-Grade WAN provides more detail on the combination of Smart Out-of-Band management with an SD-WAN deployment.

Allow your organization to:

  • Ensure that infrastructure is accessible during system and network outages
  • Detect faults before they become failures
  • Allows organizations to have a faster recovery if IT and network failures occur

1 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42925117

Why SD-WAN Needs Smart Out-of-Band

SD-WAN is more than just a buzzword, it’s become the standard in enterprise deployments. Projected to reach $8 billion¹ in market value by 2021, organizations are understanding the benefits of this low cost, agile alternative to traditional branch routers.

Being able to dynamically share network bandwidth by choosing the most efficient path, SD-WAN allows enterprises to eliminate expensive private network circuits and still balance traffic.

Although SD-WAN has a lot of benefits, there is one drawback to these sophisticated devices. SD-WAN routers run on large stacks of software which require constant firmware updates. These are a necessity, but we all know more updates increases the chance for network events to become large, costly disruptions – with the cost of downtime being $5,600 per minute², outages are something that most organizations can’t afford. The solution that can reduce the impact of these events – Smart Out-of-Band™ (Smart OOB) from Opengear.

Top 3 Reasons

1. Diagnoses the issue

Everyone’s gotten that dreaded call at 3 am, there’s an issue with the network and without Smart Out-of-Band, more often than not, network administrators are left scratching their heads wondering what to do and where to start. Identifying the source of an outage without visibility across the network can take hours and to make matters worse, this all could’ve occurred at a site hundreds of miles away. Instead of wasting hours driving to a site to troubleshoot, Smart OOB allows network administrators immediately and remotely fix the issue.

2. Allows for always-on access

No enterprise can afford the costs associated with an outage – and without complete network visibility, these disruptions could last for days. Opengear devices deliver reliable access when needed. Smart OOB allows organizations to begin troubleshooting issues. Failover to Cellular, ensures continued internet connectivity for remote LANs and equipment with high speed 4GE when the primary internet link is down, delivering resilience.

3. Decreases costs

An organization that doesn’t have Smart OOB can spend thousands of dollars in just a week when a network error occurs. Having to send staff and truck rolls out to the site is costly let alone the time it takes to identify the issue once they are there. Smart OOB allows network administrators to remediate the problem in minutes remotely.

SD-WAN + Smart OOB = Enterprise-Grade WAN

SD-WAN deployments provide flexibility and reduce costs while maintaining secure connections. Allowing enterprises to utilize and aggregate multiple bandwidth connections, these routers do introduce a single point of failure that can result in potential downtime. Smart OOB supports these deployments, giving staff the ability to remotely get networks back up.

Learn more about how Smart OOB can support your SD-WAN deployment.

 

¹ https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42925117

² https://blogs.gartner.com/andrew-lerner/2014/07/16/the-cost-of-downtime/

 

SD-WAN and Out-Of-Band

Creating Smarter Networks

SD-WAN provides organizations with secure network connections at a lower cost. Creating more agile Wide Area Networks (WANs) that are able to support the increasingly sophisticated distribution of network devices across multiple sites, the wide range of SD-WAN benefits have made it the standard in enterprise deployments.

These benefits include:

  • Secure connection of standard broadband via a dynamic VPN tunnel
  • Increased flexibility of new networks
  • Reduced costs using commodity hardware
  • Quick deployment of new networks

To provide these benefits however, the local routers in SD-WAN deployments have become more sophisticated which can pose challenges to traditional network management which expects constant network connectivity.

To learn more about smart solutions necessary for SD-WAN deployments, download our white paper today!

Understanding Potential SD-WAN Interrupters

The new flexibility enabled by SD-WAN brings with it a heightened need for remote engineers to manage on-site devices. The sophistication of the SD-WAN hardware introduces points of failure which without the proper solutions in place, become large scale disruptions.

These points of failure include:

Updates: Every time a firmware update is executed, there is a risk of a misconfiguration or error which can bring down the router.

Security: SD-WAN needs additional security offerings to protect the enterprise. The primary SD-WAN connection must be secure, and must be added to any other security solution being deployed.

Read our SD-WAN Solutions Overview Sheet to learn more about possible points of failure.

Ensuring Network Resilience with SD-WAN

SD-WAN is not a standalone solution. During the initial rollout or migration from the previous WAN, an organization’s network can be left unstable with frequent updates and glitches. Although there are many benefits to SD-WAN deployments, single points of failure can result with potential downtime. Smart Out-of-Band supports SD-WAN deployments, allowing engineers to access the network at all times.

Smart Out-of-Band is separate to the production network, providing engineers the ability to remotely monitor and manage all remote devices so that a disruption won’t affect the primary operation. Ensuring continuity and uptime using automated intelligence, Smart Out-of-Band paired with Failover to Cellular™ enables network resilience by providing always on access. Lighthouse Enterprise provides full network visibility to diagnose and remediate the issue if disruption occurs.

Learn more about the benefits of Smart Out-of-Band from Opengear for your next SD-WAN deployment!