A Safe Space for Packets

by Adam Gervin

One of the benefits of being in a startup is that you have a lot more freedom to completely go off the reservation, on occasion. Once you get to a certain size, everyone gets a lot more serious. And then this kind of editorialized fun comes to a dead stop. You know what I mean. So let's enjoy it while we can, shall we?

Welcome to the millennial edition of the Mode blog, and the third part in our analysis of Steve Garson's (CEO and Founder, SD-WAN Experts) ONUG presentation "Measuring Internet Core Variability" aka "Is the Internet Core a Safe Space for Packets" aka "Is Your SD-WAN Relying on a Turkey of a WAN."

But first... Let's talk about perfect. At Mode, we are lucky to have something at our disposal called Perfect Network ControlTM. What is it, you ask? Well, it's pretty rare in technology to have something that's truly perfect. And that's why this is so very cool. We will cover this more in a future blog, but Perfect Network ControlTM isn't an exaggeration at all. It's how Mode controls networks and continuously drives them to perfect efficiency, every 150ms. And we all know, nothing beats perfect.

The point is, most things aren't perfect. For example, the platform we use to host our webinars (it's ok, we know perfect is hard). Turns out, it wasn't cooperating at the scheduled 10 AM November 14 time and date. So — for those of you who couldn't make Steve Garson's presentation on "Three Must-Do's to Get Peak SD-WAN Performance" — this is your chance to not get left behind, and learn about three common-sense steps to get more from your SD-WAN.

Even better, you get to eat turkey first.

Featuring: Nithin Michael, Founder & CTO, Mode;
and Steve Garson, Founder, SD-WAN Experts
When: Wednesday, November 28th, 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

OK. Back to A Safe Space for Packets. I hate to break it to you, but it's time to hand out the blankets, coloring pads, and crayons, because we've already learned that the Internet Core isn't safe at all. Scary.

In fact, its unpredictability is orthogonal to keeping businesses always-on. We'll get into the concept of "always-on" in a future blog, but for now, think technology always doing what you need it to do, when you need it done, to get work accomplished. The network, the technology, just recedes into the background and you totally take it for granted. That's the dream. And all too often, the Internet Core turns it into a support nightmare.

In the third part of Steve's ONUG presentation, he considered a very interesting question — can optimized paths or backbones make a difference vs. Internet Core for long-haul traffic. For example, AWS to AWS optimized paths.

He turned to our friends at Catchpoint to measure AWS-to-AWS performance among the same origins and endpoints of his previous two tests. And the results were quite illuminating.

As you can see, in most cases, having an optimized path between points not only reduced point-to-point latency, but also latency variance and jitter. The takeaway point — if your business a) needs to be always-on, and b) relies on long-haul data transport, you can benefit dramatically from an "optimized path."

Steve's conclusions are similar:

  1. Internet variability is most dramatic at the core
  2. Internet access can be relied upon by always-on businesses, and an SD-WAN's ability to support two or more ISPs makes this even better
  3. You need an Internet Core alternative. You could go MPLS, or you could go SD-CORE

So, you want to be always-on. You need to be always-on. And all you want for Christmas this year is flexible, reliable, affordable WAN. Do you pick MPLS? Do you choose SD-CORE with SD-WAN? And are all SD-CORE's the same? Is all network control — with all those fancy names for different kinds of routing or optimization — really the same?

No doubt, these are all great questions. And we look forward to discussing them more in the future.

In the meantime, our friends at Cisco had a LOT of news this week. And mixed in among that news were some very interesting comments on SD-CORE and SD-WAN. Want to know more? Come back next week and find out!