There’s a lot packed into our SD-WAN products. Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions.
SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network. The phrase “software-defined WAN” refers to the application of software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to the WAN. As a result of applying these concepts, an SD-WAN centralizes the network control function into a controller. In these WAN environments, software-defined networking architectural models or principles have been applied to turn the control layer of a network that was once all hardware into software.
The architecture of SD-WAN virtualizes numerous components of a traditional legacy network (e.g. secure routing, application optimization, etc.) and centralizes the network management via cloud-based “orchestrator” control software to intelligently direct IP traffic across the corporate network. SD-WAN enables organizations to leverage any combination of public and private transport services (e.g. broadband internet, 5G, etc.) to securely connect users to apps and each other in a cost-effective manner.
By installing an SD-WAN endpoint (usually a hardware appliance but sometimes the endpoint can be virtual customer-provided equipment or “vCPE”) on a corporate network, employees at a business’ remote sites can securely access the applications hosted in private data centers or in public clouds. This is a game-changer for CIOs and network architects because the rise of public cloud services and inexpensive broadband is pushing enterprises to be more nimble. The Masergy difference is that our globally-available managed software-defined network backbone enables companies to add an SD-WAN endpoint to their network without needing a team of in-house network engineers.
Most SD-WAN providers require their endpoints to be installed at every location or the WAN will lose visibility and control over the sites with an SD-WAN endpoint. Unlike other providers, our Managed SD-WAN solutions enable you to leverage SD-WAN at some locations without having to deploy it everywhere in a “mix and match” WAN design approach. Masergy SD-WAN endpoint hardware is provided by our partners at Fortinet with an embedded router, firewall, and unified threat management (UTM) capabilities. Combined with our managed software-defined network backbone, these features enable companies to install secure Managed SD-WAN connections quickly and safely on their network edge that extends to both public and private cloud assets.
Deploying SD-WAN means companies no longer need an expensive private network to access applications and data hosted in their own data centers. Deploying SD-WAN enables secure access to cloud-based resources via a cheaper internet connection. A key benefit of Masergy Managed SD-WAN is that all endpoints are connected to our global software-defined network backbone which in turn is directly connected to over 200 of the top cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and more. This empowers CIOs and network architects to deploy simple, secure WAN connections over both public and private links with increased application performance. Connecting offices to a corporate WAN is a complex, time-consuming task for any IT department. Mixing private links with public internet access for remote office connectivity results in IT departments wasting valuable time dealing with configuration, bandwidth, and latency issues.
Another benefit of SD-WAN is its ability to detect network outages and automatically reroute IP traffic accordingly to reduce downtime. Because Masergy Managed SD-WAN combines the power of to improve the resiliency of their WANs, dynamically balance traffic across multiple paths, and increase application performance. Masergy SD-WAN solutions help IT managers determine the best path to deliver business-critical applications over their global WAN based on available bandwidth.
When first introduced around twenty years ago, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) upended the networking world. MPLS is a protocol enabling highly-efficient network traffic flow between two or more locations. MPLS operates similarly to switches and routers by using packet-forwarding technology and labels to make data-forwarding decisions for IP traffic on a network. The label is imposed between the Layer 2 (data link) and Layer 3 (network) headers and results in excellent quality of service and reliability. Businesses typically use MPLS to carry their high-priority IP traffic across the WAN but this stability comes at a very high per-megabit cost. MPLS is also subject to geographical boundaries as each MPLS link is deployed by the local telecommunications carriers.
SD-WAN applies the principles of software-defined networking (SDN) to a business WAN connection; separating the data plane and control plane of the network and abstracting it into a virtualized service. In an SD-WAN deployment, IP traffic is intelligently routed to either hardware or software endpoints with end-to-end encryption across the entire WAN. Because SD-WAN is not tied to a particular carrier, the endpoints can leverage any type of bandwidth. This drastically lowers the per-megabit costs as well as removes any geographical barriers associated with MPLS.
Think of a software-defined network (SDN) as the foundation for a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). A key attribute of SDN is abstracting the hardware required in both the control and data plane of a network to become a single layer of software. Similar to the virtualization of servers in the cloud, the abstraction of the network control and data planes enables SDN to leverage commodity x86 hardware rather than specialized devices. Separating the control and data planes introduces greater agility to the deployment of a network while enhancing the visibility and control of IP traffic across a core network. SDN can be used for both LAN and WAN deployments and has the benefit of simplified architecture, reduced costs, and centralized management.
All the principles of SDN carry over into SD-WAN. However, an SD-WAN deployment applies software-defined application routing to the corporate WAN to connect multiple sites in an organization.
