🚫Demystifying SD-WAN: Separating Fact from Fiction🤔

🚫Demystifying SD-WAN: Separating Fact from Fiction🤔

Don't be fooled by SD-WAN myths! Let's debunk these misconceptions together!


5 min read

In the ever-evolving landscape of networking and connectivity, SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networking) has emerged as a game-changer. However, along with its rise in popularity, several myths and misconceptions have taken root. It's time to shed light on these myths and reveal the truth behind SD-WAN's capabilities.

Myth 1: SD-WAN Does Not Save You Money

One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that SD-WAN fails to provide cost savings. Some providers propagate this myth, assuming that businesses won't transition from traditional business fibre or MPLS to broadband. The reality is quite the opposite!

SD-WAN has the remarkable ability to elevate broadband to a business-grade level, surpassing DIA (Direct Internet Access) in numerous aspects. If you are not overlaying SD-WAN over broadband, it may be due to contractual obligations rather than any limitations of SD-WAN technology itself.

For instance, Fusion Broadband South Africa's SD-WAN seamlessly integrates with various broadband environments, including fibre and fixed wireless solutions like Comsol Networks. The potential for significant savings and enhanced performance is undeniable.

Myth 2: DIY SD-WAN Devices are a Piece of Cake

Some might wonder if they can implement SD-WAN using a Mikrotik group device or similar off-the-shelf routers. The answer? It's not as simple as it seems. While some have attempted to roll their own SD-WAN solutions, the complexities often lead to frustration and wasted time.

SD-WAN is not merely routing functionality; it involves intricate packet-based architecture and session management. Implementing SD-WAN requires a deeper understanding of networking principles and the specific needs of your business.

You can opt for 3rd party services like MikroCloud , which integrates into the MikroTik ecosystem. Alternatively, solutions like Fusion Broadband South Africa offer the versatility to integrate with various 3rd party services, including Mikrotiks. These solutions not only aggregate and bond disparate last-mile links but also maintain session continuity, setting them apart from DIY alternatives.

Myth 3: ASICs are Essential for SD-WAN

In the world of SD-WAN, some believe that dedicated Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are necessary for optimal performance. While ASICs played a crucial role in optimizing older technologies, SD-WAN operates differently.

Modern SD-WAN is primarily driven by software, not hardware-based ASICs. The emphasis is on generic software solutions integrated into the networking stack. Hardware-based ASICs are not the silver bullet they once were. Today, it's about leveraging the capabilities within the Linux kernel and optimizing software performance.

For instance, Fusion Broadband South Africa's SD-WAN solution leverages Intel Corporation hardware to deliver outstanding performance. The focus has shifted from offloading to software-driven enhancements.

Myth 4: MPLS in the Last Mile is Still King

Traditionally, MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) reigned supreme in the last mile of enterprise networks. However, the tide is turning as SD-WAN's cost-effectiveness begins to overshadow MPLS.

SD-WAN, when combined with broadband, offers a more cost-efficient solution that will likely drive companies away from MPLS contracts in the long run. It's not just about cost; SD-WAN, especially solutions like Fusion Broadband South Africa's, comes with a host of additional benefits that sweeten the deal.

Myth 5: SD-WAN Does Not Improve Performance

This myth, often perpetuated by session-based and mesh architecture firewall solutions, claims that SD-WAN does not enhance performance. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Fusion Broadband South Africa's SD-WAN, based on a packet-based architecture and a hub-and-spoke model, defies this misconception. Moreover, it has the ability to accelerate TCP by muxing sessions and optimizing congestion control algorithms, leading to faster performance.

Myth 6: FEC is the Cure-All for Quality of Experience

Forward Error Correction (FEC) is often touted as the solution to VoIP and quality of experience issues. However, this belief overlooks several critical factors.

FEC does not scale well across different protocols, and duplicating packets can result in inefficient bandwidth usage. The primary issue with voice is not just packet loss but also packet reordering within the network stack. Proactive congestion management and path optimization, coupled with a packet-based architecture like Fusion Broadband South Africa's SD-WAN, can deliver crystal-clear voice without the need for FEC.

Myth 7: Building Your Own WiFi Authentication Platform is Easy

While some may consider building a WiFi authentication platform, it's far from a walk in the park. Business-class WiFi solutions from vendors like Ubiquiti, MikroTik, Aruba, or Cambium Networks require a Radius server for enhanced security.

However, configuring and maintaining a Radius server can be a daunting task with inadequate documentation. The time and effort spent may outweigh the benefits. Instead, consider solutions like ITried and their Quickradius solution, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.

Myth 8: SD-WAN Offers Nothing New Compared to Traditional Routers

Legacy routers from renowned vendors are versatile tools in networking. However, they often carry the baggage of backward compatibility and legacy support, hindering innovation.

SD-WAN represents a paradigm shift in networking. It introduces features like SSL-based alternatives to IPSEC, enhancing performance and interoperability. While routers are invaluable for many networking functions, SD-WAN addresses specific needs that routers alone cannot.

In the world of SD-WAN, software takes precedence over hardware, debunking the myth that ASICs are essential for success.

Myth 9: More Speed Solves Everything

The belief that higher speed equates to better performance is another common misconception. Legacy firewalls often rely on increased bandwidth to compensate for poor user experiences.

However, speed alone cannot guarantee stability. When your link experiences downtime, the consequences can be financially crippling. It's crucial to focus on resilience and redundancy rather than merely increasing speed. Fusion Broadband South Africa's solution offers rock-solid resilience by fusing lower-capacity links from diverse networks.

In a world filled with SD-WAN myths, separating fact from fiction is essential. SD-WAN's capabilities go far beyond what these myths suggest, making it a pivotal technology for modern networking.

Ronald, your guide in the realm of Internet-connected things atFusion Broadband South Africa, is here to help you navigate the complexities of SD-WAN and debunk the myths that surround it.

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