Applications of Using Tunnel-Free SD-WAN

Applications of Using Tunnel-Free SD-WAN

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Tunnel-free SD-WAN opens the door to high-demand and low-latency applications and optimizes the network for enhanced security and scalability.

FREMONT, CA: Enterprises are increasingly looking to software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) to enhance efficiency and productivity. However, recognizing the full promise of SD-WAN needs more than just layering another technology on top of existing connections. Enterprises today are utilizing Tunnel-free SD-WAN to develop next-generation connectivity solutions that bring unmatched experiences for their end-customers. Tunnel-free SD-WAN is session-based through safe vector routing, avoiding the need for tunnels and allowing the SD-WAN to use intelligent routing. This results in high-demand and low-latency applications and streamlines the network for better security and scalability.

SD-WAN utilized tunnels to create an overlay on the transport of the network. Tunnels can perform through MPLS and/or the public internet, generating a connection between two locations on the network and segmenting traffic for improved security and bandwidth separation. However, this results in bandwidth waste since tunnels need more bandwidth to carry IP packets and cannot manage bandwidth use efficiently based on packet size. If an enterprise uses multiple applications that frequently send smaller packets over the network, a tunnel-based SD-WAN becomes highly inefficient.

Tunnel-free SD-WAN uses stateful and dynamic routing, eliminating the high overhead and bandwidth tax of tunnel-based SD-WAN. Sessions on the network can be hyper-segmented since the lack of tunnels allows scalability on the network. For applications that depend on that scalability, this makes tunnel-free SD-WAN critical to a lightweight network that can manage high bandwidth demands for a large base of users.

Conventional SD-WAN remediates WAN connectivity issues by creating virtual networks, overlays on top of the present transport network. Although the use of tunnels can make the generation of overlays easier, there are problems. The network transport becomes heavyweight and less streamlined; this results in poor usage of bandwidth. In some applications, like VoIP, tunnel overhead consumes as much as 40 to 100 percent additional packet bandwidth, resulting in poor bandwidth efficiency, increased latency, packet drops and, poor customer experience.

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