September 3, 2020

WAN Optimization in the SD-WAN Era

WAN optimization has been with us for a long time. Born alongside expensive and capacity constrained WAN connectivity, such as MPLS, WAN optimization appliances allowed organizations to squeeze more bandwidth out of thin pipes through compression, and prioritize traffic of loss-sensitive applications such as remote desktops.

WAN optimization has been with us for a long time. Born alongside expensive and capacity constrained WAN connectivity, such as MPLS, WAN optimization appliances allowed organizations to squeeze more bandwidth out of thin pipes through compression, and prioritize traffic of loss-sensitive applications such as remote desktops.

The dramatic changes in network traffic patterns, from inwards towards the data center to outwards towards the cloud, is challenging the base premise for dedicated WAN optimization appliances.

First, the growth of the Internet- and cloud-bound traffic is accelerating the introduction of direct secure internet access at branch locations. These links have a higher capacity at a lower cost, making bandwidth expansion easier and more affordable. Second, the use of public cloud applications is incompatible with using WAN optimizer at both edges of the link, as enterprises can’t control that traffic going into cloud applications.

These changes are leading to convergence….

"We’ve reduced our networking opex by 50 percent and more since moving from MPLS. Users just aren’t complaining any longer."
- Ville Sarja, CIO

The ICG Asia Solution: Global, SLA-backed Backbone with built-in Network Security

ICG Asia’s secure and global SLA-backed backbone enables customers to augment and ultimately replace MPLS connectivity. Unlike SD-WAN edge solutions that have limited scope and persist the need for MPLS, ICG Asia extends the WAN transformation to eliminate branch security appliances, and natively support cloud applications and mobile users. With ICG Asia, customers can maximize the benefits of transforming their WAN to reduce the cost, complexity and risks of their IT infrastructure.

SD-WAN Edge Challenges

Solution: Global, Secure SLA-backed Backbone

SD-WAN edge appliances enable organizations to use multiple transports (MPLS and Internet) in branch locations, for WAN connectivity. However, they persist the dependency on MPLS transports to ensure latency and loss sensitive applications perform in a consistent manner.

ICG Asia is providing a global, SLA-backed backbone with built-in network security, delivered as a cloud service. With over 30 PoPs worldwide, interconnected with tier-1 global IP transit providers, ICG Asia can provide consistent and predictable global connectivity at an affordable price.

SLA-backed Transport

Lack of SLA-backed transport forces reliance on MPLS

SD-WAN Edge integrates Internet transport into MPLS WAN. However, since the Internet can’t provide consistent and predictable latency on a global scale, enterprises must continue to use MPLS to support latency- and loss sensitive applications.

ICG Asia's SLA-backed backbone enables MPLS replacement

ICG Asia has built a global, SLA-backed backbone that runs our integrated networking and security software stack. ICG Asia’s PoPs are fully meshed over multiple tier-1 IP transit providers with SLA-backed latency and packet loss. With ICG Asia, customers can use high quality Internet last mile and the ICG Asia SD-WANto replace MPLS.

Integrated Network Security

Complex and costly security integration

SD-WAN edge solutions enable the use of Internet for WAN transport and can provide direct internet access at the branch. However, they typically do not include a full network security stack and require customers to deploy additional security solutions at every location, backhaul traffic to a datacenter or use cloud-based security services.

Network security built into the ICG Asia SD-WAN

ICG Asia provides a full network security stack, including a next generation firewall, secure web gateway, anti-malware and IPS built into the SLA-backed backbone. There is no need to deploy branch security appliances, backhaul traffic, or introduce new security services. All policies are managed within ICG Asia’s management application.

Supported Edges

Limited support for cloud infrastructure and mobile users

SD-WAN edge solutions were designed with physical locations in mind. Typical WAN architectures treat cloud data centers and mobile users as an afterthought.

Seamless support for Physical, Cloud and Mobile resources

ICG Asia was built to connect all enterprise network elements i including physical locations, cloud infrastructure, and mobile users. With ICG Asia's SD-WAN and network security is available globally and for all traffic.

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