Yes, here are some of the standard features included in Masergy Managed SD-WAN:
Having a “single pane of glass” unified portal is what every network architect and IT manager dreams about. But the reality is that adding SD-WAN to a corporate network can also add another separate admin portal in addition to your existing WAN’s admin interface. Multiple logins and multiple interfaces result in a fragmented experience that never achieves 100% visibility and control over the entire corporate WAN… that is unless you use Masergy.
Masergy’s Intelligent Service Control portal is a unified management dashboard and control platform that frees enterprises from cross-referencing disconnected networks and disparate components. With centralized management and a single view of application performance, monitoring and managing your entire network is less complex. It delivers
Masergy AIOps is the industry’s first AI-based, digital assistant for network, security, and application optimization. It leverages machine learning and behavioral analytics for network insights. Acting as a virtual engineer for your global SD-WAN, AIOps delivers automated network administration and configuration improvement. Get real-time alerts and recommendations from inside your Masergy admin portal that enhances application performance, predicts bandwidth needs, and optimizes network throughput based on Masergy’s 20 years of innovative anomaly detection and predictive analytics leadership.
Best of all, AIOps requires no complex setup and comes standard with every Masergy Managed SD-WAN solution.
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Any one you want and a mixture of all. Masergy’s SD-WAN is transport agnostic, meaning you have the flexibility to mix and match public and private access, designing your connectivity to meet the unique needs of your applications, users, and locations all across the globe. Your options include private connectivity via Masergy’s global software-defined network, dedicated Internet access, broadband, and fixed wireless (LTE and 5G). You can leverage your existing infrastructure across private and public access points, and Masergy will work with any last-mile provider. You can bring your own bandwidth or Masergy can provision broadband service via any of our 300+ internet service providers around the world.
When you choose Masergy’s private, software-defined network or MPLS service, you get industry-leading performance with <1 millisecond of jitter and 100% packet delivery across the globe.
But no matter which way you go, you get 24/7 network performance monitoring with proactive service notifications.
Yes. SD-Branch is an SD-WAN-based strategy that allows enterprises to remove IT infrastructure and personnel from branch offices, helping to reduce costs while also improving application performance. SD-Branch replaces the standard IT branch office hardware with software, using SD-WAN as a single platform to address all branch network needs. This enables businesses to operationalize their WAN expenses, turning the capital expense of networking hardware into the operational expense of software and services. SD-Branch can also reduce the time required to turn up a branch office by leveraging LTE and 5G wireless access options.
Masergy virtualizes the multiple networking appliances commonly used at your branch offices extending Masergy’s global, software-defined network into your LAN. Our SD-Branch solution delivers a combination of next-generation firewalls, secure switching, and Wi-Fi access points that are perfect for hybrid WAN deployments with a combination of private Layer 3 links at large offices and SD-WAN at branch locations. Improve your network uptime and application performance, using SD-WAN’s abilities to connect directly to the internet and better utilize bandwidth.
Learn more about flexible access options with Masergy’s Managed SD-WAN
Yes, you can deploy Masergy Managed SD-WAN at some sites while retaining legacy networking at other locations—without sacrificing unified visibility and control over your global corporate network. Masergy is unique in the industry because competing SD-WAN products require endpoints to be “bookended” at every location or connected to the cloud via “hairpinning” strategies. However, this creates a “network within a network” on your global WAN, where the SD-WAN infrastructure requires your IT department to use separate administration tools and analytics to function. Masergy Managed SD-WAN seamlessly integrates with your global network, giving you unified visibility and control over all locations.
Learn more about ensuring interoperability with SD-WAN edge devices
Yes, and more! As your applications move to the cloud, you need agile and secure connectivity to support your digital strategy. Masergy makes it easy to rapidly establish direct connections to cloud service providers and get high-performing SaaS applications with industry-unique cloud service guarantees. Masergy Direct Cloud Connect solutions provide:
Our Managed SD-WAN solution includes modified Fortinet® FortiGate devices at the secure network edge. Masergy selected Fortinet hardware due to the company’s expertise in enterprise cybersecurity and our recognition that in a multi-cloud world, networking and security are inextricably linked. In addition to the built-in Fortinet next-generation firewalls with secure routing that comes standard with all solutions, we also offer three separate tiers of additional managed detection & response services:
Masergy’s solutions are hyper flexible , providing virtually unlimited design flexibility. You can connect every location, application, and user group in the way that makes the most sense for your business needs today and enjoy the freedom to make changes on an ongoing basis.