SD-WAN Traffic Steering Moves Enterprise Apps Across Clouds

Traffic steering classifies traffic and matches application requirements with network characteristics, conditions and behaviors. It’s similar to a car’s GPS or Waze effect that directs drivers to the best route for their destination, based on conditions like congestion, accidents and priority payload. SD-WAN enables real-time application traffic steering over any type of link, such as broadband, LTE and MPLS, assigning pre-defined policies based upon business intent.

Steering policies support many different application types, making intelligent decisions about how WAN links are utilized, and which paths are taken. For example, a steering policy can route mission-critical applications that are essential for business operations, like VoIP; and bandwidth intensive, latency sensitive applications, like video/web-conferencing, to always use the MPLS circuit, while all other traffic runs over broadband links.

Application traffic steering can route different applications, based on specific metrics that are best suited for the application.  As an example, it can route VoIP traffic over a circuit with the least amount of packet loss, while the backup application runs over a circuit with the lowest latency. SD-WAN steers traffic among multiple circuits supporting applications between two geographically separate locations, which can be an Internet-only or a hybrid network.

Versa SD-WAN conducts application traffic steering based on user, device, location and application context. Versa FlexVNF, located in network edge locations, conducts dynamic traffic engineering, line conditioning and application-specific link selection based on the following:

  • Local SD-WAN traffic steering policy configuration
  • Local application QoS configuration
  • Access circuit state and status
  • Information about (latency, jitter, packet loss) to other VPN sites over any circuit type
  • Information about (latency, jitter, packet loss) to non-VPN sites (e.g., SaaS: Gmail, Office365, Salesforce0 and other sites, such as YouTube, Netflix, over any circuit type
  • MOS–based traffic steering: dynamic traffic steering for voice and video, for on-premises and in the cloud, based on real-time experience scoring

For each branch location, Versa FlexVNF builds a database using information for any paths through which SLA responses are not received, are considered to be path-down, and are made non-available for SD-WAN forwarding. The Versa SD-WAN fabric adapts to changing conditions in real-time, and steers traffic based on the SLA requirements of the applications in a very deterministic way.

Making sure applications use the best circuits, based on business intent enabled by traffic steering policy, requires an intelligent solution. With multi-cloud, mobility and IoT deployments, today’s network perimeters are fully virtualized, expanding far beyond the traditional hub and spoke environment, whereby a dynamic mesh of connectivity can ensure applications get to their destinations securely, efficiently and reliably.

SD-WAN solutions with robust application traffic steering will get your applications moving in the right business direction. Intelligent traffic steering is all about translating business policies into automated, programmed network actions that infuse applications with the reliability, performance and continuity standards that contemporary hybrid-cloud enterprises require.

Author's Bio

Atchison Frazer

CMO, Versa Networks