🔄Switch to Last Mile SD-WAN from Fusion to Resolve Legacy Router Flaps & Congestion 👴

🔄Switch to Last Mile SD-WAN from Fusion to Resolve Legacy Router Flaps & Congestion 👴

Traditional networking tech can't handle flaps and congestion, but SD-WAN provides a reliable solution with advanced features.


4 min read

In the realm of networking, maintaining reliable and efficient data transmission is paramount. However, two significant challenges often hinder optimal network performance: flaps and congestion. These issues can disrupt connectivity, degrade performance, and lead to inefficient network operations. Current networking technologies, such as BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and OSPF (Open Shortest Path First), struggle to address these challenges effectively. In contrast, SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networking) offers innovative solutions to mitigate these issues, particularly when utilizing multiple last-mile links and a hub-and-spoke architecture.

Understanding Flaps and Congestion

Flaps refer to the frequent up-and-down status changes of a network link. These fluctuations can be caused by various factors, including physical link instability, intermittent hardware failures, or transient issues in the network path. Flapping links create a ripple effect across the network, triggering constant updates and recalculations, leading to instability and increased load on network devices.

Congestion occurs when network traffic exceeds the available bandwidth, resulting in packet delays, increased latency, and potential packet loss. Congestion can be caused by a sudden surge in traffic, inefficient routing, or limited bandwidth capacity. It can severely impact the performance of latency-sensitive applications and degrade overall network efficiency.

Challenges with Current Protocols: BGP and OSPF

Current routing protocols like BGP and OSPF face significant challenges in addressing flaps and congestion in an automated and quick manner:

  1. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol):

    • BGP is designed for routing between large networks (AS - Autonomous Systems) and is known for its stability and policy-based routing capabilities. However, it is not inherently equipped to handle rapid link state changes efficiently.

    • BGP convergence (the process of reaching a consistent state across the network) can be slow, making it difficult to respond to flaps promptly.

    • Handling congestion with BGP requires manual intervention and policy adjustments, which are time-consuming and may not be feasible in dynamic network environments.

  2. OSPF (Open Shortest Path First):

    • OSPF is an interior gateway protocol designed for routing within an AS. It uses a link-state algorithm to maintain a map of the network topology.

    • OSPF reacts to link state changes by flooding the network with updates, which can lead to excessive processing and instability during frequent flaps.

    • While OSPF supports Quality of Service (QoS) routing, it lacks the advanced capabilities to detect and mitigate congestion dynamically and efficiently.

The Limitations of Network Routers

Traditional network routers are not designed to detect and handle flaps and congestion autonomously. The reasons include:

  • Lack of Real-time Analytics: Routers typically do not possess the advanced analytics needed to monitor network performance metrics continuously.

  • Manual Configuration: Addressing flaps and congestion often requires manual intervention, policy adjustments, and configuration changes.

  • Limited Visibility: Routers may lack end-to-end visibility across the network, making it challenging to identify and address congestion points accurately.

How SD-WAN Mitigates Flaps and Congestion

SD-WAN technology offers a robust solution to the challenges posed by flaps and congestion, especially when leveraging multiple last-mile links and a hub-and-spoke architecture.

  1. Flap Mitigation:

    • SD-WAN solutions continuously monitor the health and performance of network links. When a flap is detected, the SD-WAN controller using the management plane can quickly determine the viability of the affected link.

    • The SD-WAN engine can suppress the use of a flapping link until it is stable, preventing unnecessary disruptions and ensuring reliable connectivity.

    • By dynamically routing traffic over alternative paths, SD-WAN minimizes the impact of link flapping on overall network performance.

  2. Congestion Mitigation:

    • SD-WAN employs sophisticated algorithms to analyze traffic patterns and detect congestion in real-time. These algorithms assess packet delays, jitter, and bandwidth utilization to identify congestion points.

    • Upon detecting congestion, SD-WAN can reroute traffic through less congested links, leveraging multiple last-mile connections to balance the load effectively.

    • Advanced QoS mechanisms within SD-WAN prioritize critical traffic, ensuring that latency-sensitive applications receive the required bandwidth and performance.

Fusion's Last Mile SD-WAN Advantage

Fusion’s Last Mile SD-WAN solution exemplifies the benefits of advanced SD-WAN technology:

  • Seamless Connectivity: Fusion's Last Mile SD-WAN provides uninterrupted connectivity by intelligently managing multiple last-mile links, ensuring traffic is always routed through the best available path.

  • Proactive Flap Management: The system detects and isolates flapping links, reintroducing them only when stability is assured, thus maintaining network reliability.

  • Real-time Congestion Analysis: Fusion’s Last Mile SD-WAN algorithms continuously analyze network conditions, dynamically adjusting traffic flows to mitigate congestion and optimize performance.

Wrapping up, while traditional networking technologies struggle with the dynamic challenges of flaps and congestion, Last Mile SD-WAN offers a transformative solution. By leveraging advanced monitoring, analytics, and dynamic routing capabilities, Last Mile SD-WAN ensures reliable, efficient, and high-performance network connectivity, addressing the evolving needs of modern businesses.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized Last Mile SD-WAN provider in South Africa.

Learn more: 👉 Contact Fusion 💼🚀