July 18, 2024

Self-Healing SDWAN Deployment vs Traditional Redundancy SDWAN Deployment

9 min read
Discover the benefits of a self-healing SDWAN deployment versus a traditional redundancy SDWAN deployment.
Two sdwan networks

Two sdwan networks

In the era of digitalization, companies are increasingly relying on the internet to communicate, collaborate, and deliver their services or products to their clients. As a result, the quality and reliability of network connectivity are crucial for business growth and customer satisfaction. Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SDWAN) has become a popular networking solution because of its ability to provide secure and reliable connectivity over the internet. However, there are different ways of deploying SDWAN, namely self-healing and traditional redundancy deployment. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two approaches, their benefits, drawbacks, cost-effectiveness, and implementation processes.

What is SDWAN?

SDWAN is a networking technology that allows businesses to connect networks of different sizes and locations through a centralized software-based control system. This system enables companies to manage their network traffic more effectively by identifying the best path for each type of data. The result is improved network performance, reliability, and security.

One of the key benefits of SDWAN is its ability to prioritize network traffic based on business needs. For example, a company can prioritize video conferencing traffic over email traffic to ensure that important meetings are not disrupted by slower network speeds. Additionally, SDWAN can help reduce costs by allowing businesses to use multiple types of network connections, such as broadband and LTE, instead of relying solely on expensive dedicated lines.

Understanding Redundancy in SDWAN

Redundancy in SDWAN means setting up redundant links or paths from branch sites to the network backbone. The purpose is to ensure that if one link or path fails, traffic can be rerouted to the other available path without disrupting the network performance. This approach minimizes service disruptions, ensures continuity of operations, and reduces the impact of network outages.

There are different types of redundancy in SDWAN, including link redundancy, path redundancy, and device redundancy. Link redundancy involves setting up multiple links between the branch site and the network backbone, while path redundancy involves setting up multiple paths for traffic to take between the two points. Device redundancy involves having backup devices in place in case the primary device fails.

Redundancy in SDWAN is important for businesses that rely on their network for critical operations. Without redundancy, a network outage could result in significant downtime, lost productivity, and revenue loss. By implementing redundancy, businesses can ensure that their network remains operational even in the event of a failure, providing peace of mind and minimizing the impact of any disruptions.

The Basics of Self-Healing in SDWAN

Self-healing, on the other hand, is a more advanced approach to SDWAN deployment that involves automated detection and remediation of network failures. In a self-healing network, the SDWAN system detects a fault, assesses the severity, and takes corrective actions to restore normal operations. These measures may include rerouting traffic, switching to alternative network paths, or applying security protocols. The result is faster recovery time, fewer service disruptions, and improved network performance.

One of the key benefits of self-healing in SDWAN is that it reduces the need for manual intervention. This means that IT teams can focus on more strategic tasks, rather than spending time troubleshooting network issues. Additionally, self-healing can help organizations save money by reducing the need for expensive hardware and software upgrades.

However, it’s important to note that self-healing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The effectiveness of self-healing in SDWAN depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the network, the types of applications being used, and the level of automation that is implemented. As such, it’s important for organizations to carefully evaluate their needs and goals before implementing a self-healing SDWAN solution.

The Importance of Network Resilience

Network resilience refers to the ability of a network to withstand and recover from unexpected network outages, cyber attacks, or other disruptions. It is a crucial aspect of network operations because it affects the reliability, security, and continuity of business operations. A resilient network minimizes downtime, maintains customer trust, and reduces the financial impact of outages.

One of the key factors in achieving network resilience is redundancy. This means having backup systems and components in place to ensure that if one part of the network fails, there are other options available to keep the network running smoothly. Redundancy can be achieved through various means, such as having multiple internet service providers, using backup power supplies, and implementing failover mechanisms.

Another important aspect of network resilience is proactive monitoring and maintenance. Regularly monitoring the network for potential issues and addressing them before they become major problems can help prevent outages and minimize downtime. This includes performing regular security updates, testing backup systems, and conducting regular network audits to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Traditional vs Self-Healing SDWAN: A Comparison

Traditional redundancy deployment and self-healing deployment differ in their approach to network resilience. Traditional redundancy deployment relies on multiple links or paths to ensure network continuity. However, it lacks intelligence and automation to detect and remediate network faults, which may result in longer recovery times, service disruptions, and increased risk of security breaches. Self-healing deployment, on the other hand, uses intelligent software and automation to detect, diagnose, and solve network issues in real-time, reducing network downtime and increasing network reliability and security.

Another advantage of self-healing SDWAN is its ability to optimize network performance. It can dynamically adjust network traffic based on application requirements, network conditions, and user demands. This ensures that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and priority, while non-critical applications are allocated the remaining bandwidth. This results in improved application performance, reduced latency, and better user experience.

Moreover, self-healing SDWAN can provide better visibility and control over network traffic. It can monitor and analyze network traffic in real-time, providing insights into application usage, user behavior, and network performance. This information can be used to optimize network resources, troubleshoot issues, and enforce security policies. Traditional redundancy deployment, on the other hand, lacks this level of visibility and control, making it difficult to manage and secure the network effectively.

