6 SD-WAN Visualizations We’re Thankful For
IDC predicts that the SD-WAN infrastructure market will grow to reach $4.5 billion in 2022. As organizations continue to roll out and migrate to this technology, it’s critical to have overlay visibility into these complex networks to help understand how they impact legacy IT environments. This allows NetOps to properly plan, verify, operationalize and manage SD-WANs (you can read more about these phases here). Earlier this month, I contributed an article to Network Computing that shared 11 critical visualizations for SD-WAN success. During this Thanksgiving season, I wanted to pare the list down to the six network views I’m most thankful for:
1. SD-WAN Topology Views
Active topology maps should provide a layered set of filtered views to isolate applications, VPNs and policies in real time. These types of views allow NetOps teams to monitor key performance indicators and SLA KPIs, and better understand if they either remain within the appropriate boundaries or if cloud applications and applications traversing service provider connections are fluctuating.
2. Application Reports
With user experiences measured in seconds for response time, and quality based on fuzzy video or dropped calls, NetOps must be able to debug issues quickly. Seeing the application demands from services across the entire SD-WAN enables you with everything from a status summary to detailed information about bandwidth consumption and quality of assigned service policies. All of these in-depth insights allow NetOps to manage and adjust network resources in order to keep demanding customers, partners and employees happy.
3. Flow Performance Visualizations
When policies change – and they always do – it’s important to conduct path analysis. Some of the most useful SD-WAN visualizations show detailed path analytics, which can help IT to verify policy changes at scale and understand application path switching. As part of the ongoing management of SD-WAN deployments, NetOps teams also need the ability to visualize site-to-site tunnel performance correlated with service provider and policy thresholds.
4. Service Provider Performance Views
When designing your SD-WAN, you could have several to many service provider agreements in place. Having the ability to analyze the performance, utilization and paths associated with each of those services are critical to the success of the deployment. IT departments need visualizations that allow them to understand which telco infrastructure path applications should take, evaluate how SD-WAN-enabled traffic versus non-SD-WAN traffic should be handled during deployment, and more.
5. Device Views
When managing performance or troubleshooting the SD-WAN, NetOps teams need granular insight into device performance. You need to be able to assess each site and drill down into individual devices. This view allows you to successfully verify application paths and service VPN topologies, as well as analyze policy assignments and performance (for example with tunnel overlays, bandwidth, SLA class handing and more).
6. Packet-Level Analysis
Detailed packet decoding is essential when working to address complex network problems or serious security issues. With access to integrated packet capture and analysis, NetOps teams are able to drill down, identify root cause, troubleshoot and resolve the issue with speed and confidence.
These visualizations were originally posted to Network Computing on November 1, 2018. You can read the entire article, titled, “11 Critical Visualizations for SD-WAN Success” here.
If you want to learn more about SD-WAN deployment and management, check out this PacketPushers podcast on future-proofing your SD-WAN investment, view this Cisco use-case video, read the latest blog post from our CEO, or as always, check out our product page.
Mark Milinkovich, Director of Products
Nov. 20, 2018