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The Untapped Value of Increasing Your Network Visibility

Richard Pain | Nov. 6, 2017
By analysing network traffic patterns and volume, enterprises can engage customers better, from improving application to adjusting bandwidth availability during peak engagement periods.

Multi-dimensional visuals provide greater visibility as it analyses issues along the network at multiple levels: at site level, the application dimension and at the individual (internet protocol IP) address. Such agility allows for potential issues to be determined, monitored and solved in real-time.

Furthermore, the innovative streaming analytical feature adds a new layer of visibility by letting enterprises replay what goes on inside its network. For example, if a company wants to find out the reason for high traffic volume at its Shanghai branch 24 hours ago, it can replay the data from that branch to identify the type of applications which were in heavy use at the time. This can include establishing the number of employees using streaming media, the amount of bandwidth consumed by email use, and pinpointing the applications used by individual end-user devices.

Such visibility, combined with advanced malware detection and reporting analytics, also helps identify whether the high traffic volume was caused by the infection of end-points by spyware or botnets.

By evaluating the reasons for the congestion and its impact on end-users, the enterprise can then make the necessary adjustments in managing workload and performance to ensure the network is running efficiently.

 

An Example SD-WAN Implementation Use Case

 

To better explain how SD-WAN benefits an organisation's existing network, let's examine a use case and several common pain points you, the reader, might be experiencing yourself.

Imagine an organisation that has been growing consistently for the past decade, but its traditional MPLS WAN is becoming a bottleneck for its expansion. As a result, application performance is deteriorating and user experience is being negatively impacted, but it isn't clear how to improve the network whilst containing overall costs.

One unwanted side effect of this set-up is what's known as 'hairpin routing' via the regional data centre for internet, public cloud, remote workers and extranet. Often this is the main reason for the degraded user-experience and a lot of unutilized backup capacity.

Other pain-points that are commonly experienced by organisations in this situation include a general lack of visibility of applications on the network. This is linked to the potential for shadow applications to be running in the background.

As a solution, the advantages of implementing a managed hybrid-WAN network infrastructure with an SD-WAN overlay network are: improved user-experience with visibility of the application performance, not just of the network utilization by application, simplified change management and substantially lower operational costs.

Intelligent routing is one of the key features of this solution, which enables the highest level of network performance for enterprise applications, bypassing Internet peering and congestion points. In particular, this allows for active-active routing traffic across all available network connections to customer sites

 

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