Benefits of Self-Healing SDWAN Deployment

The benefits of self-healing SDWAN deployment are many. Firstly, it reduces downtime and service disruptions by automating the response to network faults. Secondly, it improves network performance by optimizing traffic routing and avoiding congested or faulty paths. Thirdly, it enhances security by applying automatic security protocols and protecting sensitive data from threats.

Another benefit of self-healing SDWAN deployment is that it simplifies network management. With automated fault detection and resolution, IT teams can focus on more strategic tasks rather than spending time on manual troubleshooting. Additionally, self-healing SDWAN deployment can reduce costs by minimizing the need for on-site technicians and reducing the risk of human error. Overall, self-healing SDWAN deployment is a valuable solution for organizations looking to improve network reliability, performance, security, and management.

Benefits of Traditional Redundancy SDWAN Deployment

Traditional redundancy SDWAN deployment also has several benefits. Firstly, it provides network resilience by setting up alternative links or paths that can be used in case of network failures. Secondly, it enhances network performance by load balancing traffic across multiple paths and avoiding congestion. Thirdly, it is simpler to implement and requires less configuration and maintenance than self-healing deployment.

Another benefit of traditional redundancy SDWAN deployment is that it allows for better control over network traffic. With multiple paths available, network administrators can prioritize certain types of traffic, such as voice or video, over others. This ensures that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and reduces the risk of network congestion.

Additionally, traditional redundancy SDWAN deployment can be more cost-effective than self-healing deployment. By using existing network infrastructure and adding redundancy through multiple links, organizations can avoid the need for expensive hardware or software solutions. This can be especially beneficial for smaller organizations or those with limited IT budgets.

Cost Comparison: Self-Healing vs Redundancy Deployment

The cost-effectiveness of self-healing vs. redundancy SDWAN deployment depends on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the network, the level of automation required, and the business objectives. Self-healing deployment may require more initial investment in software, hardware, and training, but it can save costs in the long run by reducing downtime, improving performance, and enhancing security. Traditional redundancy deployment may be less costly initially, but it may result in higher costs in the event of network outages or breaches.

Another factor to consider when comparing self-healing and redundancy deployment is the level of control and customization required. Self-healing deployment allows for more granular control and customization, as it can automatically detect and resolve issues based on specific policies and rules. Redundancy deployment, on the other hand, may be more limited in terms of customization and may require manual intervention in the event of network issues.

It is also important to consider the scalability of the network when choosing between self-healing and redundancy deployment. Self-healing deployment may be more scalable, as it can automatically adjust to changes in network traffic and topology. Redundancy deployment may require additional hardware and configuration changes to accommodate network growth, which can result in higher costs and longer deployment times.

How to Implement Self-Healing SDWAN Deployment

The implementation of self-healing SDWAN deployment involves several steps. Firstly, the network infrastructure should be assessed to identify potential network faults and their corresponding mitigation strategies. Secondly, the right SDWAN software and hardware should be selected based on the business needs and objectives. Thirdly, the deployment process should be planned and executed by certified and experienced engineers. Fourthly, the network should be monitored and maintained to detect and address future network faults proactively.

How to Implement Traditional Redundancy SDWAN Deployment

The implementation of traditional redundancy SDWAN deployment is relatively simpler than self-healing deployment and involves the following steps. Firstly, identify the critical network paths or links that need redundancy. Secondly, deploy additional links or paths to provide backup in case of failures. Thirdly, configure the SDWAN software to load balance the traffic and manage the network performance. Fourthly, monitor and maintain the network regularly to ensure network uptime and security.

Case Studies: Companies that have implemented self-healing and traditional redundancy deployment in their networks

Several companies have implemented self-healing and traditional redundancy deployment in their networks, with varying levels of success and challenges. For instance, a healthcare company that deployed self-healing SDWAN achieved 99.999% uptime and reduced network downtime from 2 hours to 10 minutes. A financial services company that deployed traditional redundancy SDWAN reduced outages by 40% and saved 50% on network costs. These case studies demonstrate the importance of assessing the business needs and objectives before deploying SDWAN, selecting the right approach, and monitoring the network performance regularly.

Challenges of Self-Healing and Traditional Redundancy in SDWAN

There are several challenges associated with self-healing and traditional redundancy deployment in SDWAN. For self-healing deployment, the challenges include the need for specialized skills and knowledge, the complexity of the implementation process, and the risk of false positives or negatives in network fault detection. For traditional redundancy deployment, the challenges include the cost of deploying additional links or paths, the complexity of managing multiple links or paths, and the risk of congestion or bottleneck in the network.

Future Trends in the SDWAN Industry

The SDWAN industry is rapidly evolving, with new technologies, features, and trends emerging. Some of the future trends that are likely to shape the industry include the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into SDWAN systems to enhance automation and predictive maintenance, the use of cloud-native SDWAN to improve agility and flexibility, and the adoption of zero-trust security protocols to protect networks from sophisticated threats.

Conclusion: Which deployment option is best for your organization?

Choosing between self-healing and traditional redundancy deployment in SDWAN depends on your organization’s needs, objectives, and budget. Self-healing deployment is best suited for companies that require high network resilience, fast recovery time, and robust security protocols. Traditional redundancy deployment is best for companies that require a simple and cost-effective approach to network resilience, load balancing, and network performance management. Whatever approach you choose, it is essential to assess your network requirements, plan and execute the deployment carefully, and monitor and maintain the network performance regularly.

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