Delivering on the performance promise of SD-WAN and Hybrid Networks

…without the implementation headaches!

SD-WAN has been all the rage in IT for the past few years and many analysts (as well as the more than 60 SD-WAN providers!) have been promoting the technology’s ability to solve a wide range of problems facing today’s IT professional. 

There are many reasons why companies choose to adopt SD-WAN and BizTech suggests the following six are at the top of the list of benefits: Agility, Cost, Security, Reliability, Performance and Adoption. Sinefa agrees that SD-WAN provides these benefits, but let’s dive a bit deeper into the Performance promise BizTech says that SD-WAN providers are providing.

BizTech suggests that SD-WANs deliver performance in the following way: “SD-WAN technology uses the internet to create secure, high-performance connections, eliminating the backhaul penalties imposed by MPLS networks. This allows SD-WANs to deliver business applications cost-effectively while optimizing Software as a Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based services. The technology also improves IT efficiency at branch offices by enabling automation and provides reliable, inexpensive links for IoT projects.”

But how does the IT professional really know if their network is performing? How does the IT professional actually measure end user experience and satisfaction?

Application performance intelligence and measurable user experience metrics are essential to delivering on the performance promise for SD-WANs or really for any hybrid network.

Application Performance Intelligence vs Network Utilization Metrics

Most, if not all, SD-WAN providers and Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) tools provide visibility into the network and some, of course, do it better than others. However, most of these tools are providing insights into network utilization rather than application performance. So what’s the difference?

Network utilization reports show you which network link and/or how much of that link is being utilized by an application or a group of applications while application performance intelligence is providing you insights into how that application is actually performing for the end user. For the IT professional, network utilization reports require that you guess or infer application performance and end user experience.

Does the end user care if their application is going down an internet link, an MPLS circuit or to the moon and back? Of course not! What the end user cares about is whether or not their application is working and responsive.  TCP roundtrip and loss metrics are used by SD-WAN to make decisions about path selection. Without real application performance intelligence such as application level response time, network delay and server delay metrics, a network utilization report has you flying blind.

Crowdsourced Application Benchmarks for Measurable User Experience Scores

If I told you I had built a spacecraft that could take you to Mars in 287 days, would you think that was a good spacecraft or a bad spacecraft? Was that spacecraft using a “performance” rocket or an old 1960s era moon trip clunker? Tough to know, right?

In order to ascertain whether or not you were booking the fastest trip to Mars, you would probably need some kind of benchmark, right? You’d probably check to see how fast Elon Musk’s Space X was planning to get his rockets and passengers to Mars (answer: on average 115 days) to know if my spacecraft was worth your time.

Application performance benchmarks are no different. But what does good (or bad) look like? And how does that compare to the application performance you’re seeing on YOUR network.

You’ll need some source of industry or geographical ground truth to measure the application performance your users are experiencing on your network.  Benchmarks help you make important performance decisions about your network - all the time.

Zero touch, overlay deployment that doesn’t require any network changes

Today’s application performance monitoring solutions are just downright difficult to install and manage! To gain insights into application and network response times, server response times, and more, you’ve got to install an agent on every end-user device and customize the data you’re tracking by each application for every performance metric. It’s a real pain.

Wouldn’t it be great to gain insight into application performance and end user experience out of the box and right off the wire? Just plug a single box into the network and get your performance data in a matter of minutes? Whether you’ve got an SD-WAN, an MPLS, a multi-cloud network or all of the above, your application performance intelligence should be easy to install and manage. Only an agentless, OTT (Over The Top) solution that works with hybrid networks will do. 

Shameless plug: If you’ve read this entire blog, then it’s pretty clear you’ve at least got to try Sinefa on your network!

Sinefa can provide you with the application performance intelligence and measurable user experience metrics based on crowdsourced analytics from 1000s of customers right out of the box. You can fine tune your SD-WAN, MPLS or hybrid network with Sinefa’s simple performance intelligence and give your end users the user experience they deserve - all with zero changes to your network infrastructure.

Sign up here for a Free Trial today!

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